Apart from the Padillas and the Eigenmanns, the Cruzes also make up one of the most popular showbiz clans. Most of them have carved lucrative careers especially in music, even as they have showcased their acting prowess in TV and film.
How they are related
Some of the most famous Cruzes in showbiz – Donna, Sunshine, Geneva, Sheryl, and Rayver are all cousins – with Tirso Cruz III being their uncle.
Donna and her elder brother Jomar’s mother is Yolly, whose brother is Boyet. Boyet is the father of Geneva and three other children: Aubrey, Vannessa, and EJ.
Meanwhile, Sunshine’s father Danny, is siblings with Beth (mother of Rayver, Rodjun, and Omar), the late Ricky Belmonte – Jesus Cruz in real life (father of Sheryl, Renzo, and Patrick) – as well as with Cesar and Jeffrey. Sunshine has three other siblings namely Maritess, Michael, and Maricel.
Tirso has a brother, the late Woody Cruz, and three sons: Bodie (who previously joined “Pinoy Big Brother”), TJ, and Djanin (who was Tirso’s date at the recent 8th Star Magic Ball). Tirso and Woody are cousins with Yolly, Boyet, Danny, Ricky, Cesar, Beth, and Jeffrey.
Making their mark
One of the things that Tirso will always be remembered for is his onscreen partnership with Nora Aunor. The Guy and Pip love team peaked during the 70s, spawning various films like “Young Love,” “I Dream of Nora,” “Guy and Pip,” and “My Blue Hawaii” as well as a duet album.
As a solo artist, Tirso is one fine character actor who had pivotal roles in dramas such as “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw,” “Budoy,” and “Ikaw Lamang.” He was also seen in the Star Cinema films “Bride for Rent,” “Sisterakas,” “No Other Woman,” and “In My Life.”
Donna, meanwhile, had her peak during the 90s. Her crystal clear, angelic voice brought life to timeless hits like “Kapag Tumibok ang Puso,” “Wish,” her duet with Phil of the Everly Brothers, and “I Can,” which she sang with Regine Velasquez and Mikee Cojuangco for their film “DoReMi.”
In spite of a booming showbiz career, Donna settled down in 1998 and became less active in showbiz since then.
Geneva is best known as one of the lead singers of vocal group Smokey Mountain, formed by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab back in the late 80s. She became a voice for environmental issues as in one of her biggest singles, “Anak ng Pasig.” Her heart for nature remains unwavering even after all these years, becoming a certified vegan and an animal rights advocate for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Also one with a signature song is Sheryl, who popularized “Mr. Dreamboy” in the late 80s. She likewise had a group – the Triplets – with Manilyn Reynes and Tina Paner. In recent years, we saw Sheryl in special roles like in the hit teleserye “Walang Hanggan” as well as “Galema: Anak ni Zuma.”
Unlike her cousins, Sunshine used to be associated with sexy movies such as “Ekis” and “Ang Kabit ni Mrs. Montero.” Yet like Donna, family life became a major priority for Sunshine when she married action star Cesar Montano in 2000.
Their separation last year led to Sunshine’s renewed visibility in the acting scene, landing roles in “Galema: Anak ni Zuma,” “Dugong Buhay,” “Pure Love.”
One of the youngest Cruzes in showbiz, Rayver has created a niche for himself as a dance floor heartthrob regularly seen on “ASAP.” He’s also an actor who started with support roles until he eventually landed major breaks in “Spirits,” “Rounin,” “Reputasyon,” “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin,” and “Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal.”
His film credits, on the other hand, include Star Cinema films “Cinco,” “Forever and a Day,” “A Mother’s Story,” “On the Job,” and “You Changed My Life.”