The Eigenmanns comprise one of the most formidable showbiz clans in showbiz. At first glance, their good genes will command attention. Yet their intensity as actors makes them all the more worth-watching.
As we pay tribute to the life and career of Mark Gil, an Eigenmann himself, we take a look at his and his family’s long-standing legacy.
Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil
Eddie Mesa (born Eduardo Eigenmann) is regarded as the “Elvis Presley of the Philippines,” being a top impersonator of the King of Rock ‘n Roll. He rose to prominence as a singing idol in the late 50s who also dabbled into the movies. He acted opposite the late King of Philippine Movies Fernando Poe, Jr. in “Rolling Rockers” and “Hawaiian Boy,” where he got to work with Rosemarie Gil.
Rosemarie herself is an accomplished movie star, having acted in hundreds of films since the 50s, including Star Cinema’s “Minsan Minahal Kita” and “Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa?” She has garnered acting merits from FAMAS, Gawad Urian, and the Metro Manila Film Festival.
The two married and had three children who would later become respectable actors as well: Michael, Cherie, and Mark.
She’s the classy contravida you’d love to hate. Cherie uttered one of the most famous lines in Philippine cinema: “You’re nothing but a second rate, trying hard, copycat!” That’s from “Bituing Walang Ningning,” her 1985 film with Sharon Cuneta and Christopher de Leon.
As an in-demand character actress, Cherie went on to play villain roles in ABS-CBN series such as “Bituin,” “Marina,” and most recently, “Ikaw Lamang,” as the condescending mayor’s wife, Miranda Hidalgo. She was also cast in the Star Cinema films “A Moment in Time,” “Ekstra,” and “My First Romance.”
Cherie was married to violinist Roni Rogoff, with whom she has two children: Bianca and Raphael, and another son from a previous relationship, Jay Gil.
Michael de Mesa
Michael has been in the business for nearly four decades, with some 100 films in his catalog, some of which were with Star Cinema, such as “Dubai” and the internationally acclaimed “On the Job” where he played a corrupt politician.
He also has directing credits under his belt, having helmed a segment in “Calvento Files: The Movie.”
On TV, he essayed on the pivotal character of Mr. Destiny in the Kim Chiu-Gerald Anderson starrer “Sana Maulit Muli.”
Michael has three sons with former wife, actress Gina Alajar: Geoff, AJ, and Ryan Eigenmann.
Andi had yet to prove herself when she joined showbiz some seven years ago yet expectations from the public were high. After all, she is the daughter of Mark with another premier actress, Jaclyn Jose.
She obviously passed with flying colors via her big TV break, “Agua Bendita” where she played twins – and with contrasting personalities at that. Her roles got meatier and meatier thereafter, starring in the series “Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin,” “Kahit Puso’y Masugatan,” “Galema: Anak Ni Zuma,” and “Dyesebel.”
A former “Pinoy Big Brother Teen Plus” housemate, Andi was part of the Star Cinema film, “Momzillas.”
Born Timothy Eigenmann, the actor is celebrated especially in the independent film circuit. Following his breakthrough performance in “Donsol,” Sid went on to take home Best Actor awards from Gawad Urian and Gawad Tanglaw for his portrayal of an inmate in “Selda.” Not only that, he also shared a Best Actor trophy with co-star Emilio Garcia at the 2008 Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece.
Sid won another Gawad Urian Best Actor award for his work in the gay-themed film “Muli.”
Under Star Cinema, Andi's half-brother took part in the Bea Alonzo-John Lloyd Cruz box office hit “Miss You Like Crazy.”
One of Ralph Eigenmann’s earliest outings was “Batch 81,” a critically acclaimed Mike de Leon film that centered on the world of fraternities. His name there was Sid Lucero, which became the screen name of his son Timothy. It is also through the same film that he met his first wife, actress Bing Pimentel (He married his second wife Maricar Jacinto in 1996).
Mark had a lucrative 30-year career, with more than a hundred films to his credit, including Star Cinema’s “Cedie,” “Till My Heartaches End,” “Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang,” and “The Healing.”
He was cast in a number of ABS-CBN shows such as “Mula Sa Puso,” “Sa Puso Ko, Iingatan Ka,” “Saan Ka Man Naroroon,” “Guns and Roses,” “Imortal,” and “Magkaribal.”
For his last TV outing, Mark played the role of the vengeful Dante Ramos in the hit drama series “The Legal Wife,” the father to Maja Salvador’s character Nicole Esquivel.
He passed away today, Sept. 1, after battling liver cancer.