Remembering the stars who died in 2016
Remembering the stars who died in 2016
2016 is the year fans said goodbye to beloved figures like Kuya Germs, Wenn Deramas, Lilia Cuntapay, and more

MANILA, Philippines – As we say goodbye to 2016, we remember the stars and artists who died and their legacy in the entertainment industry.

Overseas, Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, George Michael, and Alan Thicke are some of the icons who passed, marking 2016 a tough year in entertainment. 

Here are some of the Pinoy stars who died this year. We won’t soon forget their contributions to Philippine entertainment.

German “Kuya Germs” Moreno 

 Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

The entertainment icon and longtime industry mainstay, mentor to the stars, German Moreno, died after cardiac arrest early morning of January 8. 

Industry colleagues and other famous personalities paid tribute to him, including Grace Poe, Nora Aunor, Billy Crawford, and Imelda Marcos.

He was laid to rest on Thursday, January 14 at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina. 

Director Wenn Deramas

File photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

On February 29, Wenn Deramas, known for his hit movies like Ang Tanging Ina, The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin, Girl, Boy, Bakla, TomboySisterakas and The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin, died following a heart attack. He was 49 years old. 

Vice Ganda, Claudine Barretto and a number of celebrities paid tribute to the filmmaker. 

He was laid to rest along with his sister who died before him, on the same day. 

Director Francis Xavier Pasion

Photo by Jude Bautista/Rappler

On March 6, the industry lost another director, Francis Xavier Pasion. Pasion, who made movies like Jay and Bwaya, died at the age of 38.

The director’s brother confirmed that he died of cardiac arrest, and based on the autopsy report of the Philippine National Police. (READ: Film, TV industry mourns death of director Francis Xavier Pasion)

Aside from his films, Pasion also directed TV shows for ABS-CBN, including My Binondo GirlDyesebel, and the JaDine hit show On the Wings of Love.  

Luis Katigbak 

Screengrab from Luis Katigbak's Facebook account

In April, writer Luis Katigbak died at the age of 41. 

Luis was an award-winning writer who had received 4 Palanca Awards, a Philippine Graphic prize, and the Young Artists’ Grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), among others.

Aside from his work with the Philippine Star, Luis also worked with Esquire Philippines.

Lilia Cuntapay

 Screengrab from YouTube/6DoSfLC

Lilia Cuntapay, known for memorably playing ghosts, witches and aswang characters in the movies, died on August 20 at the age of 81 years old.

Lilia’s relatives reported that the actress suffered from a spinal cord illness and was unable to walk. She even appealed to her co-workers in the industry for help.

Before her death, Lilia won the Best Actress trophy at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival for Antoinette Jadaone’s Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay in 2011

Norma Liongoren

Photo from Facebook/Norma Liongoren

On August 26, the art world mounred the death of gallerist Norma Liongroren, who died at the age of 69 years old due to stomach cancer.

Norma founded the the Liongoren gallery, named after her husband Alfred, an artist. 

Joy Viado

Photo from Facebook/Joy Viado

On September 10, comedian Joy Viado died due to a heart attack. She was 57. 

Her son Joseph Christopher told DZMM that his mother was havng a hard time breathing when she got home from a friend’s house.  

Joy also had diabetes. 

Dick Israel

Screengrab from YouTube/ABS-CBN News

On October 11, veteran character actor Dick Israel died; the news was announced by the Damay Kamay Foundation’s Facebook page.

Damay Kamay helped Dick after his house burned down and when a photo of him asking for help went viral.

Days after his death, his wife Marilyn passed away on October 15. 

Lolita Rodriguez 

Photo from Facebook/Eduardo Perez Blanco

Actress Lolita Rodriguez, who appeared in movies such as  Ina, Kapatid, Anak, Cofradia, and Ang Anak ni Brocka, died on November 28 at the age of 81.

Lolita started her career when she appeared in the movie Ang Ating Pag-Ibig in 1953. She retired from her long and stories showbiz career and resided in the US.

She briefly returned to the Philippines to do a movie called Lucia in 1992. 


Screengrab from YouTube/Al Auacay

Singer and comedian Blakdyak (real name Joseph Formaran ) died on November 21. He was found dead in his condominium in Sampaloc, Manila.  

Blakdyak became popular in ’90s for songs such as  “Modelong Charing,” “Noon At Ngayon,” and “Asin At Paminta.” He also appeared in a few movies.


Eduardo Castrillo

Photo from

Sculptor Eduardo Castrillo, the man behind the the People Power Monument, died last May 18 after battling cancer.

Aside from the People Power Monument, his works include the Spirit of Edsa found at the RCBC Plaza Courtyard, the Andres Bonifacio monument in Manila, and the Inang Bayan sculpture at Bantayog ng mga Bayani.

Other showbiz personalities who died this year were director-director Uro dela Cruz, known for his work on Bubble Gang, Celebrity Buff, and Show Me the Manny; Lydia Mercado, adoptive mother of actress Jennylyn Mercado; director Deo Fajardo Jr, who directed Robin Padilla in many of his action films; Max Laurel, who played the role of Zuma; former actor and screenwriter Jonas Sebastian; composer-producer Snaffu Rigor; former singer-actress Dinah Dominguez, and actor-director Bebong Osorio–


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