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Amalia Fuentes, pillar of Philippine cinema, dies

MANILA, Philippines — Amalia Fuentes, a giant of Philippine cinema who was dubbed as local filmdom's Elizabeth Taylor during her prime, died on Saturday, October 5. She was 79 years old.

The news of her death was confirmed by her grandson Alfonso Martinez on Facebook. Alfonso is the son of Amalia's late daughter Liezl Martinez.

"It is with great sadness that I together with my siblings Alyanna and Alissa, inform you that our Grandmother, Amalia Amador Muhlach has taken her last breath this morning in the Philippines. She is now reunited with her husband Joey Stevens, our mother Anna-Lissa Martinez and her ex-husband, our Lolo Bobby. We have prayed for nothing but peace for her and now she can finally rest. Our family only asks that you respect our privacy during this time and join us in praying for her soul."

Actor Niño Muhlach, nephew of Amalia also confirmed the news, posting a recent video of his son entertaining the veteran actress.

"Rest in Peace Tita Nena We will miss you!"

In 2015, Amalia suffered a stroke while on a trip in South Korea. Since then, she has kept a low profile in showbiz events.

Considered among the country's most beautiful actresses during their era, Amalia earned the title "Elizabeth Taylor of the Philippines" because of her resemblance to the Hollywood actress.

She was among the elite actresses under local movie production powerhouse  Sampaguita Pictures,  appearing in many of the company's top grossers in the late '50s and '60s. 

Her tandem with actor Romeo Vasquez emerged as one of the top loveteams of that period and they later married. Their daughter Liezl, also became an actress. The two eventually separated. Amalia later remarried to the late Joey Stevens.

Amalia is also known as the aunt of actors Aga Muhlach and Niño Muhlach. — Rappler.com