Leopoldo Salcedo

Leopoldo Salcedo (March 12, 1912 – June 11, 1998)[1] was a Filipino film actor who specialized in portraying dramatic heroes. Dubbed as "The Great Profile",[2][1] he was said to be among the first kayumanggi or dark-skinned Filipino film stars, in contrast to the lighter-skinned mestizo actors of his generation.[3]

Leopoldo Salcedo
Leopoldo Salcedo.jpg
Born(1912-03-12)March 12, 1912
DiedJune 11, 1998(1998-06-11) (aged 86)
Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines
OccupationFilipino actor
Years active1934–1993
AwardsFAMAS Best Actor
1961 The Moises Padilla Story
FAMAS Supporting Actor
1976 Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon

Early lifeEdit

Salcedo was born in Cavite. In his youth, he had entered the seminary with aspirations towards the priesthood, but he left after a year.[2][1] Instead, he joined the bodabil troupe of Lou Borromeo in 1929. By 1934, Salcedo had broken into films, starring in Jose Nepomuceno's Sawing Palad. He was playing leading roles by the late 1930s, and signed up with the newly formed LVN studio. Among his most prominent roles during this period was as Macario Sakay, in Lamberto Avellana's debut film Sakay (1939).

Film production in the Philippines was halted after the Japanese invasion in 1941, and Salcedo returned to bodabil. He would perform at the Avenue Theater for the duration of the war.[2] Salcedo also engaged in guerilla activities, for which he was incarcerated and released only upon the intercession of Benigno Aquino Sr.[3]

Post-war stardomEdit

After the war ended in 1945, Salcedo starred in such dramas as Capas (1946) and Siete Dolores (1948). In 1950, Salcedo formed his own production company, Leopoldo Salcedo Productions, which produced such films as Dalawang Bandila (1950), Talampasan (1953), and Highway 54 (1953).[3] Many of Salcedo's post-war choices in roles tended towards socially relevant dramas. He had intended to produce a film on the life of the Hukbalahap leader Luis Taruc.[3] Films such as Bisig ng Mangagawa (1951) and Batong Buhay (Sa Central Luzon) (1950) dealt with labor and agrarian strife.[3] Years later, when he was cited by the Gawad Urian for its lifetime achievement award, his film career were characterized in this manner:

[M]ore than just good looks, he was also radical with his characterizations, preferring to portray the politicized and the social outcast, the underdog and enraged sheep while his meztizo confreres chose the dusted tuxedos and the rank perfumes of the music halls. From the very start, his approach to acting has always been to emphasize “being”, to be honest to oneself, to pour one’s heart and soul into the role and to eschew the artificial as this could be magnified several times on the big screen.[3]

Salcedo's most famous role came in 1961, when he starred as the titular character in Gerry de Leon's The Moises Padilla Story, a film biography of a Negros Occidental mayoral candidate who in 1951, was tortured and murdered by the private army of the provincial governor after he had refused to withdraw his candidacy.[4] For this role, Salcedo won his first FAMAS Best Actor award.[2] He would win another FAMAS, this time as Best Supporting Actor, in 1976 for his portrayal of a zarzuela actor in Eddie Romero's Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon.

Salcedo's film career slowed down in the 1980s. His last film appearance was in Raymond Red's 1993 film Sakay, where he played the father of the same character he had portrayed 54 years earlier. He had been bedridden for one year before his death in 1998.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Leopoldo Salcedo, Dead at 86". Showbiz Chatter. Philippine Headline News Online. 1998-06-11. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  2. ^ a b c d Danny Villanueva (1994). "Philippine Film". In Nicanor Tiongson (ed.). CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art. VIII (1st ed.). Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines. p. 314. ISBN 971-8546-31-6.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Augustin Sotto. "Natatanging Gawad 1994: Leopoldo Salcedo". Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Archived from the original on 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  4. ^ "People v. Lacson, et al., G.R. No. L-18188, 13 February 1961". Lawphil.net - Arellano University. Supreme Court of the Philippines. 1961-02-13. Retrieved 2008-01-27.


External linksEdit