Shirley Gorospe Dies at 73


Filipino icon Shirley Gorospe passed away due to brain tumor and lung cancer complication at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California. The 73 year old actress died on Saturday, July 9.

Gorospe is one of the most captivating leading ladies of Philippine movies during the 50s and 60s.

Shirley Gorospe

Gorospe, with her real life husband Zaldy Zshornack and Philippine’s late Action King, Fernando Poe Jr., defined the musical and youth genre of Filipino movies in the late 50s up to the 60s with movies like “Shirley, My Darling,” “Pitong Gatang” and “Fil-American Girl” among many others. Gorospe was in the showbiz industry for about 15 years.

Gorospe and Zshornack were the most popular love team of Premiere Productions during their time. Their counterparts from the rival LVN Pictures were the loveteams of Susan Roces and Eddie Gutierrez; and Amalia Fuentes and Romeo Vasquez.

A friend of Gorospe, Pempe Rodrigo, who is also an active organizer of “Balik Samahan” a group of veteran stars who regularly holds regular reunions confirmed her death.

Gorospe is a half-Filipina with Portuguese descent. Her father is an Ilocano from Sta. Catalina, Ilocos Sur whereas her mother is Portuguese. She was born in Hawaii but grew up in California. She first set foot in Manila in 1956 as Ms. Philippines-California. Her trip was part of her prize as the title-holder.

Gorospe met Zshornack during a courtesy call to President Ramon Magsaysay in Malacanang, the Philippines’ presidential palace. After the trip, Gorospe finished college in the US and worked for the Bank of America.

The two eloped and got married with help from their good friend Fernando Poe Jr. Their marriage lasted for 44 years until Zshornack’s passing away. Gorospe was widowed in November 2002 when Zshornack succumbed to complications of diabetes. The two got married in March 1958.

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