(UPDATE) Palito passes away at age 76

Posted at 04/12/10 10:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Veteran comedian Palito passed away Monday morning. He was 76.

Palito, Reynaldo Hipolito in real life, died at 7:05 a.m. at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila after suffering complications from lung problems.

His son, Jhune, said his father was scheduled to undergo a CT scan in a nearby clinic along Taft Avenue in Manila.

A few minutes before they were to leave PGH, however, Jhune said Palito complained of severe pain. A few hours later, Palito was declared dead, the son said.

Palito was rushed to the Imus Family Hospital in Cavite last Tuesday after complaining of severe stomach pain.

Jhune sought the help of his father's celebrity friends, saying the family was in dire need of assistance to finance Palito’s hospitalization.

Palito’s friends immediately heeded Jhune’s appeal. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office also pledged to help the veteran comedian.

“Marami nga pong nagpapaabot ng tulong kahit marami ring nagpapanggap,” informed Jhune.

In a text message, Palito’s youngest son, Kent, thanked all the people who helped and offered their prayers.

Palito’s remains will lie in state at Funeraria Floresco in Pedro Gil in Manila.

He is survived by his wife and 5 children.

Life after fame

Born on Sept. 4, 1934, Palito was best known for his comedy films “Ram-Buto” and “Jones Bone,” which were spoofs of Hollywood characters Rambo and James Bond.

He started his acting career in the 1960s. One of his early movies was “Pitong Zapata” in 1965.

In the beginning, he was cast in straight action films. But because of his thinness, he was groomed as a comedian. His corpse-like mien and zombie look, more often than not, landed him comedy-horror characters.

Life has never been the same for the Hipolitos when Palito became sickly.

After the Hipolitos sold their house in Pacita Complex in San Pedro, Laguna some 6 years ago, they moved to Imus, Cavite for a smaller place.

“Naghahanap pa rin po kaming mga magkakapatid ng trabaho. Pa-sideline-sideline lang po kami,” volunteered Jhune.

Except for his older brother Arvin, who still resides in Laguna, Jhune said his mother and siblings are staying in a low-cost housing subdivision in Cavite. -With a report from ANC