Thursday, September 06, 2007


Shirley Gorospe

Shirley Gorospe

She was the reel and real life wife of Zaldy Zshornack and they starred in Shirley, My Darling and Hongkong Honeymoon which also starred Chiquito, Carol Varga, Celia Rodriguez and Teroy de Guzman under the direcyion of Ramon Estella and produced by People’s Pictures Inc. She also appeared in such films as Sweetheart, You’re My Everything, Ang Kanyang Kamahalan. Basta Pinoy, Once Upon A Time and Pitong Gatang which starred Fernando Poe, Jr.

t was love at first sight between Shirley and Zaldy – and the rest of the Filipinos who became eventually enraptured by the loveteam’s movies (among them, Sweethearts and Shirley, My Darling). The moment Shirley landed at the airport on a Northwest flight from the US in 1956 as Miss Philippines-California, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a polka-dotted dress, she instantly won the hearts of the kababayan she was seeing for the first time.

Shirley lives at her large house at the BF Homes Executive Village in ParaƱaque with her son Geno, married with three children.

Widowed in November 2002 when Zaldy succumbed to complications of diabetes, Shirley said they first lived at a house she built at Ayala Alabang when they came back from more than two decades in California. They sold that house and she’s planning to move back to the US as soon as she sells her ParaƱaque house which, she said, "feels like an empty nest" after Zaldy died.

His death abruptly ended a long and happy marriage.

They got married in March 1958. She didn’t quit showbiz right after our wedding. She stayed for 15 years.

She came from Hawaii in 1956 as part of her prize as Miss Philippines-California. Her father was an Ilocano, from Sta. Catalina, Ilocos Sur while her mother mother was a Portuguese.
Then, I went back to the US. I was done with college, so I decided to work for the Bank of America."

She was offered a role in the movie shot in LA and Disneyland by Cirio Santiago and that's how she started in the movies.

Her last movie was Honey & West with (the late) Bernard Belleza. It was an action picture. Most of her movies were musical and most of them with Zaldy as her leading man. In Be My Love, my leading man was Pancho Magalona.

They eloped and had a civil wedding in Cainta. It was a quickie wedding. That happened in January 1958 and then in March they got married in church." (The marriage was blessed with two sons: Garizaldy, 44, an entertainer based in Chicago; and Geno, 31, married with three children.)

After five years, she went back to the US and divorced him."

He kept calling and calling, asking to be given another chance. He went to the US and tore up the divorce papers."

"In the early ’70s, they went to the US and modeled with Ruben Panis. Zaldy would come back every now and then to do movies. After 20 years, they came back for good in the early ’90s."


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