Sunday, July 20, 2008




Florence Danon Gayda (born October 16, 1931), better known as Rosa Rosal, is a FAMAS award-winning Filipino film actress dubbed as the "original femme fatale of Philippine cinema". She is also known for her work with the Philippine National Red Cross. For her humanitarian activities, she received the 1999 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service, an award widely considered as Asia's Nobel

Rosal was born Florence Danon in Manila. Her mother hailed from Pampanga, while her father was of French and Egyptian descent. Her half-brother, Don Danon, once acted as a stand-in for the Hollywood actor Rudolph Valentino.

She was discovered by no less than the owner of the Nolasco Brothers Studio, Luis Nolasco.

She was cast in Fort Santiago in 1946. ago (1946). Her screen name was taken from the Tagalog words for "rose" and "gardenia".In 1947, Rosal was cast opposite Leopoldo Salcedo in Kamagong . He was made to sign a contract with LVN Pictures in a starring role in Biglang Yaman.

She appeared in costume dramas such as Prinsipe Amante sa Rubitanya (1951), and in such neo-realist dramas as Lamberto Avellana's Anak Dalita (1956), Tony Santos's Badjao (1956), and Manuel Silos's Biyaya ng Lupa (1959), which she cites as the best film she has ever made. She was named FAMAS Best Actress in 1955 for Sonny Boy, and would be nominated three other times, for Dagohoy (1953), Biyaya ng Lupa, and Ang Lahat ng Ito Pati na ang Langit (1989).

Offscreen, Rosal led a quiet and private life. She enrolled in night classes at the Cosmopolitan Colleges and obtained a degree in Business Administration in 1954. She was married briefly in 1957 to an American pilot, Walter Gayda, with whom she had a child, Toni Rose, who later became a television host.

In the 1960s, Rosal became one of the first leading Filipino actors to appear regularly on television. She was a fixture on Cecille Guidote Alvarez's dramatic series Balintataw on ABC-5. In the 1970s, Rosal starred in Iyan ang Misis Ko, a family-oriented sitcom with Ronald Remy. In 1976, Rosal would also appear in Behn Cervantes's Sakada, a film which was banned by the martial law government of President Ferdinand Marcos.

Rosal joined the Philippine National Red Cross as a volunteer-member of its Blood Program in 1950, and was elected to its Board of Governors in 1965.

Rosal has also hosted two public-service television programs, Damayan and Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko, which solicit financial and medical aid for indigent medical patients.

In 1999, Rosal was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. She was cited for "her lifetime of unstinting voluntary service, inspiring Filipinos to put the needs of others before their own.

In 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bestowed on Rosal the Order of the Golden Heart with the rank of Grand Cross for a lifetime in public service and for her work with the Red Cross.

For news articles about Rosa Rosal go to CelebritiesCorner.


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