Fernando Poe Jr.
People call him the "King of Action Movies". For more than four decades now, he has ruled the local big screen, even putting in the sideline another actor and friend who became more successful in politics. Fernando Poe Jr. is an icon admired by millions of Filipinos and by his best friend, no less than former President Joseph Estrada. They have been close friends since their days together in the early '60s as stars of action movies. It was Poe who first used the word "Erap" to refer to former President Estrada.
As an actor, Poe has mastered the role of a kind-hearted, selfless and invincible super hero who defends the aggrieved people against the forces of evil. The Filipino viewers look up to him because he represents the good and noble in Filipino culture. He was born Ron Allan but had to change his name to bank on the popularity of his father who was a top actor in his time. Fernando Poe Sr. died from a dog's rabies at 35, leaving the young Poe as the family's breadwinner. At 14, the young Poe began his career with a starring role in "Anak ni Palaris".
He made his first mark in the '60s with "Tatlong Hari". He was an award-winning actor, having accumulated the most number of best actor awards at FAMAS. He won awards for Mga Alabok ng Lupa (1967), Asedillo (1971), Durugin si Totoy Bato (1979), Umpisahan Mo, Tatapusin Ko (1983), and Magnum 357 (1987). In most of his films, Poe has doubled either as a director or a producer. As a director, he used the name "Ronwaldo Reyes".
Lately, there were rumors that Poe might seek the presidency in the year 2004. It would be easy enough for him, considering that he enjoys the same mass-based popularity that catapulted his friend to Malacañang. Poe, however, had no experience in politics, except for his joining the political campaigns of former President Estrada in 1998.