Friday, September 25, 2015

Tessie Agana (1943 - )

 (Maria Teresa Rigotti Agana)
 b. Manila 16 May 1943.
Movie actor. Her parents are actor Linda Estrella and Adriano Agana. 
She studied at St. Paul College, Quezon City and Philippine Women’s University (PWU).
She is married to Rodolfo Jao, and their nine children reside with them in Valparaiso, Indiana, USA.
Agana was discovered by Dr. Jose R. Perez of Sampaguita Pictures, who gave her a bit part as a solo ballet dancer in Milagro ng Birhen ng mga Rosas (Miracle of the Virgin of the Roses), 1949. This was followed by Campo O’Donnell (Camp O’Donnell), 1950, a war film, where she portrayed the
daughter of Pancho Magalona and Linda Estrella. 
Her biggest break came when she portrayed the role of a maltreated waif in Roberta, 1951. The film broke box-office records and helped Sampaguita Pictures rise again after a big
fire gutted its studio. 
She became the most popular child star of the decade of
the 1950s, sharing top billing with major stars, such as
 Pancho Magalona and Lillian Leonardo in Anghel ng Pag-ibig (Angel of Love), 1951; 
Gloria Romero in Rebecca and 
Ramon Revilla and Sylvia La Torre in Ulila ng Bataan (The
Orphans of Bataan), 1952; 
Katy de la Cruz and Norma Vales in Cumbanchera,1953; 
and Fred Montilla in Nagkita si Kerubin at si Tulisang Pugot (Cherubim Meets Headless Bandit), 1954. 

Her other movies include Mapuputing Kamay
(The White Hands), Anak ng Espada (The Child of the Sword), unting Koronel (Little Colonel), and Kerubin (Cherub).
She was under exclusive contract with Sampaguita and did not work for any other movie company except Alta Productions, the Agana firm which produced Kung Ako’y Maging Dalaga (When I Grow Up To Be A Lady), 1955. 

When she was 12, her family migrated to the United States. She returned briefly in 1960 to do some teen movies with Jose Mari in Love At First Sight and Amalia Fuentes and Susan Roces in Amy, Susie, Tessie, before she married and settled in the United States for good.

Agana’s daughter, Marita, had a short-lived stint in the Philippine movies as “Tessie Agana Jr.” Marita appeared in For You Mama, 1970, with Gloria Romero and Luis Gonzales, and in Elizabeth, 1971.

Agana received the Maria Clara Award as best child actress of the year for her dual role performance in Eddie Romero ’s Prinsesa at Pulubi, 1951, an adaptation of the famous classic, The Prince and the Pauper. 

J. Galvez and L. Pareja

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