Former child star Bentot Jr. passes away at 46

  • Former child actor Bentot Jr has reportedly died at age 46
  • He became popular for playing the role of a young sidekick on FPJ’s Panday movies
  • It was not immediately known when and how he died

MANILA, Philippines – Former child star Bentot Jr., known for playing Fernando Poe Jr.’s sidekick in the hit Panday movies in the eighties, has passed away this week. He was 46.

Bentot Jr., or Luisito Medina in real life, first tried showbiz at the age of 4. He was casted alongside Joseph Estrada and Boots Anson Roa in the 1974 film Tama Na, Erap.

But it was his role as Lando, the young sidekick to FPJ’s Flavio in the widely-acclaimed Panday movie series that made him a household name back in the early 80s as a child star.

He went on to reprise his role in three more Panday sequels in 1981, 1982 and 1984.

His other early movies include Darna vs. the Plane Woman (1974) where he played Ding to Vima Santos’ Darna; Ang Lalake, Ang Alamat at ang Baril with FPJ where he won his first Best Child Performer in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) in 1977.

He won three more awards in the movies Tatak ng Tondo (Best Child Performer, 1978), Ang Lihim ng Guadalupe (Best Child Actor, 1979) and Hoy Tukso Layuan Mo Ako (Best Child Actor, 1980); rivaling the popularity of then child wonder Niño Muhlach.

He also starred in the international movie The Return of the Dragon with Hong Kong martial artist Bruce Lee and Filipina actress Elizabeth Oropesa in 1976.

Bentot Jr. is the son of the late comedian Bentot Sr.  who became popular in “Tang Tarang Tang” with his tandem Pugo.

His last movie was with Aga Muhlach in the 1985 teen flick Campus Beat. He has since returned to private life; holding different jobs including working as a call center agent.

News of Bentot Jr.’s death was first reported on GMA News on Thursday, May 5, although the article did not mention when and how the former child actor died.

He is survived by his second wife and two children.

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