Apr 18
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Paraluman

Paraluman

Paraluman was born in Tayabas, Quezon, of a German father and a Filipina. At her prime, she was considered as the Philippine's answer to Swedish-American actress Greta Garbo because of her perfect bone structure, svelte figure, long brown hair, hypnotic eyes, an impenetrable gaze, and a face capable of registering everything.

The young Paraluman was a movie fan. She loved reading magazines about her favorite celebrities. Her interest in showbiz increased when she learned that their next-door neighbor was the big movie star, Corazón Noble. She would often climb over the fence to catch glimpse of the actress.

Her curiosity yielded positive results because Noble's younger sister, Lily, noticed her and soon, Paraluman became friends with Lily.

Because of her extraordinary beauty, Paraluman was recommended by Norma, another sister of Corazón, to Luis Nolasco of Filippine Films. She was only 17 at that time. Her first movie was Flores de Mayo (1940). She first used the the screen name Mina de Gracia. It was later changed to Paraluman by Fernando Poe Sr., who signed her as a full-fledged star in X'otic Films' Paraluman (1941). This was followed by the actresses' roles in the films Bayani ng Bayan and Puting Dambana.

After World War II, she came back to cinema as a contract star of Sampaguita Pictures. She then became a famous leading lady in romantic movies, but when she made a comeback, her image was repackaged by Sampaguita Pictures owner Dr. José “Doc” Pérez. She was given character roles, playing nemesis to Gloria Romero in Hongkong Holiday, then a lame woman in Tanikalang Apoy(1959). This, however, turned to her favor because it honed her acting skills more, earning her a FAMAS Best Actress Award for the movie Sino ang maysala?.

Paraluman was also nominated four times in FAMAS: twice in 1959 for Best Actress for the movies Bobby and Anino ni Bathala, in 1972 as Best Supporting Actress for Lilet, and in 1976 as Best Supporting Actress for Mister Mo, Lover Boy Ko.

Her last movie was "Kailan Sasabihing Mahal Kita" in 1985.

Her daughter, Baby O'Brien, was a TV-commercial-model-turned-actress. Her granddaughter, Rina Reyes (O'Brien's daughter) is also an actress.

Paraluman's legendary status in Philippine showbusiness even merited her an inclusion in the lyrics of Ang Huling El Bimbo, one of the most popular songs of Filipino rock band Eraserheads.