Cesar Montano

Multi-awarded actor and director Cesar Montano truly deserves his hard-earned stardom. The multi-talented artist started from being a stuntman, moved on to B movie roles and starred in television before becoming one of the country's most respected celebrities. Born in Manila, Cesar started honing his acting skills in 1984 during his senior year in college. He took acting workshops with the likes of Joel Lamangan and landed bit roles in movies. Soon he was given real film and TV roles, such as Agos starring opposite Gretchen Barretto and Regal Shocker. Cesar proved to be a very versatile actor, starring in several movie genres without endangering his career, although majority of his films until 1998 were action movies. He also played light, comedy roles such as the one he did for the sitcom Kaya ni Mister, Kaya ni Misis opposite veteran actress Maricel Soriano. It was through his breakout role in the award-winning film Jose Rizal that Cesar established his leading man status. His portrayal of the national hero brought praises from critics, and won the Best Actor award at the 1998 Metro Manila Film Festival. A year after, he starred in another award-winning movie Muro Ami, where he played the ruthless captain of reef hunters. At this stage of his career, Cesar focused on directing and starring on quality movies. Although he still appeared in comedy and love-themed films, the actor put more time and effort on projects that will earn critical acclaim. In 2004, he starred in the film Panaghoy sa Suba, in which he was also the director and producer. His directorial debut won multiple awards in both local and international award-giving bodies. It was even included in international foreign festivals like 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Hollywood also beckoned to Cesar. In 2005, he was cast in Miramax's The Great Raid, which was directed by John Dahl. He was also cast in Another Deep Breath, another U.S. film which started shooting in 2005. Cesar even tried his luck in music. He released his first album, Subok Lang, which is mostly made up of acoustic ballads. Subok Lang eventually became a platinum record. Nowadays, Cesar is busy on television, starring in the series Palos and host of the game show The Singing BeePersonal Life Cesar had two children with his first wife, Marilyn Polinga. She died of brain tumor in 1993. He also had a son with actress Teresa Loyzaga, who now lives in Australia. Cesar is currently married to actress Sunshine Cruz, and they have two daughters.