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5 most memorable Rico Yan roles

By: - March 14, 2024

Today, March 14, 2024, marks what is supposed to be the 49th birthday of 90s matinee idol Rico Yan, whose death shocked the whole country.

More than two decades after his death, Rico Yan still leaves a lasting legacy not just to his loved ones, but also to his long-time fans, amid recent controversial claims that surfaced last year.

Through this charm and acting prowess in his filmography and in real life, he still has preserved his status as one of the most loved Filipino celebrities of all time.

Rico Yan died on March 29, 2002 at the age of 27.

In honor of his short-lived but remarkable career, CDN lists the five most memorable Rico Yan roles in Philippine media.

Ricky in Gimik (1996-1999)

This was Rico Yan’s breakout role after he started as a commercial model in the industry. He played Ricky, who was initially a medical student, following the footsteps of his parents until he realized that his true passion was in Business Administration. 

In the show, the management paired him up with Judy Ann Santos, who played the young socialite, Diane, in an attempt to build a love team that unfortunately did not last. Nonetheless, this role catapulted his fame as a celebrity heartthrob in the late 90s.

Gary in Radio Romance (1996)

In this movie, the matinee idol played a minor role as the computer programming student Gary, but what makes this role extra special for Rico Yan was her first-time pairing with then-rising star Claudine Baretto, who played Marianne (her love interest). 

Together, they played college friends who developed feelings for each other. Since then, the pairing has garnered huge fanbases due to their natural chemistry, which apparently translated offscreen as dating rumors sparked between them.

Gabriel in Mula sa Puso (1997-1999)

This was one of the teleseryes that ended all teleseryes, marking its legacy alongside Pangako Sayo and Mara Clara. Due to national demand, Rico Yan and Claudine Barretto paired up again to play Via and Gabriel to mimic a forbidden love affair between a haciendero heiress and a poor man. If not their other projects, this engraved their lasting impact as one of the greatest love teams of Philippine media.

Miguel in Dahil Mahal na Mahal Kita (1998)

The couple’s love triangle casting with Diether Ocampo in Mula sa Puso extended on the silver screen as the trio starred in one of their generation’s most classic romantic comedies. 

Mela (Claudine Barretto), dubbed as the campus bad girl, and Miguel (Rico Yan), nicknamed Mr. Sungit, develop feelings for each other amid their stark differences in this 1998 movie. This casting proved that the 90s love team could top-bill a big-production movie that set its own mark in local pop culture.

Lorenz in Got 2 Believe (2002)

Before Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla’s rise to fame, there was initially a spotlight on Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan, the “it couple” of their generation. The late actor’s last entry in his filmography is this “27 Dresses-like” romantic comedy between Lorenz, a wedding photographer tasked with securing an exclusive pictorial with Claudine’s character.

Like any of their other films, their chemistry shone on the big screen, even expanding their already huge fanbase in the country.

Rico Yan supposedly had a rising career right on track as a solo actor and part of a love team, but unfortunately, his career ended abruptly due to his untimely death. 

His career might have been short-lived, but the country is lucky to get at least a glimpse of the impeccable talent of Rico Yan, the 90s matinee idol who could have grown to be one of the country’s greatest actors.

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