Mark Gil passes away

MANILA (Updated) -- Veteran actor Mark Gil passed away at the age of 52 on Monday morning after battling cancer.

June Rufino, Gil's manager, confirmed in an email that the actor, Raphael Joseph De Mesa Eigenmann in real life, died in his sleep.

"He died peacefully in his sleep in the arms of his wife, Maricar, and surrounded by family," the email read.

The actor was first diagnosed with liver cancer two years ago, but it was only in June this year that the actor found out it was terminal.

The family said Gil had wanted to keep his condition a secret.

"It was Ralph's request that this should not be revealed, and we did not question his decision," it said.

"To those who have asked us about his condition, especially his colleagues, the press and fans, we apologize for not being forthright, but we also ask for understanding," the family added.

The Eigenmanns said Gil spent his last days in comfort and in no pain.

"In fact, he was in good spirits and humor, and enjoying the presence of his entire family. Even then, he was still bringing us together, as he always has, and we are now all complete," they said.

Gil is part of one of the biggest clans in show business. He is the father of actors Gabby Eigenmann, Sid Lucero and Andy Eigenman, and brothers to seasoned actors Cherie Gil and Michael de Mesa.

"Until the very end, he was a warrior. Ralph faced death with courage and grace, while still bringing laughter to the room. That was his gift: the ability to make those around him better," the family said.

"Ralph had told us that he only wanted to spend and cherish the remaining precious days of his life in the company of his family and closest friends. He also wished that we be allowed to grieve his passing in private."

In an interview last June, Gabby was tight-lipped on rumors that his dad was suffering from a serious medical condition, but said they see him often and the whole family wishes him well.

Gil last appeared in top-rating primetime series "The Legal Wife".

"For those who've known and loved him throughout his career in cinema, and television, we will hold a celebration of his life and work. We will announce the details at a later time. But for now we would like to assure everyone that as long as Filipino films are being watched and appreciated, there will always be Mark Gil," the family said.

Fellow showbiz personalities took to social networking sites to express their sympathy to the Eigenmann family.



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