Gina Pareno who is born as Gina Acthley from a Filipino mother in the person of Patricia Dory Ocura from Bacolod City and from a German American father, Bouffard Acthley on December 17, 1949. Her mother used to work as a ticket taker in one of Manila’s theater and her father left her not long after she was born. She accompanied her mother to work while they lived and stayed in a rough neighborhood in Tondo, Manila at a young age. Before she finally lives a comfortable life after joining the show business, Gina Pareno experienced hardships and struggled to help her mother earn a living. She experienced driving a tricycle and sold fried bananas at the racetracks.
Everything has changed after she found her break when she joined in a dance contest from the television show Dance-O-Rama which was hosted by Boots Anson Roa in 1964. She won for the first day and competed for the weekly contest and won. She was only in her second year high school at Immaculate Conception in Tondo then. Jose Perez of Sampaguita Studios approached her and offered her some showbiz appearances. Within eight months of grooming her showbiz career, Gina started receiving supporting roles where she begins to shine as a supporting actress. She was given the screen name Gina Pareno and she was groomed to become one of the best members of Stars of ‘66” which is Sampaguita Picture’s roster for introducing new celebrities. Among her batch mates for this roster are Shirley Moreno, Sarah Calvin, Rosemarie Sonora, Loretta Marquez, Ricky Belmonte, Pepito Rodriguez, Edgar Salcedo, and Shirley Moreno. Just as she was already having a shining career, Gina got pregnant which made her stay out of the limelight for a while. She then made a comeback and made a grand impact in her movie Si Darna at ang Planetman in 1969. This made people notice her stunning performance. When her contract with Sampaguita Pictures, she started pursuing a freelance career as an actress and she begins to appear in soap operas and melodrama shows in the television. She also bagged one of the major roles in the movie Working Girls in 1984. She also appeared in many other films including the Bubble’s Ativan Gang in 1988, Kung tapos na ang kailanman in 1990, Mangarap ka in 1995, Ipaglaban mo: The Movie Part 2 in 1997.
She also made a significant contribution in helping other artists who are being launched in solo movies to help them gain more audiences such as Camille Prats and Serena Dalrymple for their movie Hiling, Gladys Reyes for Anak sa Dilim and Ynez Veneracion for Babae sa Dalampasigan. Gina has been one of the sexiest stars during her stardom and has been offered to play the role as the mother of other sexy stars like Rufa Mae Quinto in the movie Booba in 2001 and in 2004 for the movie Masikip sa Dibdib: The Boobita Rose Story. Gina Pareno offers a very flexible skill in acting that she fits perfectly in playing the role of a comedian and appeared in many comedy gigs together with other Filipino comedians.
Gina Pareño got involved in drugs that almost ruined her acting career but her loyal friends never gave up on her and prodded her to be rehabilitated. She took her second chance in her acting career after her rehabilitation at the DARE Drug Rehabilitation Clinic and her loyal fans embraced her again with support when she appeared in the television soap opera Darna in 2005 where she co-starred with Angel Locsin. In 2006, Gina had the chance to appear The Bet Collector which is an independent film that gave her an overwhelming success as an actress because the film was nominated in various international movie festivals, and she won the Best Actress Award in New Delhi for the Osian’s Cinefan 8th Festival of Asia. She was invited to the 39th Moscoe International Film Festival with the film’s director Jeffrey Jeturian who also won as the Best Director in the same movie festival where Gina won as the best actress. In her 40 years of career in show business, she is already overwhelmed with fulfillment. She continues to earn more credits for her acting by winning as the Metro Manila Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress in the movie Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo, and other awards from the FAMAS and Film Academy of the Philippines.