Vilma Santos, a Filipina actress and politician is born Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos on November 3, 1953. Vilma is the second to the eldest child of Amado Santos from Bamban, Tarlac and Milagros Tuazon of Cabanatuan City, Nuevea Ecija. She has four siblings namely Emelyn, Marites, Winnie and Sonny. She took up a special course on Public Administration in U.P Diliman. She is currently the Governor of the Province of Batangas and was once the mayor of Lipa City. Vilma was married to Edu Manzano with whom she has a son named Luis Philip whom she calls Lucky. Her marriage with Edu ended up in divorce. In the 1990’s Vilma married a politician, Ralph Recto a Philippine Senator. Together they have a son named Ryan Christian.
She is popularly known as Ate Vi and the Star for all Seasons because of her many years in show business. Vilma started her career at the age of nine as a child actress in Trudis Liit which was released in 1963 which earned her first FAMAS award as The Best Child Actress. Her first leading role was from the movie My Darling Eddie which was released in 1969 after which starred in several programs like The Sensations which aired in ABS-CBN together with other young stars during her generation.
Vilma Santos also starred in Darna as a Filipino super woman in Lipad, Darna, Lipad which was a huge and high grossing hit. From then on Vilma earned the title undisputed Box Office Queen of Philippine Cinemas. She also appeared in many commercials. At the age of nineteen Vilma won the FAMAS Best Actress Award in 1972 for the movie Dama de Noche making her the youngest winner. Vilma is the only actress to win three consecutive years as best actress in the Urian award for her movies Relasyon, released in 1982, Broken Marriage, 1983, and Sister Stella L. that was released in 1984. She also holds the title Grand Slam Queen and the longest box office queen of Philippine cinema.
Ate Vi is the only actress to score a quadruple Grandslam in Best Actress for movies like Relasyon (1982), Dolzura Cortez Story (1993), Bata Bata… Paano Ka Ginawa? (1998) and Dekada’70 (2002). Vilma is also the only Philippine actress to be given the two Circle of Excellence Award by FAMAS. Aside from winning so many awards here in our country, Vilma also was recognized outside the country like winning the Best Actress Award in Brussels in 1998 and CineManila in 2003. She also received the Cinema One Legend Award at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2009. She is currently the most awarded actresses in the local version of the Academy Awards or FAMAS, Gawad Urian Awards, Star Awards and at The Film Academy Awards.
The late Lino Brocka said: Vilma is such a great actress that she is like water that can register everything”. A variety magazine in the U.S called her the Filipino Cinema Diva and The Chicago International Film Festival addressed her as the Meryl Streep of the Philippines.