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Sunday, July 3, 2016


"Stardoom" (1971)
Lea Productions
Release Date October 8, 1971/ Opera
Story Orlando Nadres
Cinematography Fredy Conde
Music Jose Mari Chan
Screenplay and Direction Lino Brocka
Cast Lolita Rodriguez, Eddie Garcia, Walter Navarro and Hilda Koronel/ Introducing Lotis Key/ Also Starring Caridad Sanchez, Tita Munoz, Mary Walter, Ruben Rustia, Mario O'Hara and Jimmy Morato/ Co-starring Veronica Palileo, Celeste Legaspi, Joonee Gamboa, Glenn Bernardo, Marco Polo, Estrella Kuenzler

Walter Navarro as Joey, a rising star, sings a number in front of a TV camera in this scene from "Stardoom"

In 1971, Director Lino Brocka directs “Stardoom” for Lea Productions, his “indictment of the corruption of values in the local movie industry.” It tells of a frustrated and ambitious stage mother, Toyang (played by Lolita Rodriguez), who forces her son, Joey, into a showbiz career and ultimately ends up in a tragedy. 70s teenage heartthrob, handsome, clean-cut and the boy-next-door type, Walter Navarro starred as the son, Joey Galvez, who at the peak of his stardom was gunned down by his erstwhile girlfriend Nina (Lotis Key), in a fit of jealousy and anger.

Whatever happened to Walter Navarro? They say “life imitating art.” The young actor was on the height of his illustrious movie career when something tragic happened to his personal life. There are rumors of drugs that eventually ruined his life.

Walter Navarro and Lotis Key


TheCoolCanadian said...


Walter Navarro was around in the 1970s when I was involved in Television. When both of us were present in the studio, a lot of people mistook us for brothers.
Maybe because we both speak Bicolano and both Eurasian as well.

Before he became an actor (it was Orlando Nadres and Tony Tenorio who put his photo at the cover of 16 Magazine) and later they introduced him to Mrs. Emilia Blas, producer of Lea Productions.

While he was busy in films, he was also doing the rounds of TV dramas and that's where we've worked together.

From what he had told me, he came from a very dysfunctional family. His mother who was from Bicol was never an inspiration for the young Walter.
When he was young lad in Tondo, he was working as a factory worker, making holes for shoelaces. And when Nadres spotted him, he asked him if he wants his photo be placed on the cover of the komiks/magazine to which he acquiesed.

Without the guidance of his family, Walter became lost. He started drinking, despite the fact that he had a heart condition. He became an alcoholic. I even went to his rented house in New Manila a few times and his friends were there (mostly Tondo boys - his old stumping ground), playing mahjong and... you guess it, drinking.

Mrs. Blas lost all her patience and finally let him go. Once, he took his medication and accidentally OD'd. It paralyzed him partially and it took a while before he recovered. Then his heart ailment became serious. He ended up in the hospital and when I went to visit his house, he and the old couple who took care of him were no longer there. I had several roles written for him for TV dramas, but no one seemed to know where he was. I was already in north America when I heard that he had died.

Walter was a good person. Dysfunctional, indeed, but nevertheless a beautiful person. He gave me some of the records he cut under Vicor Music Corp. His voice was really excellent. I ripped them into DVD so I could listen to them whenever I go long driving. When I listen to his voice, I am always reminded of the generous Bicolano who once lived and made a lot of the Filipino public happy.

STARDOOM was almost prophetic. Like Joey in Orlando Nadres' story, his career and life were cut short by unfortunate circumstances. The psychological impact of his dysfunctional childhood was just too deeply embedded in his psyche and it took him to an early grave.

Unfortunately, the MAALAALA MO KAYA episode about his life (played by Alberta Martinez), didn't delve deeper into the reasons why Walter became what he was later (an alcoholic). The episode tells us what happens to a popular actor who didn't take care of his career and ended up tragically. That's all we saw in that episode.

Meanwhile, they have forgotten WALTER NAVARRO the person. Despite his weaknesses, he was a wonderful person and this side of the man was never told to us by the TV drama.


Sometimes I even tell myself that maybe, I should write a screenplay of his COMPLETE LIFE STORY and not a lopsided version (done by ABS-CBN) where all the negative aspects were emphasized for melodrama's sake, instead of balancing it with the true, the good and the beautiful aspects of the late actor's character.

Video 48 said...

Thank you so much for taking time to clarify some intriguing and nagging questions which keep bugging me for years on the actor’s sudden disappearance from the movies and his actual health problem. I’m not aware that the actor was an alcoholic and had a heart problem and I always presumed that he was paralyzed due to excessive drug use. I hope that your invaluable information on the actor will dispel all these ugly rumors I read in some forums in the web.

Anonymous said...

the music is so very jose mari chan...these are the years joe mari was active with nineteeners show....it's good to know he wasthe musical director for this film...impressively mr.songwriter himself....

Anonymous said...

thx sa info...may movie ni walter navarro with vilam santos and chiquito kung saan ay nagpakita siya ng puwet....dobol tribol....correct me kung ito yong correct na title ng movie.


Video 48 said...

Hi remraf911! The movie is Teribol Dobol (1975)

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Walter Navarro?


Anonymous said...

hi. I'm Hannah Jemimah Navarro, and believe it or not I am Walter Navarro's daughter.

Anyways, i'm happy i stumbled upon your blog and that i cried upon reading the comments.

Thank you very much. :)

JoeyFeelgood said...

hello, this is a great article on walter navarro. i was fortunate to have grabbed his vinyl album with the song "a day in the life of a fool" although his diction is not as good, his great voice makes up for it. he was also good in acting, also in comedy when i saw a couple of episodes on tv in the 70s. i also met his brother Rendel who visits sometimes our neighbor Jun Soler and wife Raquel Monteza of the 70s. maybe you should write a complete story on him. it's ironic that "Stardoom" mirrored his life

wayne moises said...

He is a matinee idol of the 1970's era was discoverd by the late dr.Emilia Blas chairman/owner of Lea Productions in countless several movies music recordings singing career and other citations and became a legend and icon of Philippine movies television and music.thanks for the information.From:Wayne

Anonymous said...

Every time Walter Navarro's song "A Day in the Life of a Fool" is played on the radio, I'd wonder what really happened to him. He was one of my favorite stars in the 70's and I loved his voice.

I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. I wish someone would produce a movie about his life and career, based on your story on him. Salamat. Irip

Anonymous said...

I was scheming names of Philippine actors/singers in the past, just names I could remember. I keyed in Walter Navarro's name, wondering whatever happened to this actor. For the life of me, I did not know he could sing! What a voice! I could not stop listening to it! I wonder if his recordings are still available for sale. It's a waste of talent and opportunity for a gifted talent. May he rest in peace!

Rolando Estrella said...

I am a childhood friend of Walter "Boy" Navarro. He lived in Manuguit Sreet, Tondo, Manila a short walking distance from our house in Jose Abad Santos. When we were 17 I remember we went Christmas carolling in our neighborhood where he showed his fantastic angelic voice specially when he sang O Holy Night. His real name is Walter Smith. He confided to me that his father is an American who abndoned him in Pampanga and it was Mang Dominador Navarro and his wife who took care of him. His greatest obsession was to meet his real parents. I left d Phils in 1980 and returnd recently and I chanced upon this blog. Boy I know you hv met ur real parents when u left dis world. God bless ur soul. Rolly Estrella

Rolando Estrella said...

Before he entered the movies I remember he sang at El Bodegon pub in Manila when he was managed by Joey Cruz and it was at that time that we parted coz he moved to a subdivision in Quezon City.

Anonymous said...

Rolando Estrella,
Thanks a lot sa info. Si Walter Navarro at Philip Gamboa ang sa tingin ko nun na very natural sa harap ng camera. Pari(priest) na ako ngayon, pero fan pa rin nila ako kahit nawala sila. Nasa New Manila lang kc ang Seminary namin nun. Hinanap ko sa mga blogs itong dalawa, dahil di ko rin ma gets ang biglang pagkawala nitong si WN. Ako mismo ang mag alay ng panalangin para kay WN sa mga Misa ko, dumugo kc damdamin ko nung mabasa ko ang write-up ni coolcanadian. Ilang taon po ba nag umpisa si WN sa Showbiz? Anong edad naman po siya pumanaw?

Si PG naman po ay wala rin akong makitang blog tungkol sa kanya. Saan at kumusta na kaya si PG ngayon? Baka si Video48 po ay may mai-share po tungkol kay PG?

Maraming salamat po!

A Priest...

Rolando Estrella said...

I was 17 and he was 15 when we became friends. After a few years of singing stint at d el bodegon pub in Malate at the age of 18 he bcame a matinee movie actor. It was shortlived coz he died at a young age of 24. He was fond of playing basketball in our neighborhood even when he became an actor. I learned from my friend that he suffered a stroke while playing basketball and while he survived his speech was affected. And that was the start of "doomsday" of his career. I cant forget that in one of those Christmas carolling nights we were together some unknown neighbors who were disturbed by our singing threw stones at the roof of houses thereby to make noise to drive us away. And Boy was the first one who sped away like crazy and very scared. I miss the guy.

Anonymous said...

rolando estrella,
maraming salamat po ulit. tulad pala siya ng paborito kong santa, si st therese of the child jesus, 24 years old din namatay si st therese.

a priest,

SG said...

Hannah Jemimah Navarro, Paano ka naging anak ng aktor na si Walter Navarro? Sino ang ina mo? Kelan ka pinanganak? Gusto ko lang malaman at pati na rin ng kabuuan ng kanyang mga fans ang history ni Walter Smith a.k.a. Walter Navarro. Siguro may mga fans ang nasubaybayan ang buhay ninyo dahil importante ka kay Walter.

wayne moises said...

He is the matinee idol of the 1970's Filipino films he is the teen idol of the Philippines was discovered by Dr Emilia Blas of Lea Productions(1958-90) now defunct film company she is residing in Los Angeles CA now 69'years old now retired.Thanks! From:Wayne

Catherine Ledesma said...

Hello everyone,
I am a big fan of walter navarro although during his hay days I was still a little girl. I am just confused, when did he actually die? And what age? I have read in some blogs that he died at age 24 and some say he died in 1995. In the Maalala mo kaya, they portrayed him na medyo matanda tanda na and with a family at kids. He even got born again in the story. Can someone tell me. Thanks all and I enjoyed reading all your responses esp the people who knew him personally.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hanna. :) Believe it or not ... Im the real son of Mr. Dominador Navarro. Nag try ako dating hanapin sya kaso wala akong makitang articles about him. Pero ang sabi sa akin ng mom ko na sya ang kumukop at nag palaki sa dad mo na si Walter Navarro. Lumaki ako at nag kaisip ng hindi nakita ang ama ... So if you can help me can you send a pic of him (kung meron lang) sa email ko tengu_lol@yahoo.com. Para maski sa kabilang buhay mamukhaan at makamusta ko man lang sya. :)

drlilibeth0967 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drliy0967 said...

Sana magawa mo at maipalabas sa Magpakailaman. Para yung complete lifestory nya ang mapanood namin.


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