Popular Filipino entertainer Elizabeth Ramsey dies at 83

AP News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2015 7:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Elizabeth Ramsey, a popular Filipino singer, comedian and actress who entertained crowds with racy gags and a raspy voice, has died. She was 83.

Her daughter, Jaya Ramsey, said in a Facebook post that Ramsey died in her sleep Thursday, two months after suffering a stroke. "Mama Beth is now with our Lord. ... Love and laughter, she has given not just our family but the whole nation," her daughter said.

Ramsey entered the local entertainment world after winning a singing contest in the late 1950s and later became known as the Philippine "Queen of Rock and Roll" and "Original Queen of Comedy."

She endeared herself to Filipinos with her self-deprecating humor and sex-laced jokes, sometimes lifting her skirt in front of the audience and fellow performers.

Local reports, quoting from an interview she gave to DZMM radio last year, said Ramsey, whose father was Jamaican, shunned school because it was "a waste of time," preferring song hits to books in her dream to become a singer.

When she was a teenager, she performed with a band and later left home to work as a housemaid in Manila, where winning the "Student Canteen" singing contest in 1958 opened doors for her.

She appeared in many television shows and movies and was nominated for a best supporting actress award in 1964. She also performed for the large ethnic Filipino communities scattered around the United States.