Coney Reyes (born Constancia Angeline Reyes Nubla, 27 May 1954) is a renowned Filipino film and television actress, comedian, television host and producer. She was a long-time host of Eat Bulaga! from 1982 up to 1991.

Coney made her debut on the silver screen in the 1975 movie Return of the Dragon, and has since been an acclaimed actress. By that same period, she became more famous in her hosting stints at noontime variety shows Student Canteen (1975–1982), then a rival to Eat... Bulaga!.

In recent memory, Reyes has been known for her various portrayals in Philippine teleseryes, including but not limited to, the main antagonist role in Ysabella, and lead anti-heroine roles in 100 Days to HeavenHuwag Ka Lang MawawalaNathaniel, and My Dear Heart. Currently, she plays the formidable and oftentimes intimidating Isabella Gonzales in Love Of My Life at GMA-7.

Early life Edit

Constancia Angeline Reyes Nubla was born in Metro Manila on 27 May 1954. She was first-born to the five children of Hermann Nubla and Noemi Reyes.

She studied as an elementary and high school student at St. Scholastica's College in Malate, Manila. She then took her Bachelor of Arts degree for Communication Arts at Maryknoll College (now Miriam College).

As a child, Coney is known to have described herself as 'naturally shy'. Nonetheless, she was often picked by her teachers for oratorical contests and declamation in her younger days. In college, Coney was a student leader and was also a consistent dean's lister.[1]

Life before Eat... Bulaga! Edit

Before gracing television screens, Coney worked as a "TV girl" (equivalent of radio VJs), introducing shows and reading advertisements for ABSCBN-2. She became infamous within the network's production circles for mistelling a station ident when introducing such a show. However, by handling it gracefully, she became a favourite for the producers. Her then-manager then took Coney to fill-in absentee hosts in the then-network's evening variety shows.[1]

Coney made her first appearance on film co-starring with Ramon Zamora in the 1974 movie Return of the Dragon. She then went on being cast, often as a 'leading lady' for more movies in the 1970s.

Following her debut in films, she made her maiden appearance on GMA-7's then-noontime variety show, Student Canteen, on 6 January 1975, where she served as primary female co-host with Pepe Pimentel, Eddie Ilarde and Bobby Ledesma.

By the time Coney first appeared on film, she was married to PBA player Larry Mumar.

Coney in Eat... Bulaga! Edit

The search for a new co-host Edit

In 7 March 1982, Coney Reyes-Mumar was unceremoniously sacked by the management of Student Canteen for reasons not widely known. Shortly after, she was offered to be Eat... Bulaga!'s new female co-host, as Chiqui Hollman (her counterpart in the said programme) was leaving EB, only to appear at its rival show, Student Canteen.[4]

For two months, Reyes contemplated on whether to accept the offer. In the meantime, she did a movie with Joseph Estrada, and a week-long co-hosting stint at Daigdig ng mga Misis sa Telebisyon with former SC co-host Pepe Pimentel on BBC-2's (Marcos-era iteration of ABSCBN-2).

"Kasama pati si Coney!" Edit

DOMSAT82 TVJC (coloured)

Coney Reyes-Mumar joins Tito, Vic and Joey on stage as she is welcomed as Eat... Bulaga!'s newest female co-host.

On 18 May 1982, Coney was welcomed as the newest member of the EB family with the television special Eat... Bulaga!: The DOMSAT Launch at the Folk Arts Theatre. Her entry coincided with the domestic satellite launch of the programme, allowing it to be viewed almost simultaneously all over the country. On that same television special, Eat... Bulaga!'s now-famous theme song was debuted, with Coney being mentioned in the lyrics (until now, being the only female co-host ever mentioned in the song).

Coney was warmly welcomed by the viewers of the then-number one noontime variety show, bringing with her the sympathy of the audience due to her firing at SC. By joining Eat... Bulaga!, Coney was became known further to the avenues of show-business. In return, Coney's entry to then-three year old EB cemented its place as the number one noontime show in the Philippines.

Coney Reyes... on Camera Edit

In 1984, Reyes was given her own anthology series called Coney Reyes on Camera, which was run after Eat... Bulaga!. The show was produced by TAPE, Inc. (the production company behind EB), as well as Coney's own production company, CAN Television and Productions (derived from her real name, Constancia Angeline Nubla). Throughout the series' run, Reyes portrayed different parts in the series — host, lead star, and also producer.

Later years in Eat... Bulaga! Edit

In 1987, Aiza Seguerra joined the Eat... Bulaga! family after gaining recognition for her jolly character in the programme's 1987 edition of Little Miss Philippines. Coney often joined Aiza in her segment, Aiza's Kiddie Korner. The mother-daughter dynamic of Coney and Aiza (sometimes joined by Vic as the father), a relatively new concept on variety television, boosted ratings for the programme who saw fierce competition with GMA-7's replacement for Student Canteen, Lunch Date.

In the late 1980s, rumours spread of Coney and Eat... Bulaga! co-host Vic Sotto having a romantic relationship. Reyes was by then annulled to her marriage with Larry Mumar, and Sotto having separated only with his wife, Dina Bonnevie, in 1986. Vic and Coney's relationship, for a while, went public until Coney filed for a maternity leave at EB just after the programme's move from RPN-9 to ABSCBN-2 in February 1989. Reyes returned to the programme in time for its 10th Anniversary celebration in September that year, only three months after giving birth to son Vico.

In December 1991, a year after becoming a born-again Christian, Reyes left Eat... Bulaga! for good, although her name was still mentioned in the theme song until 1995.

Life after Eat... Bulaga! Edit

After leaving Eat... Bulaga!, Coney focused on her young son with Vic. She stopped appearing daily on television, but was still present with her weekly drama anthology, Coney Reyes on Camera. The programme, along with other TAPE, Inc. produced shows, had moved to ABSCBN-2 in 1989 after the sequestration of RPN-9.

Then, after a dispute with the network, TAPE again had to move their shows to GMA-7 in 1995. Coney Reyes on Camera, however, stayed with ABSCBN-2 because it was now co-produced by the network's production unit, along with her CAN Television and Production.

in the show's later years, Coney made less and less appearances, oftentimes during only the opening and closing segments. Up until on 26 December 1998, Coney Reyes on Camera aired its final episode, and Coney went on a one-year hiatus in show business.

One year after Coney Reyes on Camera ended, Coney returned to television by starring in the weekly family drama-comedy Ang Munting Paraiso (1999-2003), co-starring with Ronaldo Valdez, Jericho Rosales, Sarah Christophers, and Jericho Rosales. During the programme's run, Coney also starred in Sa Puso Ko Iingatan Ka (2001–03) alongside Judy Ann Santos and Piolo Pascual. The series would be her last year in a soap opera following an almost four-year hiatus from television and also films.

However in 2004, Coney appeared in Eat... Bulaga!'s 25th Anniversary Special held in Expo Pilipino at Clark, Pampanga. With her own special number, she sang Diana Ross' It's My Turn, a song which since her entry in EB and as her theme song in Coney Reyes on Camera, became attached to her and her celebrity personality. Her time there with Tito, Vic, and Joey, made it their first, and to-date, only reunion as the programme's memorable quartet, since Coney's departure from EB more than a decade ago.

After her four-year hiatus, Reyes reunited with her Sa Puso Ko Iingatan Ka co-star Judy Ann Santos in 2007 to star in Ysabella (2007–08). In which her character, Victoria Amarillo, became one of the most iconic villains in Philippine television due to her attitude, schemes, and looks. Coney then made another return to television in Rubi (2010), a remake of the 2004 Mexican Televisa series of the same name. The series stars Jake Cuenca, Shaina Magdayao, Diether Ocampo, and Angelica Panganiban.

It was in the 2011 critically-acclaimed 100 Days To Heaven that Coney once again became a lead star in her own right. In it, she portrayed Madam Anna Manalastas, a cold-hearted businesswoman who was sent back to earth in her childhood form in order to correct her mistakes. Starring with her are Jodi Sta. Maria as Sophia, Anna's long lost daughter, and Xyriel Manabat who portrays the child-form of Madam Anna. The series received five nominations and won four of the five. Reyes and Manabat were nominated for Pop Kapamilya TV Character for their portrayal of Anna Manalastas in the ASAP Pop Viewers' Choice Awards.

Two years after 100 Days to Heaven, Coney made her return to primetime television in Judy Ann Santos's Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala in 2013.

That same year, Coney co-starred in Four Sisters and a Wedding as Grace Salazar. Her character portrayal and lines, as well as the movie itself, has since become a part of popular Filipino culture. Four Sisters and a Wedding is Coney's most recent film to date.

After almost 25 years with ABS-CBN, Coney, upon an invitation by executive vice-president for drama Redgie Acuña Magno, decided to transfer to ABS-CBN's rival network GMA Network. With her transfer for GMA-7, she starred in Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real (2014) alongside Maricel Soriano, Lovi Poe, and Dingdong Dantes. 

In part as a promotion for Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real, Reyes guested on Startalk, an entertainment news television series, for an emotional reunion with former EB co-host and long-time friend, Joey de Leon.

One year after signing a contract with GMA Network, Coney decided to return to ABS-CBN due to the lack of projects given to her in the rival company. Soon after her return to ABS-CBN, she starred in Nathaniel (2015), a fantasy television series focusing of faith and restoring goodness to humanity. In it, Coney portrays the role of AVL, a rich businesswoman who forgets her faith in God and gets followers in becoming rich and successful. She was joined in the series by alongside Marco Masa, Gerald Anderson, Isabelle Daza, and Shaina Magdayao.

Two years later, she starred in My Dear Heart (2017) with Zanjoe Marudo, Bela Padilla, Ria Atayde, and Nayomi "Heart" Ramos as Heart De Jesus. The series revolves around Heart De Jesus, a sick kid who becomes a spirit.  Reyes plays the role of Dr. Margaret Divinagracia, a rich doctor who in the end is revealed to be the biological grandmother of Heart. After My Dear Heart ended, she guested on ABSCBN-2's morning talk show Magandang Buhay with her children Vico Sotto and L.A.

In 2018, Coney returned to GMA after for a Norse mythology-inspired teledrama, Victor Magtanggol. She starred with Alden Richards, who plays the title role as well as her son, among others.

2020 marked Coney's return once again on television with Love of My Life, starring together with Carla Abellana, Rhian Ramos, Mikael Daez, and Tom Rodriguez (in a special participation role). It has since been a high-rating television drama in GMA-7 and has been well-received by viewers. However, due to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, shooting for the drama was temporarily halted.

References Edit

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