Bella Flores was born Remedios Papa Dancel in Sta Cruz, Manila. Her parents are Emilia Papa and Matias Dancel. She married Nestor Reyes, a detective police officer, with whom she has one child, Ruby Rose Arcilla, who lives presently in Las Vegas, U.S.A. Bella studied at the Cecilio Apostol Elementary School and Arellano High School, finishing her secondary education at Roosevelt College. She was a college sophomore at Far Eastern University when she decided on a movie career. Flores was only 14 years old when she made her first movie, Balaraw (1950), with Premiere Productions. She took a screen test at Sampaguita Pictures and was placed under a four-year contract. Her first big role was in Roberta (1951), as the cruel stepmother of child actors Tessie Agana and Boy Alano. This movie saved the studio from bankruptcy after it was razed by a fire early that year. Among her other films with Sampaguita are Bernardo Carpio (1951) with Cesar Ramirez, Batas ng daigdig (1951) with Fred Montilla and the mother-daughter team of Linda Estrella and Tessie Agana, _Rebecca (1952) with Van De Leon, Chichay and Gloria Romero, Kerubin (1952) again with Agana, Estrella, De Leon and Chichay, and 'Ang Asawa Kong Amerikana' (1953), the first Filipino movie to win a major award at the Asian Film Festival. When her contract with Sampaguita Pictures expired, she continued to play the role of villainess in the productions of other film companies. Later, she brought her own brand of movie villainy to the stage, as when she appeared in Bulwagang Gantimpala's 'Sipgnet' and 'Amag sa Tampipi' with Lou Veloso. On television, she has been a mainstay of such popular shows as 'Pa Easy-Easy' (1988), 'Victoria Hills' (1983), 'Yagit' (1982) and 'Dahong Lagas' (1973). Flores won the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS)best supporting actress award for _Kaibigan ko'ng Sto. Niño (1967)_. She was also nominated by FAMAS for Kilabot sa Makiling (1959), and Mga batang yagit (1984). She received the best supporting actress award from the Olongapo Film Festival for her performance in 'Dugo ng Bayan' (1973). In 1989 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Film Academy of the Philippines. She has recently been visible again, mostly in indie films like Illusion (2005), Imahe nasyon (2006), The Fortune Teller (2008) and as well as in the recent mainstream blockbuster/Vic Sotto starrer Pak! Pak! My Dr. Kwak! (2011). Her life story was made into a features episode in the weekly television docu-drama UNTOLD STORIES Mula sa Face to Face, aired on TV5.
- Madame Pearl
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