Eddie M. Gaerlan had been in theater since his teens, in Baguio and then, transferring to Manila, he was one of the founding members of Repertory Philippines, along with the late Zenaida Amador, a good friend. His last film appearance was in "Ultimatum" (1994) with Vernon Wells and Filipino actors Eddie Garcia and Dina Bonnevie. He appeared in the first ever commercial for a cellular phone in the Philippines, for the Mobiline Company. This commercial had him dressed in Fu Manchu style, complete with white long beard and mustache, seated in a boat. He appears bewildered by a cellular phone he is holding. He is survived by his wife Eve and seven children, (his eldest, Althea, is from his first wife) all of whom are also artists. He is distantly related to the late Alicia Vergel (real name: Erlinda Gaerlan Asturias), to Alma Moreno (real name: Vinessa Gaerlan Laxamana) and to the 1960s female "action" star, Virginia (real name: Virginia Gaerlan), who was married to Jun Aristorenas.