IZA CALZADO’S career in showbusiness is a long and extensive one. I have grown up watching her work and admiring her acting skills. She was never flashy nor loud. She has always been the reserved one, always exuding the aura of class and elegance.
That’s why, fast forward to many years, I still admire her as an actress. As she established her name in the industry, as one of the veterans and talented ones, she became more open in accepting non-mainstream projects which further showcased her talent and versatility.
As she gets another year older (and wiser), let us look back at the many, many accomplishments of the one and only Iza Calzado. Here are some of the many things you may not know about her.
Iza’s full name is Maria Izadora Ussher Calzado-Wintle. She was born on August 12, 1982 in Quezon City, Philippines to a choreographer/television father Lito Calzado and mother Maria Antonia Ussher. Iza has an older brother – Dash Calzado who was a member of a Pinoy rap group in the 90’s.
Iza was educated at the School of Holy Spirit during her elementary years. She continued her secondary education at Miriam College and graduated from the University of Santo Tomas, majoring in fan arts.
With her wonderful voice, she began her showbusiness career as a dubber to the famous Venezuelan telenovela – Mis 3 Hermanas, aired in the Philippines as “All My Love”. Her first television appearance was in the legendary entertainment show, That’s Entertainment, from which she was a part of the Monday group.
Her career began taking traction when she played Phoebe Valiente, the antagonist in the drama romance series Kung Mawawala Ka which starred Sunshine Dizon and Cogie Domingo. She landed her first main role in the drama romance series Te Amo, Maging Sino Ka Man, where she was paired with the Argentine actor Pedro Cernadas.
Iza became more popular when she played the character Amihan, the queen of the goddesses in the highly viewed prime time fantasy television drama Encantadia in GMA Network. She also played the same role in the prequel Etheria and its sequel Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas.
In 2007, Iza reunited with Sunshine Dizon for the epic drama series Impostora.
In 2009, she was again reunited with Sunshine Dizon when they both starred in the drama series All About Eve, a remake of the famous South Korean drama of the same name. For her work in the series, she won the 2009 PEP Forum Awards for being the Highly Recommended on Actress of the Year.
Although she has been a staple face in both the television and films, Iza had debuted as a theater actor in 2015 for the play Sabel: Love and Passion, for which she played the titular role.
She starred in the series Beauty Queen in GMA before moving to ABS-CBN, where she starred in teleseryes like Kahit Puso’y Masugatan, Hawak Kamay, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, A Love to Last and Ngayon at Kailanman.
Iza Calzado is one of the very few movie stars who can do mainstream and indie films. When she was still with GMA, she starred in films such as Sigaw, Mulawin: The Movie, Moments of Love, One True Love, Desperadas 1 & 2, Quija, Yaya & Angelina: The Spoiled Brat Movie and Batanes with F4’s Ken Zhu.
Iza’s performance in the film Starting Over Again (with Toni Gonzaga and Piolo Pascual) earned her numerous awards and nominations. For her performance in the film, she won the 46th Guillermo Mendoza Box Office Entertainment Awards’ Film Actress of the Year and the 17th Gawad PASADO Awards as the PinakaPASADOng Katuwang na Aktres.
She also won numerous awards in her film Bliss, a psychological thriller film opposite TJ Trinidad and Michael De Mesa. She won the Film Actress of the Year (49th Box Office Entertainment Awards), the Movie Actress of the Year (34th PMPC Star Awards for Movies) and the Yakushi Pearl Award for Best Performer (12th Osaka Asian Film Festival).
One of her more current work, Culion and Pandanggo Sa Hukay won her the Jury Award for Best Performance from the 18th Gawad Tanglaw Awards.
Iza just finished another project which aired at the Kampamilya Channel – Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin. In this romance, revenge, tragedy television series, she played the role of Ellice Ceñidoza-Villarosa, the main character (protagonist/antagonist) in the show.
She also appeared in an episode in the longest running drama anthology series, Maalaala Mo Kaya “Medalya”.
It was just announced that Iza Calzado will play the role of the ‘original’ Darna in the upcoming TV series starring Jane de Leon.
Have you watched her latest projects yet? Which one is your favorite? For me I honestly loved her subtle but impactful performance in the film Starting Over Again. Let me know in the comments below!