Joey de Leon, born José María Ramos de León Jr. on October 14, 1946, is a Filipino TV host, comedian, actor, and songwriter. He is best known as one of the hosts of the popular noontime variety show “Eat Bulaga!” and as a member of the iconic comedy trio “Tito, Vic & Joey” (TVJ).
Childhood and Heritage: Joey de Leon was born and raised in Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines. He grew up in a modest family and had a passion for entertainment from a young age. He was raised in a middle-class family, and his parents were José Seoane de León, a Spanish Filipino, and Emma Ramos, a Filipina.
Joey’s father, José Seoane de León, hailed from the province of Malaga, Spain, and immigrated to the Philippines during the early 20th century. He worked as a lawyer and eventually became a judge. Joey’s mother, Emma Ramos, was a Filipina from Pampanga. His parents got divorced when he was only three years old. His father went back to Madrid Spain and remarried.
Growing up, Joey had a close-knit family, and he mentioned in interviews that his childhood was filled with happy memories. His parents instilled in him the value of hard work, discipline, and a strong sense of family.
Despite being of Spanish descent, Joey primarily identifies himself as a Filipino. He has expressed pride in his Filipino heritage and often incorporates Filipino culture, language, and humor into his performances.
Joey’s upbringing and multicultural background have influenced his comedic style and versatility as an entertainer. His ability to connect with a wide audience and his skill in delivering humor that resonates with Filipinos are attributed in part to his diverse heritage.
Overall, Joey de Leon’s childhood was shaped by the love and guidance of his parents, his Filipino roots, and the multicultural influences he grew up with. These aspects have played a significant role in shaping his identity as an artist and his enduring popularity in Philippine entertainment.
Career Beginnings: Joey de Leon’s career in showbiz started in the late 1960s when he joined the musical group “The Tilt Down Men.” He also worked as a radio disc jockey and released several novelty songs that gained popularity. In 1975, he formed the comedy trio TVJ with Tito Sotto and Vic Sotto, and they became a hit in the entertainment industry.
TVJ and “Eat Bulaga!”: As part of TVJ, Joey de Leon gained immense fame and success. They starred in various television shows, comedy films, and recorded albums together. However, their biggest breakthrough came with the noontime variety show “Eat Bulaga!” in 1979. The show became a long-running success and has since become one of the most beloved and influential programs in Philippine television history.
Marriage, Children, and Personal Life: Joey de Leon has been married twice. His first marriage was to Daria Ramirez, an actress, and they have two children together, Jacinda Myrtle de Leon known as Cheenee and Joseph Joachim de Leon known as Keempee. After their separation, Joey remarried to Eileen Macapagal in 1982, and they have four children named Jocas, Jako, and Jio. Joey is known to be a devoted family man and often shares his love for his children and grandchildren on social media.
Other Ventures and Endorsements: Aside from his career in entertainment, Joey de Leon has also ventured into other fields. He has written several books, including joke books and memoirs, and has also released solo albums. He has appeared in commercials and endorsements for various brands, showcasing his versatility as a performer.
Legacy and Contributions: Joey de Leon’s contribution to Philippine entertainment cannot be overstated. He has been a key figure in shaping the comedy landscape, influencing generations of comedians and entertainers. His wit, humor, and longevity in the industry have made him a beloved and respected icon.
Throughout his career, Joey de Leon has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to the entertainment industry. His unique comedic style and undeniable talent have endeared him to millions of fans and cemented his place as one of the most influential personalities in Philippine showbiz.