Veteran character actor Dick Israel, or Ricardo Mitchaca in real life, was last seen three years ago in the movie Boy Golden in 2013 for the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) that year.
When a photo of him resurfaced on Facebook last July 3, as posted by a certain Sidemoid Francisco Datanam, the 66-year-old Israel was almost unrecognizable and his photo went viral, earning around 4,500 reactions and almost 2,700 shares, as of writing.
The netizen who uploaded his photo was asking for help for the veteran actor, captioning the photo with, “Sna mkatulong tayo idol dick israel nasunugan po sya sa bagong barrio brgy 144 pls share.”
He also gave the complete address where people who want to help might find the actor – Bagong Barrio, Barangay 144, Caloocan City.
According to entertainment portal PEP.ph, Israel has appeared in over 220 movies and 22 television shows, playing mostly villain roles.
Israel and his extended family just survived a fire that took his house and the rest of his family’s things, including his wheelchair, on July 2. He also suffered from a stroke in 2010, leaving half of his body paralyzed and affecting his speech. PEP.ph wrote that when he suffered from stroke, Israel received financial support from fellow celebrities Lorna Tolentino, John Lloyd Cruz, Christopher de Leon, Karylle, and Bea Alonzo, among others.
When ABS-CBN visited the actor after his photo went viral on Facebook, he told them about the fire.
“Mabilis kumalat ang apoy. That’s life carry on,” he said.
His wife, Marilyn Mitchaca, also appealed for help, “Tulungan sana siya. ‘Yung gamut na tine-take niya o pinansyal, o kung anong maitutulong.”
Israel’s photo also caught the attention of other celebrities.
Vivian Velez called for support for the veteran actor by coursing it through her or the Damay Kamay Foundation, an organization founded by the members of the entertainment industry to help their colleagues who need medical help.
Nadia Montenegro also visited Israel on Tuesday, July 5.
And more help is bound to come for Israel after this meeting for a fundraising drive.
Israel won Best Supporting Actor at the 1988 Metro MMFF for his role in “Patrolman” and the FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences) Awards for his role in “Kanto Boy 2: Anak ni Totoy Guapo.”