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Jakarta Post

Famous actor Didi Petet dies at 58

  • Ika Krismantari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, May 17, 2015   /  01:25 pm
Famous actor Didi Petet dies at 58

Didi Widiatmoko, one of the nation'€™s most beloved actors, died at his home in Ciputat, South Tangerang, on Friday. He was 58.

Popularly known as Didi Petet, he rose to fame for his portrayal of Emon in the immensely popular teen film Catatan Si Boy (Boy'€™s Diary) in 1987.

While his cause of death was not immediately known, Didi collapsed and lost consciousness five days ago while in Italy for the Expo Milano 2015, the global exposition on technology, innovation, culture and tradition, where he led an Indonesian delegation, reported.

Creative Economy Agency chief Triawan Munaf, who was a friend of Didi and was also at the expo, attributed the actor'€™s collapse to stomach problems, although members of Didi'€™s family said a medical exam after his return to Bandung, West Java, showed no serious illness.

The actor Slamet Rahardjo, who shared the screen with Didi in Nan Achnas'€™ award-winning 2001 movie Pasir Berbisik (Whispering Sands), said that he had lost a friend.

'€œHe was sort of my counterweight,'€ Slamet told The Jakarta Post over the phone. '€œEveryone knows that I am a very serious man, while Didi, he liked to joke around. So having him was a good balance for the team.'€

Didi also lectured at the Jakarta Institute of Arts, the nation'€™s premiere arts school. Slamet said that Didi always said that acting was not just a talent, but something to be learned. '€œWhat we learned from [him] was the notion that acting is also a science.'€

One of Didi'€™s students, director Benni Setiawan, warmly remembered directing his former teacher when making the 2013 romantic movie Madre, for which Didi received a nomination for the Citra for Best Supporting Actor from the Festival Film Indonesia.

'€œWe felt like we were not working, but were on holiday,'€ Benni said. '€œHe always took us around Bandung city to find good places to eat after the filming was over.'€

Didi played a range of roles in movies as diverse as the Sundanese folk-hero Kabayan series, Chaerul Umam'€™s Oom Pasikom ( 1990 ) and Riri Riza'€™s children'€™s film Petualangan Sherina (Sherina'€™s Adventure, 2000).

'€œHe could play silly and funny characters or serious and sleazy ones. You name it,'€ Benni said.

Didi was also remembered by younger actors, such as Boy William, who worked with Didi on the 2012 comedy Mama Cake.

 '€œHe was a big name in the film industry, but was still very humble during the entire production process,'€ Boy said.

Born in Surabaya, East Java, on July 12, 1956, Didi was given the Lifetime Achievement MTV Indonesia Movie Award in 2004 and won the Best Supporting Actor Citra in 1988 for his role in Buce Malawau'€™s Cinta Anak Jaman.

He is survived by a wife, six children and one grandchild.