Herman ‘Bernard’ Bonnin was born in Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, Visayas, Philippines on September 8, 1939 to parents Juan S. Bonnin, a pure Spaniard from Palma de Mallorca, and Lina Zayco, a native of Himamaylan, Negros Occidental. Bonnin moved to Manila at the age of 14 to complete his secondary education in San Beda College.
He rose to fame with the 1965 movie, “Palos”. In 2008, ABS-CBN remade Palos into a television series starring Jake Cuenca, with Bonnin returning in a supporting role. Dubbed the “Pretty Boy of the 60s,” Bonnin would go on to star in over 170 movies in a career that spanned four decades, including his first film “Ay Pepita” followed by such well known Filipino films as “Gagamba”, “Ako ang Lalagot sa Hininga Mo”, “Code Name: Bomba”, “Target: Captain Karate”.
He also played villain roles such as in “Ako ang Tatapos sa Araw mo” (1989), “Ibabaon Kita sa Lupa” (1990), “Dudurugin Kita ng Bala ko” (1992), “Nandito Ako” (1993), and “Duwelo” (1996).
His only Euro-western was as a supporting actor in 1970’s “The Arizona Kid” as Leonardo.
He had a son with former on-screen partner Lourdes Medel–Gabriel Bernard Bonnin-Llora, and three more children with his wife, Digna Bonnin: Melvin, María Antonia ("Tonette"), and France. He was also fathered actor Richard Bonnin and actress and beauty queen, Charlene Gonzales, with model Elvira Gonzales.
Bonnin died at the age of 71 on November 21, 2009 at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City following multiple organ failure due to diabetes. He is buried at the Heritage Park in Taguig City.
BONNIN, Bernard (Herman Bonnin) [9/8/1939, Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, Visayas, Philippines - 11/21/2009, Quezon City, Philippines (stroke, organ failure by diabetes)] - TV actor, married to business woman Digna Bonnin, father of actor Melvin Bonnin, María Antonia "Tonette" Bonnin, France Bonnin [1996- ], married to Miss Philippines Press Photography , actress Elvira Pamintuan Gonzales [1947- ] (1969-1971) father of actor Richard Bonnin [1970- ], model, actress Charlene Gonzales [1974- ], uncle of actor JC Bonnin [1968- ].
The Arizona Kid - 1970 (Leonardo)