Valparaiso native penned book about child star from Philippines – NWI Times

A Region native penned a biography about Tessie Agana, a child star who’s considered the Shirley Temple of the Philippines.

Agana ended up living in Gary and Valparaiso in Northwest Indiana for more than 60 years.

The Legend of Tessie Agana Book Cover

Agana’s daughter Mylene Richardson wrote a new biography titled “The Legend of Tessie Agana: Beloved Child Star of the Philippines: An Intimate Portrait of My Mother,” which comes out Sept. 20.

Richardson, a Valparaiso native who went to Andrean High School and then Indiana University, will sign copies from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday at the Valparaiso Barnes & Noble, 150 Silhavy Road, Suite 120, in Valparaiso. Agana will make an appearance at the book signing.

Agana is a legend in the Philippines who starred in 40 films, often with her mother Linda Estrella, in the 1950s. She became a household name at 8 years old when she starred in the box office record-breaking hit “Roberta.” After several hit films, the mother-daughter duo toured internationally as professional singers. (Read the full story on NWI Times)

By Joseph S. Pete
September 17, 2023

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Mylene Richardson

Mylene Richardson

Mylene Agana Jao Richardson was born in Manila, Philippines, and is the sixth of nine children (six boys and three girls) from Tessie Agana Jao and Dr. Rodolfo Jao. Although she grew up in Indiana, her trips back to the Philippines are her most memorable family vacations. Mylene currently lives in Arizona, with her husband Andy, and their two sons, Chapman and Harris.


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