The sexy and alabaster-skinned Gretchen is known as Screen Goddess of Philippine Cinema—and rightfully so. She first started out as a regular host of the GMA Supershow, a very popular Sunday noontime variety show during the 1980s and 1990s. Her exposure helped her hone her hosting skills, which shall become very useful later on. Aside from that, she was also very busy doing movies. Among her first films were Tender Age and 14 Going Steady in 1984, where her famous scene with Benedict Aquino, complete with singing and dancing (and Gretchen perching on top of the ladder), is judged as one of the cheesiest moments in film. This was followed by Life Begins at 40 in 1985. For more than a decade, she became one of the most in-demand actresses. She isn’t only associated with drama but with action, sexy, and horror flicks, one of which was the last film she did entitled Matakot Ka Sa Karma. One of the earliest scandals La Greta found herself in was the 1994 Metro Manila Film Festival scam, where she was alleged to be the real whistleblower. This happened when then Ms. Mauritius and one of her co-presenters during the Awards Night deliberately called on Ruffa Gutierrez as Best Actress instead of Aiko Melendez. This led to a publicized court hearing and sent Ruffa to oblivion for quite a while.
After the incident, Gretchen suddenly disappeared from the entertainment industry. It was only then that everyone discovered that she was pregnant with Dominique. She was also living together with Antonio Tonyboy Cojuangco, a Filipino business magnate and owner of ABC 5. Ever since, Gretchen tried to live a secluded and private life away from the limelight.
Yet she can’t turn her back from show business. Soon she found herself co-hosting The Buzz, a Sunday entertainment talk show, together with Boy Abunda . Viewers loved to anticipate her tactless comments on issues, not to mention her fabulous clothes and jewelry. She also released her own tell-all book, going against Pilar Pilapil’s advice not to do so because she was still very young. She was also supposed to act alongside Bong Revilla in the movie Kapag Tumibok ang Puso Not Once but Twice until Lani Mercado interfered. This could be attributed to a long-standing war between the two when Gretchen was linked to Bong at the height of their careers.
Her shampoo commercial with Ruffa, Angel Aquino, and Dawn Zulueta also sparked rumors when Dawn allegedly accused Gretchen of being prima donna during the shoot. This created a verbal spat between the two, which was covered by numerous talk shows.
However, the biggest blow could have been her kissing scandal with John Estrada during Rufa Mae Quinto’s birthday party. The picture circulated around the Internet and prompted La Greta to evade any interviews even though both John and her didn’t deny what happened. Instead, she focused her energy on Tonyboy’s health as he underwent a very crucial surgery in the United States.
All kinds of intrigues could be thrown at her, but she will always remain strong, much more that she has talent and her family to back her up.