Scintillating daughters of Asia

02 March 2014 |
EXTRACT. Read entire article HERE.

Zaiton Abdullah (Born 1938)

zai20During her heyday, Zaiton mainly played the quintessential Malay woman — shy, soft-spoken and lemah lembut (gentle and graceful), qualities highly-prized in the Malay culture.

People likened this Singapore-born beauty to Hollywood’s Kim Basinger. And it got her noticed for her first lead-actress role in Jubba Hitam (1955). After that, it was star status all the way, until she retired in 1967.

Zaiton was one of the pillars that propped up the Shaw Brothers’ Malay Film Productions in Singapore, together with film legends P. Ramlee, Aziz Sattar, AR Tompel and Saadiah, among others.

Her talent soared in another 1955 film, Hang Tuah, a blockbuster historical drama. Zaiton’s part as Princess Tun Teja won her the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 3rd Asia Pacific Film Festival. In 1958, she was the only Malay woman selected and sent as a cultural ambassador to San Francisco, California.

Family drama Anakku Sazali (1956) found her acting as a tragic wife opposite P. Ramlee. She also proved her versatility as a comedienne, a widow, and a romantic in other films.

But it was Ibu Mertuaku (1962) that shot her to the apex. A long-depressed young woman recovers when she finds love and happiness through caring for a blind musician. Zaiton essayed the role so well it brought her legendary status. (Watch her at:>GlaPiPv9wMA ).

Her crowning glory came in 2009 when she won the Anugerah Bintang Lagenda (Legendary Star Award) for her impact on Malay Cinema.


EXTRACT. Read entire article HERE.



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