Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr. P. Ramlee, PSM, AMN, DA (Posthumous) (Sarawak) (22 March 1929–29 May 1973) was a Malaysian film actor, director, singer, songwriter,composer and producer. Due to his contributions to the movie and music industry and his literary work, he is often considered the icon of Malay entertainment in Malaysia, Singapore anda Sumatera.
P. Ramlee was born Teuku Zakaria bin Teuku Nyak Puteh.His father Teuku Nyak Puteh was a sailor from Indonesia,and later marries Che Mah Hussain.He was born on the first day of Eid festival,which is 22 March 1929.
He attended Sekolah Melayu Kampung Jawa (English: Kampung Jawa Malay School) and Sekolah Francis Light primary schools. Next he went to the famous Penang Free School secondary school until the World War broke out. During the Japanese Occupation years in Malaya, he continued his studies at the Japanese Navy Academy. When the war ended, he reconvened his studies in Penang Free School. He was very active in sports.
His first musical instrument was ukelele. Later he turned to guitar and violin under the coach of the Penang Free School brass band leader, Mr. Kamaruddin. He later joined the orchestras Teruna Sekampung and then Sinaran Bintang Sore. In 1947, he won the first place in a song competition organized by Penang Radio.
P. Ramlee's first role was in the movie Chinta 1948. In 1949 he was cast in the film. His career continued to flourish that between the years 1948-1955, he had acted in 27 films. Seven years after his acting career started, P. Ramlee directed his first film Penarek Becha. In 1957, P. Ramlee would act in the first of his Bujang Lapok comedic films that he acted along with Aziz Sattar and S.Shamsudin, which are still popular among the modern Malay film watchers. During his career he directed and acted in sixty-six films, and had more than 360 songs to his credit.
He returned permanently to Kuala Lumpur after years with Shaw Brothers in Singapore; however,he would never expect that his permanent return would mark the begin of his downfall.His final film was Laksemana Do Re Mi in 1972 and his last song and lyrics was Air Mata DiKuala Lumpur (Tears in Kuala Lumpur),before his death in 1973.In his last song,the lyrics depicts his crushed feeling and series of disappointments and setbacks upon returning to Malaysia after years in Singapore.
His award-winning films are:
- Anakku Sazali (My Son Sazali): Best Male Actor,4th Asian Film Festival (Tokyo,1957)
- Hang Tuah (Legend of Hang Tuah): Best Musical Score,3rd Asian Film Festival (Hong Kong 1956) and Official screening at the 7th Berlin International Film Festival in 1957.The first and only P.Ramlee movie to be filmed in color.
- Ibu Mertuaku (My Mother in-law): Most Versatile Talent,10th Asian Film Festival (Tokyo,1963)
- Madu Tiga (Three Wives): Best Comedy,11th Asian Film Festival (Taipei,1964)
- Nujum Pak Belalang (Pak Belalang The Fortune Teller): Best Comedy,7th Asian Film Festival (Tokyo,1960)
- Pendekar Bujang Lapok (The Three Warrior Bachelors): Best Comedy,6th Asian Film Festival (Kuala Lumpur,1959)
- Sumpah Orang Minyak (Curse of The Oily Man): Best Black and White Photography,5th Asian Film Festival (Manila,1958)
While his other hononary awards are:
- (AMN) ,conferred by His Majesty Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail in 1962.
- (PSM),carrying the title 'Tan Sri' by HRH Sultan Azlan Shah in 1990.
- Darjah Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Kenyalang Sarawak "Datuk Amar Bintang Kenyalang (Posthumous)" (DA(P)),carrying the title 'Datuk Amar' by the Sarawak State Government in 2009.
- Hononary Doctorate in Performance Arts,2005
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