Mak Nani, Datin Rosnani Jamil


AFFECTIONATELY known as Mak Nani, Datin Rosnani Jamil is one of Malaysia's queens of the silver screen.

Born Rosnani Ludin on Jan 20, 1936 in Kampung Sungai Geringiang, Padang, the Dutch East Indies (or Indonesia today), she moved to British-ruled Singapore with her family during World War II and began her acting career there.

Rosnani was discovered by filmmaker Datuk L Krishnan while working as a singer and dancer in the Happy World Club. Her first movie was Lupa Daratan in 1952 and her leading man was the late Omar Rojik.

Rosnani acted in films produced by Shaw Brothers and Cathay Keris. During this time she learnt English with a close friend, veteran singer Nona Asiah. Moving to Kuala Lumpur in 1967, Rosnani starred in the productions of Merdeka Studios which was formed by legendary entertainer Tan Sri P. Ramlee. She also did voiceover work for films and dramas from Hong Kong and Japan.

Rosnani's notable films include Sedarah, Miskin, Air Mata, Kasih Menumpang, Anakku Sazali, Masyarakat Pincang, Lela Manja, Sri Mersing, Hang Jebat, Hulubalang Daik, Nasib Si Labu Labi, Kanca Permata, Jasmin, Suara Kekasih, Antara Dua Hati, Sumpahan Mahsuri and Amok.

Jasmin earned Rosnani the Best Actress award at the Malaysian Film Festival 1984. In 1985, Rosnani formed her film company RJ Filem and produced Mawar Merah, a tear-jerker starring Raja Ema and the late Mustaffa Noor. Other films she directed include Bicara Hati, Amelia, Memori and Antara Dua Hati.

Rosnani still makes notable screen and stage appearances.

In 2001, she participated as a voiceover talent in animated film Cheritera produced by Matahari Animation alongside Azmil Mustapha, Isma Aliff, Datuk Ahmad Tarmimi Siregar, Vanidah Imran and the late M. Rajoli.

In 2009, she was in Lembing Awang Pulang Ke Dayang alongside Siti Elizad Sharifuddin, Farid Kamil and Zulhuzaimy Marzuki.

In 2010, she starred in the Istana Budaya production of Sri Mersing, a sequel to the 1961 film directed by Salleh Ghani. She played the title role in both.

Rosnani married award-winning filmmaker Datuk Jamil Sulong in 1953. One of their four children is filmmaker Anwardi Jamil.

Their grand-daughter Diandra Arjunaidi is a rock singer, composer and lyricist, besides being a protege of the award-winning singer Yuna.

Rosnani won the Lifetime Achievement Award at Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2010.

By Dennis Chua


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