Maya Karin

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Maya Karin
Maya Karin Roelcke.jpg
Maya during the photoshoot in February 2014.
Maya Karin Roelcke

(1979-10-29) 29 October 1979 (age 39)
Bayreuth, Bavaria, West Germany (now Germany)
EducationLimkokwing University of Creative Technology, Cyberjaya Malaysia
OccupationActress, singer, Channel V VJ
Years active2001–present
Spouse(s)Steve David Shorthose (2008 - 2010; divorced)
Parent(s)Gottfried Roelcke (father)
Che Zan (mother)
Musical career
GenresPop, R&B
LabelsWarner Music Malaysia

Maya Karin Roelcke (born 29 October 1979) better known by her stage name Maya Karin, is a German-born Malaysian film actress, television host, and singer. Now one of the leading and established actresses in Malaysia's local film industry, she garnered wide recognition from the critics and public for her award-winning and memorable performances in movies such as Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam and Ombak Rindu.

Maya holds the record in the history of the Malaysia Film Festival for an actress with most nominations in the category of Best Actress Award (10) and she's among few actresses to have won the award twice. Maya is also the first of only two Malaysian actresses to have won the prestigious Best Actress Award at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

Early life[edit]

Maya was born in Bayreuth, Bavaria, West Germany on 29 October 1979. Her father Gottfried Roelcke, is German while her mother, Che Zan, is from Penang, Malaysia, and is of Malay, Chinese and Indian parentage.[1] She is the oldest of three siblings. Her brother is Armin, and her sister is Irina. Growing up in Indonesia until the age of 17, she started modelling and theatre acting in her teens. She later graduated from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology Kuala Lumpur in Media and Marketing before starting her acting career.


2000-2004: Debut, the Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam films[edit]

In 2000, she was cast as a television show host for Malaysia's TV3 lifestyle entertainment programme Wavelength, which began her mainstream career and exposure. She was soon cast in her first film role as one of the leads in Aziz M. Osman's Seri Dewi Malam alongside popular actor Hairie Othman. Later that year, she played a girl living in a rural village in her second movie No Problem which was a critial & box office failure. She won the New Popular Artist Award at Malaysia's Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian and the Anugerah Media Hiburan in 2001. In 2003 she was cast in a supporting role in a hit movie, Mr. Cinderella 2.

In mid-2004, she was cast by director Shuhaimi Baba in the lead role in Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam.[2] The film was both critically and commercially successful. She won the Best Actress Award at the 49th Asia Pacific Film Festival 2004 in Fukuoka, Japan. She was also received her first nomination for Best Actress In A Leading Role at Malaysia Film Festival (FFM).

In 2005, Karin reprised her role as the lead in the sequel Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam II and continued to receive critical acclaims by winning the award of Best Actor (male/female) at the Estepona Fantasy and Terror Film Festival 2005 in Málaga, Spain and, her second nomination for FFM's Best Actress. Following the mass critical and commercial success of these two films and so her performance, Maya won the coveted Most Popular Actress (Film) Award at the Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2005.[citation needed]

2005-2010: Dabbling into television, comedy films[edit]

Despite her growing feature film career, Maya continued her involvement in television, and in 2004 she was invited by Channel [V] International to join their VJ team. In 2006, she was voted Best VJ in Star Buzz Editor's Choice Awards 2006. Other shows that she has hosted are the bridal programme 'Ratu Sehari' (Queen for a Day) in 2004 for Malaysia's Astro Ria channel and the travelogue programme 'Beauty Secrets From The East' in 2005 for TV3.[3][4]

In 2007, Maya played a variety of lead roles in Pesona Pictures' Waris Jari Hantu and 1957: Hati Malaya and Tayangan Unggul's Anak Halal and continued to receive nominations in various award functions. Maya won Best Actress Awards in Malaysia Film Festival and Anugerah Oskar Malaysia in 2008 for her genuine portrayal as a tomboy girl in Anak Halal.

Years after she involved in drama-centric films, Maya then showed her versatility by playing various comedic roles in several hit films. It began with blockbuster film Duyung released in 2008 where she plays the title role, a mermaid. In this film, Maya was appreciated for performing all the underwater scenes on her own in the open sea of Sipadan Island. In the same year, she received her second Most Popular Actress (Film) Award at the Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2008, following her mass popularity for the last two years. In 2009, she starred in Pisau Cukur,[5] a hit comedy film about gold diggers[6] where she performed more comedy scenes than her role in Duyung.[7]

In 2010, she played a famous entertainment show host who fall in love with a guy from a rural village in the romantic comedy movie Cun alongside Remy Ishak.[8]

2011-present: Career challenge and further success[edit]

In November 2011, despite her urbanised and modern figure, Maya surprised her fans and movie-goers with her moving performance as a young women from a rural village struggling with life and love, in her biggest commercial success Ombak Rindu,[9] which gained her the Best Actress Award at both the Anugerah Skrin and Malaysia Film Festival in 2012 and her third Most Popular Actress (Film) Award at the Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2011.

Afterwards, Maya portrayed two roles she never played before in Lagenda Budak Setan 2[10] and Sejoli, and managed to stand out despite acting alongside other fellow established actors. Her genuine tickling portrayal of a girl looking for her true love in the latter film gained her the award of Best Actress in Comedy Role in the second Anugerah Lawak Warna in 2014. Waiting to be released are her two thriller/suspense movies of Jwanita[11][12] and Nota, with the latter film directed and produced with collaboration between local and Japanese film producers and crews.[13][14][15]

Until now, Maya is acknowledged as an actor with most successful horror role performance in the local film industry and often cited by her fans and local movie-goers as a banshee, a mermaid and Izzah (her role in Ombak Rindu), thanks to her impressive and lasting performances in the respective films.[16][17][18]

It is reported in March 2017 that Maya will appear in the sequel of the Malaysian horror film, Munafik titled Munafik 2 directed by Syamsul Yusof. She reportedly replacing its lead cast, Nabila Huda who confirmed that she wouldn't starred in the film's sequel.[19][20] Maya later rebuked the chatter and explained, “I think it’s confusing to the audience if they read in the news that I’m ‘replacing’ her. I really have to stress that I’m not replacing anyone. (Nabila’s) character died in the previous movie. I’m playing an entirely different character”.[21]

Musical career[edit]

In 2002, Maya recorded her debut music album, Erti Cinta. The album garnered her nominations for Best New Singer and Best Video awards[22] at the Anugerah Industri Muzik. Her second album is Bukan Qalamaya (2004). On 3 June 2013, Maya signed up with Warner Music Malaysia and made her comeback from a 9-year hiatus with single "Bintang Syurga".[23][24] Her long-awaited latest album titled Teka-Teki was released on 24 March 2014,[25] and official launched then on 18 April at No Black Tie. The official music video of Teka-Teki was also launched after that on Warner Music Malaysia's YouTube channel.[26][27][28]

Philanthropy and other ventures[edit]

Maya's mass popularity as an actress and entertainer has seen her appointed as ambassador for various products starting with Wella in 2001, followed by Pantene, and Yishion in 2003. In 2006 she was appointed Malaysian first Ambassador and Power Icon for local telecommunications giant Celcom By 2007 she is the only female brand ambassador for Celcom, a role she shares with other celebrities such as Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Leehom Wang, Robert Pires and Indonesian popular band, Peterpan. The same year Maya was given the prestigious role of spokesperson for L'Oréal Paris Malaysia and until now endorses its skincare, cosmetics and haircare line. Other partnerships since then include Tag Heuer, Nescafe, Innershine, Dulux, Vono. Sorella and GreenTech Malaysia.


Maya Karin, environmental ambassador

Having been influenced by her father, Maya has been very passionate about the environment from a young age. Maya is actively involved in various campaigns for environmental and animal protection and often works with the Malaysian Nature Society and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

She also has her own campaign drive MayaLovesNature, the first two of which involved working with 22000 schoolchildren from 14 different primary schools targeting awareness of excessive use and waste of plastic bags. 2012 sees her as ambassador for the governments new recycling initiative and as spokesperson for the Geological Institute of Malaysia.



Year Title Role Director Notes
2001 Seri Dewi Malam Seri Aziz M. Osman
No Problem Rosnah Z. Lokman
2003 Mr. Cinderella 2 Anis Din C.J
2004 Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam Meriam/Maria/Pontianak Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba
7 Perhentian Dr. Maya Dato' Prof Madya A. Razak Mohaideen
2005 Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam 2 Meriam/Maria/Pontianak Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba
2007 Waris Jari Hantu Tina
1957: Hati Malaya Salmi/Normala
Anak Halal Johanna Osman Ali
2008 Duyung Puteri/Duyung Dato' Prof Madya A. Razak Mohaideen
Punggok Rindukan Bulan Umi Azharr Ruddin
2009 Pisau Cukur Bella Bernard Chauly
2010 Magika Bunian Edry Abdul Halim
Cun! Luna Latisha Osman Ali
2011 Ombak Rindu Izzah
2012 Lagenda Budak Setan 2: Katerina Katerina Sharad Sharan
2014 Sejoli: Misi Cantas Cinta Gina Osman Ali
Lagenda Budak Setan 3: Kasyah Lagenda Berakhir Katerina Sharad Sharan
2015 Nota Erin Yasu Tanaka
Jwanita[29] Jwanita Osman Ali
2018 Munafik 2 Sakinah Syamsul Yusof
Olympic Dream Fatimah’s mother Don Hoe Post production


Year Title TV Network
2000–2001 Wavelength TV3
2004 Ratu Sehari Astro RIA
2005 Beauty Secrets From The East TV3
2004–2007 n/a Channel V
2010–2011 Nona TV3

Theatres & Musicals[edit]

  • Bugsy Malone (1995)
  • In The Mind's Eye (1999)
  • Natrah (2009)
  • Natrah 2 (2010)
  • SuperMokh The Musical 1 (2013)
  • SuperMokh The Musical 2 (2014)[30][31][32][33][34]


  • Pantene
  • Wella
  • Yishion
  • Halle
  • MYEG
  • Tag Heuer
  • Celcom Telecommunications
  • L'Oreal Paris
  • VONO
  • BRAND'S InnerShine
  • Dulux
  • Sorella
  • Igm
  • GreenTech Malaysia



Year Awards
  • Estepona Fantasy and Terror Film Festival: Best Actress (Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam 2)
  • Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2005: Most Popular Film Actress
  • Star Buzz Editor's Choice Awards: Best VJ
  • 21st Malaysia Film Festival: Best Actress in Leading Role (Anak Halal)
  • Anugerah Oskar Malaysia 2008: Best Actress (Anak Halal)
  • Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2008: Most Popular Film Actress
  • Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 2011: Most Popular Film Actress
  • Anugerah Skrin 2012: Best Actress in Leading Role for Ombak Rindu)
  • 25th Malaysia Film Festival: Best Actress in Leading Role (Ombak Rindu)
  • Anugerah Lawak Warna 2014: Best Actress in Comedy Role (Sejoli)
  • Anugerah Skrin 2016 : Best Actress (Film) (Nota)


  1. ^ Kamin, Azhariah (14 May 2004). "The Lady and the Vamp". The Star Online. Archived from the original on 10 July 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2007.
  2. ^ "Kejayaan - Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam". Utusan Malaysia. 1 June 2004. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  3. ^ Raja Hamat, Tengku Suzana (22 December 2009). "Bakal jadi ikon TV3?". Kosmo!. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  4. ^ Zaini Zaa (7 March 2016). "Bakal jadi ikon TV3?". Agenda Daily. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  5. ^ 2 heroin, tanpa pergaduhan - Maya dan Fazura boleh bekerjasama Kosmo!, 6 November 2008.
  6. ^ Siti Azira Abd. Aziz (24 December 2008). "Maya dan Fazura sanggup jadi ' Pisau Cukur'?". mStar Online. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
  7. ^ Johan, Rizal (25 October 2007). "Maya Karin plays a mermaid". The Star. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2007.
  8. ^ Ramli, Safina (7 July 2010). "Cun temukan semula Maya dan Remy". Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  9. ^ Mohd Rohaizad (13 December 2011). "Maya Karin Tidak Layak Berlakon "Ombak Rindu"". Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Katerina dekat dengan Maya". Sinar Harian. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  11. ^ Azlan, Arina (18 August 2015). "Skrip Jwanita untuk Maya Karin – Osman Ali". Kosmo!. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Maya Karin Sakit Mental Kerana JWANITA". Selebriti Online. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Filem lakonan Maya Karin, Nota ditayangkan di Cannes". Astro Awani. 15 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Dendam Maya dalam Nota". KOSMO!. 21 June 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Hans Isaac, Maya Karin tidak serasi dalam filem 'Nota'". 10 August 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  16. ^ Emily K. (10 August 2015). "Maya Karin wows guests at luncheon with power-packed performance". The Star Online. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  17. ^ Khadijah Ibrahim (21 February 2011). "Maya temui lelaki idaman". Utusan Malaysia. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Petua Maya Karin hadapi kegawatan hiburan". mSTAR Online. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  19. ^ Aleya Amri (8 March 2017). "Maya Karin Watak Utama Filem Munafik 2". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  20. ^ Nadia Azam (12 March 2017). "Maya Karin bintangi Munafik 2 bukan demi anugerah". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  21. ^ Angelin Yeaoh (16 March 2017). "Maya Karin told to lose weight for Munafik 2". The Star. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  22. ^ "AIM 2002 – Penyanyi popular terus monopoli". Utusan Malaysia. 22 March 2002.
  23. ^ "Maya Karin's 'Bintang Syurga' with Warner Music Malaysia".
  24. ^ Sinar Harian. "Maya Karin kembali, 'Bintang Syurga' jadi taruhan". Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Maya Karin Lancar Album Teka-Teki". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  26. ^ "Maya Karin – Teka-Teki [OFFICIAL VIDEO] – YouTube". WarnerMusicMalaysia. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  27. ^ Mohamad CW. "Pelakon Maya Karin Gementar Untuk Hiburkan Penonton". Suara TV. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  28. ^ Georgie Joseph. "Maya temui rentak". Hraian Metro. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  29. ^ Angelin Yeoh (September 23, 2015). "Maya Karin is the black magic woman in Jwanita". Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  30. ^ "Return of SuperMokh". The Star Online. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  31. ^ Sharifah Arfah (19 September 2014). "Supermokh The Musical — Even better than the last one". The Rakyat Post. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  32. ^ Budiey (15 September 2014). "Meet The Cast of SuperMokh The Musical". Sensasi Selebriti. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  33. ^ "Pasang surut teater". Harian Metro. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  34. ^ "Awie dan Maya Karin lebih romantik". Berita Harian. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  35. ^ Erti Cinta (Media notes). Maya Karin. MIG Records. 2001.
  36. ^ Bukan Qalamaya (Media notes). Maya Karin. MIG Records. 2004.
  37. ^ Kemalia, Othman. "Gementar Di Pentas Buat Maya Karin Tertekan Jadi Penyanyi". mStar Online. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  38. ^ "Tempoh dua tahun Maya Karin". Kosmo!. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  39. ^ Teka-Teki (Media notes). Maya Karin. Warner Music Malaysia. 2014.

External links[edit]