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17 August 1942 (75 years)
Dhaka, Bengal Presidency, British India
|Spouse(s)||Robin Ghosh (m. 1964; his death 2016)|
Jharna Basak, known by the stage name Shabnam (born 17 August 1942) is a Bangladeshi and former Pakistani stage and film actress. Actor Waheed Murad introduced her to the Pakistani film industry by offering her a lead role in his film Samundar in 1968. Shabnam remained active in Lollywood in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. She has been nominated for Nigar awards several times, winning it 13 times (the most for an actress). She has appeared in over 180 films. She was the number one actress in the Pakistan film industry for 28 years.
Shabnam was born on 17 August 1942 in Dhaka, in the erstwhile British India in a Bengali Hindu family. Her father was Nani Basak, a football referee from Dhaka. As a young girl, she was more adventurous and tomboyish in nature in comparison to her sister, who was into singing. She would still practice dance moves. Shabnam was offered a role in a movie as a supporting dancer, thus beginning her career in arts.
Shabnam began her career when her father got her admitted into the Bulbul Lalitakala Academy. A close friend of her father got her a role in a dance sequence in the movie "Ei Desh Tomar Amar". Her next role was as a dancer in the movie "Rajdhanir Bukey". When the song became a hit, the audience requested that Shabnam be cast as a lead actress. That was when she starred in her Bengali debut film as a heroine, "Harano Din".
She moved to West Pakistan after the director Ehtesham cast her in his Urdu movie "Chanda" in the erstwhile West Pakistan. Since Shabnam's Urdu wasn't that proficient at that point in time, the rehearsals were scripted in Bengali. The music of this film was composed by her husband Robin Ghosh.The film turned out to be a hit, starting Shabnam's career in the top ranks of the Pakistan film industry.
After starring in dozens of super-hit films, Shabnam became the number one reigning actress in Pakistan by the early 1970s. She retained that position until the mid-1980's, when she slowly started to retire. She is considered to probably be the only film actress in the world to have continuously and successfully played the romantic lead in films for almost three decades, from the early 1960s to the late 1980s.
After the Bangladesh Liberation War had ended, Shabnam wanted to visit her native homeland. It took her two years to get the "No Objection Certificate" which was required for her to get a Bangladeshi visa. It was later revealed that Lollywood had requested the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan to not give her a visa, as they feared she would not return from Bangladesh. Nevertheless, Shabnam reassured her fans and colleagues that she would not abandon Pakistan, and would be back after visiting her parents. Only then did the Foreign Ministry let her leave Pakistan, making sure their most popular actress would not leave. Around 1988, she switched on to character acting and was again doing films in her native Dhaka and Lahore. Shabnam left Pakistan and its film industry in the late 1990s. She gracefully retired and moved to Bangladesh in 1997. According to her, she retired because of her age, and her duty to look after her parents, as they were entering their last years. Shabnam planned on retiring after her super-hit blockbuster film Aaina. But because of the overwhelming number of fans and offers she had in Pakistan, it took her 10 years to finish her last films, and then enter retirement.
After returning to Dhaka and taking a break for 2 years, Shabnam lastly performed in movie 'Ammajan,’ directed by Kazi Hayat. She performed in that movie in the central role and it was released in 1999. The film went on to be a super-hit and one of the most successful movies in Bangladeshi film history.
In 2012 she visited Pakistan along with her husband after 13 years, where they were awarded lifetime achievement award by the Pakistani government. The award ceremony was organized by PTV. The function was hosted by prominent actress and television presenter Bushra Ansari. The function included live interviews of Shabnam and her husband, along with famous singers and co-artists of the duo. Many of Shabnam's and Robin Ghosh's songs were performed on stage by young Pakistani artists. The show was attended by top members of the Pakistani community, most notably the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousaf Raza Gillani.
In mid-2017, Shabnam announced that she would be returning to the Pakistan film industry in mid-2018 with her new T.V series, "Mohini Mansion ki Cinderella". The series will aired on Bol Entertainment and will be directed by Ali Tahir. The music will be composed by Sahir Ali Bagga.
Farooq Bandial is a local politician belonging to a political family, which has always contested the elections independently. He hails from Punjab's Khushab district. Bhandial along with other four men committed "armed dacoity" at the house of Shabnam in Gulberg area of Lahore in 1979. A Special Military Court handed Bandial and four other men death sentences for committing “armed dacoity". The accused were later commuted by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq after Robin Ghosh and Shabnam granted them a pardon, and it was later changed to a life sentence. Farooq Bhandial recently joined Imran Khan's PTI, but was expelled the same day after news of his involvement in the dacoity re-surfaced.
Shabnam got married to the famous music composter Robin Ghosh in 1966. Together they had one son; Ronnie Ghosh. Robin Ghosh died on 13 February 2016 in Dhaka, due to respiratory failures. In a special interview, she described him as loving, caring and very understanding and never interfered in her film life, and never asked questions when she came home late from work. After retirement from the film industry, she used take care of her parents and her husband, until their deaths. She now leads a retired life as a housewife, in Dhaka.
Shabnam worked in total 160 films, including 152 Urdu films, 14 Bengali and 4 Punjabi films. 3 of her films never released include: Gharonda, Bunjarun and Itna Pyar Kon Karay. Her debut film was a Bengali film. Her first Urdu film, Chanda was filmed in Bangladesh.
|Preet Na Jane Reet|
|1968||Jahan Tum Wahan Hum|
|Main Zinda Hun|
|Tum Mere Ho|
|Naseeb Apna Apna|
|Qasm Us Waqt Ki|
|1970||Chalo Maan Gaye|
|Jaley Na Kyun Parwana|
|Shama Aur Parwana|
|Charagh Kahan Roshni Kahan|
|Rootha Na Karo|
|Mann Ki Jeet|
|Badal Aur Bijli|
|Naam Ke Nawab|
|1974||Aina Aur Soorat|
|Main Bani Dulhan|
|Sawan Aya Tum Nahin Aye|
|Badal Gaya Insaan|
|Farz Aur Mamta|
|Daman Ki Aag|
|Mom Ki Guria|
|Aaj Aur Kall|
|Uff Yeh Bivian|
|1978||Abhi To Mein Jawan Hun|
|Ankhon Ankhon Mein|
|Nahin Abhi Nahin|
|Kiran Aur Kali|
|1982||Biwi Ho To Aisi|
|I Love You|
|Zara Si Baat|
|Kabhi Alwida Na Kehna|
|Maang Meri Bhar Do|
|Aaj Ki Raat|
|1984||Aisa Bhi Hota Hai|
|Andhi Aur Toofan|
|Naam Mera Badnam|
|Shadi Magar Adhi|
|Tere Ghar Ke Samne|
|Shadi Mere Shohar Ki|
|Love in Nepal|
|Saas Meri Saheli|
|Teri Banhon Mein|
|1994||Rani Beti Raj Karegi|
|1997||Aulad Ki Qasam|
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- The biggest star you’ve never heard of
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