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    P. Ramlee

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    Teuku Zakaria Teuku Nyak Putih, commonly known as P. Ramlee (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, Brunei and Sumatra, Indonesia.
    P. Ramlee was born in his grandmother's house at 40A Counter Hall in Penang, Malaysia on the first day of the Eid festival, which fell on 22 March 1929. His father, Teuku Nyak Puteh, was a sailor from Lhokseumawe, Aceh and his mother, Che Mah Hussain, was a native of Penang of Kedahan Malay ancestry.

    He attended the Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Melayu Kampung Jawa (Kampung Jawa Malay School) and Francis Light English School. He continued his secondary education at the Penang Free School secondary school until the Second World War broke out. During the period of the Japanese occupation in Malaya, he continued his studies at the Japanese Navy School Kaigun Gakko. When the war ended, he resumed his studies in the Penang Free School and was very active in sports, excelling particularly in badminton, sepak takraw and football.[1]

    In 1947, he won the first place in a singing competition organised by the Penang Radio. Seven years after his acting career started, P. Ramlee directed his first film, Penarek Becha in 1955. In 1957, he appeared in the first of his Bujang Lapok comedic films, where he acted alongside Aziz Sattar and S. Shamsuddin. The Bujang Lapok tetralogy series are still popular among contemporary Malay film audience.[2] During his career he had acted in and directed 66 films and had more than 360 songs to his credit.[3]

    He returned to Kuala Lumpur permanently in 1964 after being with Shaw Brothers in Singapore for a number of years. However, he subsequently suffered a series of setbacks in his career. In the late 1960s, P. Ramlee struggled to find relevance in the face of changing taste in music and entertainment. Television was already drawing audience away from the movie theatres. The younger generation preferred Western pop music and sneered at his sentimental songs and seemingly outdated films. No longer the scrawny youth who could convincingly portray downtrodden romantic heroes, he was now Elvis-fat. He was booed at concerts where he performed. His record company, EMI, cancelled his recording contract and his films had failed to attract financiers.[4] His final film was Laksamana Do Re Mi (1973). His last song, "Air Mata di Kuala Lumpur" (Tears in Kuala Lumpur) was composed in 1973. It was released posthumously in an album bearing the same title. The track was sung by his wife, Saloma, and the lyrics depict his crushed feelings and disappointment upon his return to Malaysia after leaving Singapore.

    P. Ramlee was married three times. His first marriage, to Junaidah Daeng Harris in 1950, ended in a divorce four years later. His second marriage in 1955, to Noorizan Mohd. Noor who a member of the royal family of State of Perak, also ended in divorce in 1961. His last marriage was to Saloma in November 1961 until his death. In addition to his two sons, Mohamad Nasir and Arfan, from his marriage to Junaida Daeng Harris, he also had several adopted children: Sazali P. Ramlee, Safarina bte Mum (also known as Dian P Ramlee), Betty P. Ramlee, Zakiah bte Ahmad Rejab and Sabarudin bin Ramlee. He was also the stepfather to the three children from his spouses' previous marriages, namely, Abdul Rahman (Junaida's son), Norma (Noorizan's daughter) and Armali bin Aman Ramlie (Saloma's son).

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