Shabnam (Jharna Basak, born August 17, 1942) is a Bangladeshi-Pakistani stage and film actress. In 1968, actor Waheed Murad introduced her to the Pakistani film industry by offering her a main part in his production Samundar. There was plenty of activity in the Lollywood film industry in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s. She has been nominated for Nigar awards numerous times and won it 13 times (the most for an actress). She has appeared in over 149 films throughout her career. For 28 years, she was a prominent female actor in Pakistan’s film
Jharna moved from East Pakistan to West Pakistan in 1968 and remained there until the late 1990s, after which she returned to her native Bangladesh.
Jharna was born on August 17, in Dhaka, formerly the British Raj, to a Bengali Hindu family. Her father was Nani Basak, a football referee from Dhaka. In comparison to her sister, who specialized in song, she was more daring and tomboyish as a youngster. She would still go through dance routines. Jharna was cast in a film as a background dancer, which began her professional career in the performing arts.
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- Chanda was one of the many films in which Jharna’s beauty and talent were recognized. When her father got her admitted into the Bulbul Lalitakala Academy, she began her career as a go-go dancer. In “Ei Desh Tomar Amar,” there was a dance sequence for which she was given a part.
- Her next major part was in the film “Rajdhanir Bukey,” in which she performed as a dancer. The public requested that Jharna be given a leading role after the song became popular. That was when she made her debut as a heroine in Harano Din, her first Bengali feature film.
- After the director Ehtesham cast Jharna in his Urdu movie Chanda, she relocated to Pakistan’s West Wing. Because Jharna’s Urdu wasn’t very good at that time, the rehearsals were scripted in Bengali. Robin Ghosh composed the music for this movie. The film became a success, launching her career in Pakistan’s film industry at the top.