So you too might have the idea that Elnaaz Norouzi from Maan Jao Na is the first female actor from outside the Indian subcontinent to have worked in a Pakistani film? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. Before Norouzi, seven stunning International divas that were not Indian or Bangladeshi have featured in Pakistani films.
Intrigued to find who they were or are? Well, read on.
This stunning vintage beauty from our neighbor Iran set the screen on fire on multiple occasions throughout the 60s and 70s. From Sukh Ka Sapna to Kala Pani, Daaman to Karwaan, Sagar to Qabeela, Jan Pehchan to Sajda, Aag to Love in Jungle and Love In Europe to Jane Bond 008: Operation Karachi & Mr. 303, Tarana played significant roles in some of the top films of those times. Sometimes she would play the villain, sometimes the girl who didn’t get the man and mostly the dancer who would melt your hearts with her crazy dance skills. She went back to her home nation Iran in the 70s when the standard of filmmaking started going down in Pakistan.’
Actor/director Mohsin Shirazi turned producer with Jan Pehchan where he enjoyed the of Mohammad Ali as an actor and Sohail Rana as a music director. However, the film’s main woman was an Iranian sensation named Shahpara who not only stole everyones hearts but also helped the film gained nationwide fame. Unfortunately, Shahpara wasn’t able to continue her career in Pakistan and her departure was as big a loss for Lollywood lovers. The main reason behind her departure was rumored to be Mohammad Ali choosing to marry Zeba.
Sabeeta (Sri Lanka)
Not a lot of people might be able to recall her, but our elders would remember a gorgeous Sri Lankan beauty giving tough competition to Pakistani stars Shabnam and Babra Sharif in the 80s. Not only was Sabeeta stunning with her looks, she was a fine actress as well. She tore the house down in Bobby where she played two sides of the coin – soft as well as hard.
Rakhshanda Khattak (Burma)
Although she her father was Pakistani, Rakshanda Khattak inherited her gorgeous looks from her Burmese mother and went onto make a name for herself in the field of modelling. However, when she starred in Jane Bond 008: Operation Karachi – Pakistan’s first and only joint venture with Iran – her staggering looks and sense of style sent the audience into a state of frenzy. She walked out of the industry soon after and settled in Canada. Rakhshanda unexpectedly passed away in 2011. RIP.
Nazan Sanchi (Turkey)
Turkish actress Nazan Sanchi was a well known name back in her home country when she was offered work in the Pakistan Film Industry. With stunning looks and acting skills, Nazan quickly adapted to Pakistani culture and made a name for herself with hits like Hulchul, Badla, Talash and Manila Ki Bijliyan, mainly working opposite Jawed Sheikh and Nadeem. She also later became the brand ambassador for a leading drama serial and dominated the 80s before heading back to her home country.
Diana Christina (Indonesia)
Nazrul Islam’s Bandish is known for three things – the unforgettable couple of Nadeem – Shabnam, the soundtrack and Diana Christina the scintillating Indonesian actress who played Nadeem’s second wife in the movie. Although her dressing was according to the Indonesian culture, people in Pakistan found it revealing but thats what we expect from the narrow-minded society we live in. Those who have know and have seen the film haven’t forgotten Diana and never will.
Wiam Dahmani (Morocco)
Wiam Dahmani featured in Shehzad Rafique’s Ishq Khuda in a main role and later as a dancer in Hotal but whenever she showed up on screen, the audience’s eyes were forced to look at her. Yes, that explains how Wiam Dahmani looked like. She is not only a great actress back home but also a successful singer and a presenter and we hope that she will be back in Pakistan one day to act in more projects.
Madeleine Hanna (Scotland)
Dance Kahani was a film that narrated the life of Nuzhat (Madeleine Hanna) who visits Pakistan with her parents and makes it her home through her dancing skills The Scottish ballet who was also a contemporary dancer did not speak much Urdu in the film however it was her reaction to her fellow actors that made her performance noteworthy. As far as her dancing skills were concerned, it took the Pakistani audience by storm.