Bangladesh has nurtured many talented actresses who have become superstars through their acting skills, beauty, and charismatic charm. Selecting the top 10 is challenging considering the numerous excellent artists who have graced the screens. However, here is my list of the leading ladies of Bangladeshi cinema:
Top 10 Bangladeshi Actresses [Detail]
Shabana is undisputedly the most iconic actress in Bangladeshi film history. Emerging in the 1960s, her beauty and acting talent made her the nation’s first superstar heroine. She delivered countless hits playing a dazzling array of roles – from tomboyish characters in action films to glamorous roles in musical romantic movies.
Some of her most memorable performances came in films like Jibon Theke Neya, Tansen, Anarkoli, Surya Snan. Acting opposite early legends like Rahman and Khan, Shabana’s popularity transformed the fledgling Dhallywood industry. She equaled top heroes in box office pull, becoming Bangladesh cinema’s first female superstar.
Shabana won numerous awards as Best Actress. She continues to be the touchstone for all following movie queens in Bangladesh. Her astronomical success and contributions are unparalleled.
READ MORE – Top 10 Bangladeshi Actors [Detail]
2. Kabori Sarwar
Kabori Sarwar is one of the most outstanding actresses of Bangladeshi cinema who delivered an array of astonishing performances starting from the 1960s onwards. She shot to fame with her role in the classic film Tanha (1967) and never looked back.
Some of her career-defining roles were in critically acclaimed movies like Nil Akasher Niche, Palangkar, Surjo Dighal Bari, Sareng Bou. Known for her versatility, Kabori excelled in diverse roles – comic, tragic, romantic and strong characters. She holds the records for most BFJA Best Actress awards.
Kabori acted opposite all the top actors, forming successful on-screen pairs and delivering many hits. With her grace, gravitas and flawless acting skills, Kabori represented the best of Bangladeshi cinema’s artistic core. She was awarded Ekushey Padak in 2018.
A luminous screen beauty, Suchanda was the most successful commercial actress of 1960s Bangladesh. She shared screen space with popular hero Amin Khan in countless light-hearted romantic musicals that drew youth audiences in hordes.
Suchanda started her film career with a small role in film Kanchar Darakhshan in 1963. Her next films Chand Tara and Kaise Kahun opposite Amin established the most popular romantic pair of that era.
Suchanda and Amin’s jodi was box office magic with hits like Rajdhanir Buke, Chhuti, Station Master, Jibon Kahini, Mukh-O-Mukhosh. With her vivacious charm and natural acting, Suchanda was the top box office draw along with her co-star Amin Khan. Though she quit movies after marrying Khan, Suchanda remains an iconic star.
For nearly two decades since the 1980s, Shabnur monopolized the film industry as the undisputed number one heroine of Bangladeshi cinema. Audiences loved her sizzling dance performances and lively, emotive acting in hits like Chadni, Sundori, Dahan, Chhutir Ghonta, Bohubrihi.
Shabnur formed successful screen pairs with co-stars like Bulbul Ahmed and Salman Shah, delivering countless commercial hits. At her peak in the 80s and 90s, most major films had to star Shabnur or risk failing at the box office due to her enormous popularity. She garnered numerous Best Actress awards nationally and internationally.
Off-screen, Shabnur’s much publicized personal life furthered her glamorous, sensational image. Although she has reduced her workload lately, Shabnur’s domination as Bangladesh cinema’s first modern superstar heroine remains untouched.
For well over two decades, Moushumi has enjoyed a position as one of Bangladeshi cinema’s top leading ladies. She started modelling and acting in TV plays in the 1980s before debuting in her first film Protikkha in 1986.
Moushumi attained stardom in the late 80s to 90s with blockbusters like Bhat De, Chhutir Ghonta, Gharer Bou, Badhon. She formed a popular pair with actor Salman Shah. Moushumi smoothly transitioned to mature roles in numerous hits over the 2000s co-starring with younger heroes.
Equally popular off-screen, Moushumi’s glamorous sensual image adds to her box office viability. She has received several awards as Best Actress. Now entering her fourth decade in cinema, Moushumi’s longevity, professionalism and acting calibre makes her a Bangladeshi screen queen.
Purnima is one of the most versatile actresses in the history of Bangladeshi cinema. Though not a mainstream heroine, her powerful performances in artistic films have garnered high critical praise.
Debuting in the late 1960s, Purnima acted in acclaimed movies like Nil Akasher Niche, Jibon Theke Neya, Titash Ekti Nadir Naam. She was renowned for her natural acting style and her dedication to promoting meaningful cinema.
Purnima preferred acting in serious, socially relevant films working with respected directors like Zahir Raihan and Alamgir Kabir. Her role in Ritwik Ghatak’s classic Meghe Dhaka Tara is considered one of the finest performances in Bangladeshi film history.
Bobita is a legendary actress of Bangladeshi cinema from its pioneer days. Starting with her debut in 1967 through the 1970s, Bobita was one of the top commercially successful heroines. With her girl-next-door beauty and bubbly charm, she gave many hits paired with actors like Faruk, Alamgir and Bulbul Ahmed.
Some of her landmark movies proving her box office pull include Jibon Theke Neya, Shurjo Shadona, Mukh-o-Mukhosh, Rupali Shasya and Rajlokkhi Srikanto. Bobita won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in Shurjo Shadona in 1972.
Bobita chose to quit acting at the peak of her fame after marrying popular actor Bulbul Ahmed. Nevertheless, her youthful vivacity in early mainstream Bangladeshi films remains nostalgic.
Shuchanda was the most sought after box office actress for much of the 1960s in East Pakistan’s film industry. Beautiful and naturally gifted, she formed immensely successful romantic pairs on-screen with actor Amin Khan and later with Faruk Ahmed.
Films like Kaise Kahun, Rajdhanir Buke, Station Master showcased her effortless chemistry with Amin Khan, making them the first iconic star pair of Dhallywood. Later, she delivered many silver jubilee hits with Faruk as her costar such as Dorpochurno, Manima, Shap Mochan, E Desh Tomar Amar.
Shuchanda received many awards as Best Actress including Pakistan’s prestigious Nigar Award. She retired from films after her marriage to Faruk Ahmed to focus on her family life. But her luminous charm in early Bangladeshi cinema remains timeless.
9. Apu Biswas
One of the most popular actresses in 2000s Bangladeshi cinema, Apu Biswas has successfully carried on the glamorous sex symbol image of stars like Shabnur from the previous era. With her voluptuous figure, dance talent and media savvy, Apu rose to stardom with mega hits like Shasti, Bachelor, Hero Love Story, Koti Takar Kabin etc.
Critics may dismiss her acting talent, but Apu’s star power and box office viability in commercial masala movies is undeniable. She forms successful on-screen pairs with current top actors Shakib Khan, Bappy Chowdhury and Ananta Jalil among others. Apu’s career suffered a slump following controversies but she remains in demand.
Off-screen, Apu’s uninhibited persona and openness about her sensuality has garnered her huge publicity – both positive and negative. But her meteoric success story reflects young Bangladeshi moviegoers’ evolving taste and the enduring appeal of the hot, glamorous heroine.
10. Azmeri Haque Badhon
A hugely versatile actress, Badhon came into prominence in the 1980s and has remained a powerful performer on screens through succeeding decades. Some of her memorable serious roles have been in artistic films like Emiler Goenda Bahini, Chhutir Ghonta, ShakkhiShonshar.
Equally popular in mainstream commercial movies, Badhon has given many hits like Priya Tumi Shunchho, Tomakei Chai, Prem Rog, Koti Takar Kabin etc. Her on-screen chemistry with co-stars like Salman and Shakib Khan has delighted audiences.
Badhon’s unmatched acting range allows her to perfectly fit intense artistic roles as well as bubbly romantic heroines in potboiler masala films. She holds the record for most Meril-Prothom Alo Awards as Best Actress. Recently she delivered acclaimed performances in megahit TV dramas as well. Her longevity, talent and reinvention sustains Badhon’s stardom across decades.
Answers to Common Google Searches on Top Bangladeshi Actresses
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions on Google about top Bangladeshi actresses:
Who is the No 1 actress in Bangladesh?
- Based on acting calibre, awards, box office success and longevity, Moushumi can be regarded as the number 1 actress in Bangladesh presently.
Who is the most beautiful actress in Bangladesh?
- With their grace, glamour and good looks, Bidya Sinha Mim, Airin Sultana, Sabnam Faria are considered the most beautiful current actresses.
Who is the highest paid actress in Bangladesh?
- Among the present generation actors, Shabnur Rahman Bobby likely receives the highest payment due to her enduring box office appeal.
Who is the richest actress in Bangladesh?
- As per available data, the highest net worth among Bangladeshi film actresses is held by Shabnur Rahman Bobby, approximating Tk 50 crore.
Who is World No 1 actress in Bangladesh?
- No Bangladeshi actress has yet achieved worldwide fame so far. But globally, Kabori and Shabana are recognised as the finest actresses and trailblazers of Bangladeshi cinema.
In summary, this is my selection of the top 10 actresses who have left their mark on Bangladesh’s movie history – Shabana, Kabori Sarwar, Suchanda, Shabnur, Moushumi, Catherine Masud, Bobita, Shuchanda, Apu Biswas and Azmeri Haque Badhon. Their combination of acting excellence, mass popularity and contributions to film culture makes them the leading ladies of Bangladeshi cinema over the decades. Actresses continue to take on increasingly diverse roles on screens, and new talents like Bidya Sinha Mim are now rising. The accomplishments of these legendary screen queens will keep inspiring future generations of performers in Bangladesh’s film industry.