Former Miss Singapore Universe loses fight with colon cancer

14 June 2013 / 3 years 4 months ago

Veteran Malay actress Latifah Omar, a former Miss Singapore Universe who went on to become a leading lady in Malay classic films in the 1950s, died of colon cancer in a hospital in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.She was 74.According to the Malaysian press, she had been suffering from intestinal ulcers and had been warded at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, where she went through an operation to remove her colon 10 days before she died, reported My Paper.She was also suffering from diabetes.Latifah worked with major film studios Malay Film Studio and Cathay Kris Film Studio and acted in more than 20 films.Her best-known films include Bawang Putih Bawang Merah (1959), a movie based on a folktale in which she played a young woman who has to contend with her evil stepsister.She also played the lead role opposite late actor Nordin Ahmad in Laila Majnun (1962), a film based on the Middle Eastern folktale about a pair of lovers.Born Fatimah Omar in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Latifah first came into the spotlight when she was crowned Miss Singapore Universe in 1953.She made her major screen debut the following year at the age of 16 opposite screen legend P. Ramlee and other notable actors such as S. Shamsudin, who died last week, playing the daughter of an island headman in, drama Panggilan Pulau.Her last major film role was in 1973 family drama Hati Batu and she made a brief comeback in a recent drama movie made for television, 50/50, which was filmed late last year. She played an elderly woman whose former fiancee regains consciousness after being in a coma for 50 years.She was given an Anugerah Bintang Legenda (Legendary Star Award) at the 22nd Malaysian Film Festival in 2009. She leaves behind four children and nine grandchildren.She was buried in a Muslim cemetery in Keramat on Monday.Some of her fellow veteran artists who attended the burial to pay their last respects included actor Aziz Sattar, and actresses Maria Menado and Sarimah Ahmad.

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