An Intriguing Lady

Who Is Saloma?

Who is this intriguing lady named Saloma? She who captured the hearts of Malaysia’s foremost musician-actor, P.Ramlee, and millions who had the pleasure of watching her sing live or emote on the silver screen some three or four decades ago ?

Salmah Ismail was born on 23 January 1935 in Singapore. Some believed that her stage name SALOMA was given to her Run Run Shaw of Shaw Bros when the film Salome which starred Rita Hayworth hit the Box Office. While others said it was coined by the ‘love of her life’ husband, P.Ramlee.

As a child, she had dreams of becoming a big ‘star’ and it was no surprise that she was already a household name and a ‘little singing sensation’ at weddings, festive and family events barely at the age of 13.

‘I Am In The Mood For Love’, ‘Once In A While’ were among the first English numbers she learnt. With that, she broke into nightclub circuit. Her acclaimed crystal clear and melodious voice captived and mesmerised those who came far and wide to watch her perform. Soon after, offers to act came by and like the saying goes… the rest was history.

Charming, attractive and tinged with a look of innonence, she acted in numerous films and played lead roles which featured her prominent singing ability. Along with her husband, Saloma was a lead member of Panca Sitara Group. She also sung with the Kalung Senandung Group at Radio Singapura.

In 1961 Saloma married fellow actor P.Ramlee, an affable man of many talents. Adored by all, the country’s very own ‘screen couple’ was a household name. Thair movies were all ‘sold-outs’ and each a must-see and certainly ‘not to be missed’.

Puan Sri Saloma passing at a young age of 48 on 25 april 1983 left the nation with profound sadness and an end to a era of screen romance. Till today, her movies and those acted along with Tan Sri P.Ramlee are classics and are still screened for the enjoyment of many… It’s what legends are made of.


1975: Awarded the Ahli Mangku Negara ( AMN )
1979: Biduanita Negara ( National Celebrity Award )

SONGS: Bila Larut Malam / Tiru Macam Saya / Dimanakan Ku Cari Ganti / Burung Pungguk / Perwira / Gelora

MOVIES: Seniman Bujang Lapok / Ragam P.Ramlee / Si Tanggang / Sabarudin Tukang Kasut / Ahmad Albab