In the annals of Bangla cinema she was at one time "Champa", the lone sister of seven brothers, and then in another avatar she was "Kiran Mala", entering the dreams of a generation of film lovers.
That "mishti meye" (sweet girl) of Bangla cinema, legendary actor Sarah Begum Kabori who traversed myriad peaks and troughs in her 70 years of life, finally succumbed to Covid-19 early today.
In her own words, "Sritituku Thaak" (let the memory remain), and devoted fans will be cherishing those memories for years to come.
Kabori was on life support and passed away at 12:20am at the capital's Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute & Hospital.
The news was confirmed by Zayed Khan, General Secretary of Bangladesh Cholochitro Shilpi Samity.
The National Award-winning actor had recently tested positive for Covid-19. Initially, she was admitted to the capital's Kurmitola General Hospital.
Later, she was shifted to the ICU in Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute & Hospital, as her condition deteriorated.
Kabori is survived by her five sons.
Before the nation's independence, when Urdu films had a hold on the audience, she entered the fray at the age of 13 in Subhash Dutta directorial "Sutorang", and soon, even before independence, she had become the most popular actor in Bangla cinema.
It was not that she confined herself to the four walls of the silver screen. She took part in the Liberation War, put on the director's hat, wrote songs for films and also became a member of parliament.
As a writer, she has penned her autobiography titled "Sritituku Thaak". It was a fulfilling life by any standards, yet her passing will leave holes in the hearts of so many.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep grief and sorrow over Kabori's death. The prime minister prayed for her departed soul and conveyed deepest condolences to the bereaved family members.
Born in Chattogram, Kabori started acting professionally at the age of thirteen, when she starred in "Sutorang".
She acted in numerous films throughout the 70's and 80's, notably "Sujon Sokhi" and "Sareng Bou" with Farooque. In the 1970s, the duo of Razzak and Kabori became a household name.
She also performed with Bulbul Ahmed in "Devdas", which brought her critical acclaim. "Titash Ekti Nadir Naam", directed by Indian filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak, was also praised, as was her role in Urdu film "Bahana", directed by Zahir Raihan.
Her other notable films are "Shat Bhai Champa", "Arun Varun Kiran Mala" and "Lalon Fokir", among countless others.
Throughout her illustrious career, Kabori shared the screen with actors like Razzak, Alamgir, Sohel Rana, Ujjal, Wasim, Khan Ataur Rahman, Golam Mustafa, Anwar Hossain and ATM Shamsuzzaman.
The actress authored a book titled "Sritituku Thaak" in 2017. She also actively participated in the Liberation War, donating blood to help freedom fighters.
Her stance, however, put her in danger, for which she had to later flee the country.
However, she met many artists, teachers and journalists throughout her journey. She also met many prominent writers and directors after she had fled to India, and even worked on a film, "Joy Bangladesh", in Mumbai.
Kabori joined Awami League and became a member of parliament from a constituency of Narayanganj in 2008. She was also involved with several socio-cultural organisations.