Exuding charm and grace, Cambodian actress Dy Saveth
It was my first proper meeting with legendary actress Dy Saveth
at the Chinese House last night and she proved to be delightful company, fluent in English, French, Chinese, Thai and of course her native tongue, Khmer. She exudes calm and grace, with a lovely touch of wit and I might just take her up on her offer to teach me to dance. She is of course one of Cambodia's most famous faces, dubbed
the Cambodian Bridgette Bardot in her heyday and who in her mid-sixties, has lost none of her vivacity and sparkle. These days, she's a professor of fine arts at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and is sharing the secret of her acting success with Cambodia's next generation. Perhaps her most famous film role was as the Snake Girl in the 1970 adaptation of a Khmer folk tale, Pous Keng Kang, though she starred in a great many films, more than 100, including Crepuscule (Twilight), in 1969, a film directed by and starring Norodom Sihanouk and his wife Monique. Known to all of Cambodia's cinema-goers in the '60s and '70s, she managed to escape from the turmoil of Phnom Penh in 1975 and settled in France, one of the very few actors to survive the genocidal rule of the Khmer Rouge. She'd begun acting in 1960, when she won Cambodia's first beauty pageant, and shows no signs of quitting, either acting or singing.
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