10 Cambodian Actresses You Should Know

| © Master Tux/ pixabay.com

Cambodia’s film industry was thriving during the 1950s and ’60s – dubbed the Golden Age. However, as with all of the country’s art forms, it was almost destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime of 1975 to 1979. Recent years have seen huge efforts ploughed into reviving the Kingdom’s film industry. Here are 10 Cambodian actresses of past and present that you should know.

Dy Saveth

Considered a national treasure, Dy Saveth is one of Cambodia’s most beloved actresses from the Golden Age. She is also one of a handful to escape execution during the Khmer Rouge-era, having fled to France. In 1959, she was crowned Miss Cambodia and went on to star in a string of movies, including late King Norodom Sihanouk’s Twilight (1969), Bopha Angkor (1972) and Snake Girl (1974). She returned to Cambodia in 1993 and played traumatised mother and former famous actress Sothea in the award-winning The Last Reel.

Virak Dara

As another surviving actress from the Golden Age, Virak Dara made a name for herself for her portrayal of Kong Rey in Puthisean Neang Kong Rey in 1967 it remains Cambodia’s biggest movie to date. She is also known for playing Orn in the 1971 smash hit An Euil Srey An. Three of her films never made it to the screen, destroyed by the Khmer Rouge before being released. She fled Cambodia for France in 1977 with her husband.

Vichara Dany

Vichara Dany was one of many actresses to die under the Khmer Rouge regime. Making her acting debut in 1967, she starred in a string of smash hit films, including Thavory Meas Bing, Tep Sodachan and Sovann Pancha during the Golden Age. In her seven-year career, she was featured in more than 100 films. It is unknown how she died, but it is believed she became a victim of the Khmer Rouge shortly after they seized power of the country in 1975.

Sveng Socheata

Sveng Socheata rose to international fame after starring as Loung Ung’s mother in Angelina Jolie’s Netflix hit, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, which was released in September 2017. The 38-year-old actress also stars in Amit Dubey’s psychological thriller Mind Cage, in which she plays the tormented wife of a psychiatrist. Sveng also features in Hex, a 2018 horror movie.

Denny Kwan

Controversial Cambodian actress Denny Kwan made international headlines in April 2017 after being slapped with a one-year ban from working in the entertainment industry by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. The young musician and actress had been hauled before a board of officials a year earlier to be “educated” about her sexy style – a warning she refused to heed. She pledged to tone down her dress, but we’re not so sure how that’s going.


Lida Duch

Lida Duch started her path to acting after applying for Cambodian beauty pageant Spy Super Model. While she didn’t quite win, the TV show provided her with a platform to shine, and she was quickly snapped up on the film circuit. She made her successful debut in the 2015 action film Sbaek Kong and went on to scoop the best actress gong at the 2017 Cambodian International Film Festival. She has made a name for herself by playing strong female characters who defy traditional norms in Cambodia.


Bérénice Marlohe

Bérénice Marlohe first shot to fame when she was cast as the 23rd Bond Girl in the 2012 James Bond outing Skyfall, starring alongside Daniel Craig. Half Cambodian, half French, the actress went on to star in 5 to 7, Revolt and the 2017 remake of Twin Peaks. She was born in Paris to a French mother and Cambodian father.

Keo Pich Pisey

Keo Pich Pisey is an actress, model and former dancer who is renowned for her performance as San Chhay in the F4 Cambodian film series. She holds the title of one of Cambodian’s most famous modern-day actresses, starring in Tokchet Ovpuk, Ath Bey, Kong Kam Kong Keo, Ros Cheat Chivith, Domnok Cheam Chong Krouy, Samoth Tok Sap, and recently Pka Thkol Sor and Sromol Krom Pnek.


Elodie Yung

Elodie Yung is French actress with a Cambodian father who has also taken Hollywood by storm. She starred in District 13: Ultimatum and featured in The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and most recently The Hitman’s Bodyguard. She was appointed patron of the 2018 Cambodian International Film Festival held in early 2018.

Pisith Pilika

This Cambodian ballet dancer and actress starred in hundreds of films and thousands of karaoke videos throughout the 1980s and 1990s, making her a much-loved household name. Her life was cut bitterly short when she was gunned down at Phnom Penh’s Orussey Market in 1999 at the age of 34 in one of the country’s most high-profile killings of recent times.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.