Pouri Banayi (Persian: پوری بنایی; born on 11 October 1940, Arak, Iran) is an Iranian actress. She acted in more than 85 feature films between 1965 and 1979. During her years of acting before Iranian revolution, she cooperated with directors such as; Mehdi Reisfirooz, Samuel Khachikian, Masoud Kimiai, Farrokh Ghaffari, and Fereidoun Goleh. Her most memorable performances are in Iranian new wave films such as Masoud Kimiai's Qeysar in 1969 and in Fereydun Gole's The Mandrake.
She also acted in some foreign films such as Missile X: The Neutron Bomb Incident directed by Leslie H. Martinson in which she costarred with Peter Graves. In another film directed by Fereydun Gole, named The Moon and a Murmur (1977), she costarred with John Ireland and Mickey Rooney. Jean Negulesco chose her and Behrouz Vosoughi to play the roles of a couple in his last film The Invincible Six (1970). Jun'ya Sato, the Japanese director chose her for the lead actress in his 1973 adaptation of the manga, Golgo 13.
She was born Seddigheh Banayi (in Persian: صدیقه بنایی) in Arak, Iran. She lived there for four years. She has six sisters, Mary who lives in Persia, and Akram (Aki), Ashie, Eshie, Massoumeh and Nassarin who live in California and one brother, Mohammed, in California.
Her first feature film was The Foreign Bride, directed by Nosratollah Vahdat. Pouri didn't have any academic education in acting and because Vahdat was one of her far relatives, he suggested her to act in his film. In 1967 she costarred with Behrouz Vosoughi, famous Iranian actor at the time. They had many cooperations and in 1970 they appeared together in Qeysar, known as one of the major films and a symbol of Iranian new wave. She also costarred with other superstars of the time such as; Mohammad Ali Fardin, Naser Malek Motiee, Manouchehr Vosugh, Iraj Ghaderi, Ali Nasirian, and Parviz Sayyad. Most of the Iranian movies, were dubbed in those days and famous actors and actresses had specific dubbers. Zhaleh Kazemi was Pouri Banayi's dubber. Some of her films like The Mandrake and The Falconet in addition to Qeysar and Ghazal are considered as milestones in performances of before revolution Iranian cinema.
She participated in some foreign and common films during her career which are Leslie H. Martinson's 1987 film, Missile X: The Neutron Bomb Incident; Fereydun Goleh's 1977 film, The Moon and a Murmur which was a United States and Iran common film; Jean Negulesco's last film, The Invincible Six in 1970; Jun'ya Satō's 1970 adaptation of Golgo 13 which was a common production of Iran and Japan, and some Turkish films such as Ah bu gençlik (Oh, youth), Tek basina (Loneliness) and Tövbekar (The Regretful).
Many Iranian actors and actresses had to leave Iran after the 1979 revolution. Although Pouri Banayi was called to the infamous Evin Prison for questioning, she decided to stay in Iran but only appeared as an extra in one feature film after the revolution.
She was engaged to Behrouz Vosughi, but they didn't officially get married and Vosughi married Googoosh, Iranian singer and actress. Pouri's sister is Aki Banayi (Akram Banayi) . She is a singer and lives in Los Angeles.