Meena Kumari ruled celluloid until her death on March 30, 1972. Iconic actress of the Golden era, Meera Kumar had an illustrious career in Hindi cinema and is considered one of the tallest stars of the Indian cinema, even now.
No actress has acquired the kind of acclaim she did, whether it was at the peak of her career, post her death, or even at the very beginning with her first hit movie, Baiju Bawra. She has been called ‘historically incomparable’ and ‘an actress of the highest caliber’.
On her death anniversary, let’s look aat her journey from a child artist to a Bollywood legend
Meena Kumari was born Mahjabeen Bano on August 1, 1933 in Mumbai.
Because of her strikingly good looks, Meena Kumari started working at the age of 4, to help support her family. She became a common face at various studios. She debuted as a four year-old child actor. She played the daughter of Jairaj Singh in the movie.
In the course of 33 years, Kumari acted in over 90 movies. Her famous films include Perineeta, Dil aur Khwaab, Pakeezah.
While shooting the drowning scene for film Baiju Bawra, Kumari almost drowned. Although she was ultimately rescued, shooting paused for a bit. We think that the near-death experience was probably worth it, because the movie catapulted the actress to stardom and won her the inaugural Best Actress Filmfare Award in 1954.
An excellent poetess, she was well versed in Urdu and Hindi. Kumari is remembered by her pseudonym ‘Naaz’.
In 1968, the actress was diagnosed with Liver Cirrhosis. Despite deteriorating health, she completed her last film ‘Pakeezah’ with perfection. Within three weeks of movie release, 38-year-old Kumari died on March 31, 1972.