Meena Kumari’s 86th Birth Anniversary, Here Are Haunting Melodies of Bollywood’s Tragedy Queen, Meena Kumari who was born in August 1933, was one of the most beloved actresses of Hindi cinema. On the occasion of her 85th birth anniversary, check out some rare facts about the actress.
It is not very often that an actor becomes so iconic that an entire genre gets dedicated to her. Veteran actor Meena Kumari was one of those actors, branded as the Tragedy Queen of India, who established that there was nobody who could take on drama as well as she did.
Legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray once described Kumari as “undoubtedly an actress of the highest calibre”, actors like Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar were said to have been nervous on sets doing their scenes with her. She started her career in Indian films as a child actor and in a span of 33 years, the actor appeared in more than 90 films.
Her first lead role came in 1946 with the film Bachchon Ka Khel but it was 1952’s Baiju Bawra that turned her into a star.
1962’s Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam had her playing the now iconic role of Chhoti Bahu. Meena Kumari’s performance in this film is still regarded as one of Hindi cinema’s best performances till date.
She later returned back to Mumbai in August same year and resumed her work. Despite her deteriorating health, she completed her last film Pakeezah with perfection. Meena Kumari left her mortal body at the age of 38, three weeks after the release of Pakeezah. She posthumously received her twelfth and last Filmfare nomination for the film.
Married to filmmaker Kamal Amrohi, Meena Kumari won the hearts of the audience in no time. However, her marriage had hit rock bottom that left her shattered. It was June 1968, when the actress was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and had to fly to London and Switzerland to get her treatment done.