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.
Meena Kumari was a part of many great films including Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Aarti, Kaajal, Parineeta, Baiju Bawra, Pakeezah and many more. Her ability to describe the struggles and strengths of the Indian woman during the 50 and 60s made her one of the most respected actors of that time. Meena Kumari was also known for her unique features, her fresh set of features and on-screen expressions gave her the nickname of Chinese Doll. Speaking of titles, she was also called the female Guru Dutt because of her collaborations with the actor in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, and Saanjh Aur Savera. Out of the many commendable achievements of her life, one of the most important ones was when she was the only one nominated for the Best Actress category in the 1963 Filmfare Awards. The actor was nominated for her work in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Main Chup Rahungi and Aarti.
Check out a still from the award night below:
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In 1963 Filmfare Awards, Meena Kumari created record being the only actress nominated for 'Sahib Biwi Ghulam', 'Main Chup Rahungi' & 'Aarti' . Ashok Kumar, best actor for ‘Rakhi’ and Shashikala best supporting actress for ‘Aarti’ #MeenaKumari #AshokKumar #Shashikala #filmfareawards #bollywoodactresses #hindimovies #hindifilms #indiancinemahindicinema #films #cinema # #bollywood #hindisongs #movies #instabollywood #instamelody #vintage #retro #bollywoodflashback #Bombay #Mumbai #bollywoodactress #bollywoodactor #bollywoodmusic #bollywoodsongs #India
The actor had won the Best Actress Awards at the first and second Filmfare Awards for Baiju Bawra and Parineeta respectively. The actor was also a delegate at the 1963 Oscars where Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam was India's official entry.
The actor was married to Kamal Amrohi, the filmmaker who made Pakeezah, which Kumari shot despite her deteriorating health. The actor died on March 31, 1993, due to liver cirrhosis, three weeks after the release of Pakeezah. She also received a posthumous Filmfare nomination for the film the next year.Read More