Meena Kumari was an extremely talented and popular actress in the Indian film industry. Renowned for playing intensely tragic roles in most of the movies, Meena Kumari is recognized as the ‘Tragedy Queen’ of Indian cinema.
With a film acting career spanning well over 30 years, Meena Kumari was also known for being a talented poet and singer. Meena Kumari has starred in over 93 films in the Indian film industry.
Having a tragic life herself, Meena Kumari is considered to be the best actress to have ever graced Indian cinema, according to legendary Bollywood actors, producers and directors.
About Meena Kumari
|Real Name||Mahjabeen Bano|
|Nickname||Meena Kumari, Tragedy Queen, Munna and Cinderella of Indian Films|
|Date of Birth||1st August 1932|
|Age (at the time of demise)||39 years|
|Place of Birth||Mumbai|
|Height||5 ft 4"
(163 cm) approximately
Family & Relationships
|Father||Master Ali Bux
|Mother||Prabhavati Devi/Iqbal Begum
|Famous for||Leatherface (1939), Bahen (1941), Bachchon Ka Khel (1946), Baiju Bawra, Tamasha (1952), Parineeta, Do Bigha Zameen (1953), Chandni Chowk (1954), Azaad (1955), Ek Hi Rasta (1956), Sharada, Miss Mary (1957), Sahara (1958), Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan (1959), Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960), Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan (1961), Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam, Main Chup Rahungi, Aarti (1962), Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Chitralekha (1964), Kaajal (1965), Phool Aur Patthar (1966), Majhli Didi (1967), Baharon Ki Manzil (1968), Mere Apne (1971), Pakeezah (1972)|
|First Movie||ACTRESS -
|Hobbies||Reading, writing poetry and singing|
Meena Kumari remains one of the most talented and legendary actresses to gave ever acted in any of the Indian film industries. Entering acting at the tender age of 4 years on her parents’ insistence, Meena Kumari became one of the most critically-acclaimed and popular actresses in the younger days of Indian cinema.
Meena Kumari was born as ‘Mahjabeen Bano’ and took on her stage name ‘Meena Kumari’ in 1946. Meena Kumari’s age at the time of her demise, in March of 1972, was only 39 years as Meena Kumari was born on the 1st of August, 1932, in Mumbai. Meena Kumari’s height was around 5 ft 4 inches (163 cm) while Meena Kumari’s weight was around 50 kg (110 lbs). In her spare time, Meena Kumari loved to read, write Urdu poetry and sing, as part of her hobbies.
Meena Kumari’s father was popular Parsi theater artist, poet and musician, Master Ali Bux, while Meena Kumari’s mother was Prabhavati Devi, who was a stage dancer, also known as ‘Iqbal Begum’. Although Meena Kumari did not have any brothers, Meena Kumari’s sister was Khursheed Bano, another popular actress of her time. Meena Kumari was rumored to have been in relationships with Gulzar, the renowned Bollywood lyricist, and actor Dharmendra. However, Meena Kumari’s husband was the legendary Bollywood screenwriter and film director Kamal Amrohi, whom she married in February of 1952.
Talking about her success as an actress in the Indian film industry, Meena Kumari was awarded several times and also nominated for various prestigious acting awards.
The list of Meena Kumari’s awards include winning the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for her stunning performance in ‘Baiju Bawra; (1954), the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for ‘Parineeta’ (1955), the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for ‘Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam’ (1963), and finally winning the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for her performance in ‘Kaajal’ (1966).
Besides these, Meena Kumari also won the Bengali Film Journalists’ Association Awards’ Best Actress in a Hindi Feature Film award for her impressive role in ‘Sharada’ (1958), the Bengali Film Journalists’ Association Awards’ Best Actress in a Hindi Feature Film award for ‘Aarti’ (1963), the Bengali Film Journalists’ Association Awards’ Best Actress in a Hindi Feature Film award for her role in ‘Dil Ek Mandir’ (1965), as well as being honored with the Bengali Film Journalists’ Association Awards’ Special Award for ‘Pakeezah’ (1973).
Apart from having won these, Meena Kumari’s list of award nominations include being nominated for the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for her role in ‘Azaad’ (1956), the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for ‘Sahara’ (1959), the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for ‘Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan’ (1960), the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for ‘Aarti’ (1963), the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for her role in ‘Main Chup Rahungi’ (1963), the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for ‘Dil Ek Mandir’ (1964), the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for ‘Phool Aur Patthar’ (1967), as well as being nominated for the Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award for her memorable performance in ‘Pakeezah’ (1973).
Interesting Facts About Meena Kumari
- It is unknown whether Meena Kumari was a smoker, however, she did drink alcohol.
- Meena Kumari passed away at the age of 39 years from complications of cirrhosis of liver, in 1972.
- Meena Kumari entered into acting at the tender age of just 4 years, to support her family financially as they were in dire straits at the time.
- ‘Tragedy Queen’ Meena Kumari, acting alongside legendary actor and ‘King of Tragedy’ Dilip Kumar, became a popular pair and acted in around 8 super hit movies in the 1960s.
- Meena Kumari got involved in a romantic relationship with her future husband, filmmaker Kamal Amrohi, on the sets of ‘Tamasha’.
- Meena Kumari’s most memorable performance till date is said to be in ‘Pakeezah’ which was released in 1973, however, it took almost 17 years to complete.
- Meena Kumari is the only actress in Bollywood to have received nominations in all three categories of the Filmfare Awards and still holds the record more than 50 years on.
- Meena Kumari was also the only actress in Indian cinema industry to have the most Filmfare Awards’ Best Actress award, for 13 years, till it was finally broken by another legendary actress, Nutan.
- Meena Kumari also held the record of being the actress with the highest number, 12 nominations in the Best Actress category, until Madhuri Dixit broke it, after 35 long years.
- Meena Kumari remains the only actress to have been posthumously nominated for a movie (for ‘Pakeezah’).