Meena Kumari is one of the most popular actors Bollywood has ever been blessed with. She is known for her journey spanning 33 years in the entertainment industry. She started her journey as a child actress and was active between the years 1939 and 1972. Her unforgettable screen presence led critics to describe her as “historically incomparable”.
Known as the tragedy queen of Indian cinema, she had 92 films under her belt, including classics such as Pakeezah(1972), Bajju Bawra(1952), Daera(1953) and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam(1962). She bagged four Filmfare awards over the course of her career.
Today, on her birth anniversary, let’s uncover a few details about the on-screen “Tragedy Queen”.
Did you know Meena Kumari called Reading Mahjabeen?
Meena Kumari was one of the accomplished actresses of Bollywood. Her fans lovingly gave her a number of names, Reading Mahjabeen was a quirky one. This was given to her as she was a voracious reader. Reportedly, she liked reading so much that she used to carry her books to the sets. Because of this particular habit, a number of people started calling her Reading Mahjabeen.
Called as the Tragedy Queen of the Hindi cinema, she was given this name because of her frequent portrayal of sorrowful and dramatic roles. Her real-life also had a tragic ending because after ruling the film industry for 30 years, she passed away at the early age of 40.
Meena Kumari trivia
But Meena Kumari was beyond the tragedies of her life and untimely death. She was a powerful performer dedicated to her craft and could wear multiple hats at the same time. As Javed Akhtar once put it” People like Meena Kumari are like paradoxes. We try to understand them, appreciate them, we criticize them, we pity them, we laugh at them, we admire them. But they remain paradoxes.”
Check out some of the facts about Meena Kumari we bet you never knew:
- Meena Kumari has been a poet and wrote poetry in Urdu and some of the verses were also published.
- Mehmood had married Meena Kumari’s sister.
- Mehmood was the person who taught Meena Kumari some table tennis.
- During the Filmfare Awards 1963, Meena Kumari was the only actor who was nominated in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category.
- Meena Kumari has also owned the entire award function by being nominated for three of her performances in different films. No other actress ever received such an achievement at the Filmfare Awards.
- Meena was extremely fond of newbie actor Rahul from the film Raaz and had recommended him to many producers.
- Popular star, Altaf got hitched to Meena Kumari’s sister.
Before her untimely demise, Kamal Amrohi was in talks with the producers to make a film with the title Saaton Jahan.
- Meena Kumari was a part of over 92 movies and had won a number of awards for her commendable performances in them.
- Some of her most popular films include Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Pakeezah, Mere Apne, Aarti, Baiju Bawra, Parineeta, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai, Foot Path, Dil Ek Mandir and Kaajal.