ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


NadiraNadira - The first sophisticated vamp of Bollywood
10th Feb 2006  14.01 IST
By Agencies  

Nadira was the first sophisticated vamp in Hindi cinema, at a time when women were expected to look demure and do only positive roles.

Nadira made her foray into Bollywood in the 50s with films like 'Aan' (1952) featuring Dilip Kumar and 'Shree 420' (1955) with Raj Kapoor , and gave new meaning and depth to the character of a vamp in several films, playing the confident, often sensuous young woman who was not afraid to get what she wanted.

Her arched eyebrows, as she wooed Raj Kapoor in the song 'Mud mud ke na dekh' in the classic 'Shree 420' would remain etched in the memories of cine lovers for a long time.

Nadira's career spanned over five decades during which she acted in over 60 films. She has been part of some of Hindi filmdom's most well known movies, starting off with the Mehboob Khan-directed 'Aan', where she played the fiery Princess Rajashree, and featuring in classics like 'Waris', 'Shree 420', Kamal Amrohi's 'Pakeezah', 'Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi', 'Saagar' and Amar Akbar Anthony .

The 74-year-old Nadira won the 1975 Filmfare Award in the Best Supporting Actress category for her portrayal of the protagonist's mother in the film 'Julie'.

The Shah Rukh Khan - Aishwarya Rai starrer Josh in 2000 was Nadira's last outing as an actress in a Bollywood film.

She had also featured in Ismail Merchant 's English film 'Cotton Mary' (1999) and Pooja Bhatt 's 'Tamanna' (1997).

Born in Israel as Florence Ezekiel, Nadira was a spinster and has no immediate family in India. She is survived by two brothers - one in the US and one in Israel.

In her final years, Nadira had turned into a recluse, meeting no one and staying confined to her house. Even during her stay at the hospital, no one except her domestic staff was present at her bedside.

Nadira was admitted to the ICU of Bhatia Hospital in central Mumbai on December 31 after she suffered a paralytic stroke coupled with a heart attack.

Remembered as an outgoing and vivacious person by those close to her, sources said Nadira turned to alcoholism in the later years of her life, affecting her liver and causing other complications.

Filmstars and friends remembered veteran actress Nadira as a "talented" and a "fine" person, who had been living the life of a recluse and was often nostalgic about her youth.

"She was a very special person. There are very few people like her. I loved her very dearly. She was a very talented actor," said actress Deepti Naval, one of the few persons in the film industry who remained in touch with Nadira.

P M Rungta, a friend of the versatile actress, recalled her as a "very fine person." "I cannot express what I am feeling at this moment. We all will miss her tremendously", he said on hearing of Nadira's demise.

Paying tributes to Nadira, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said he had cast her for his film 'Tamanna'.

"Her role was of an aging actress who in loneliness is nostalgic of her youth...We cast her in that role because somewhere that feeling was alive in her," he said.

(File picture).

Dilip Kumar
Raj Kapoor
Amar Akbar Anthony
Ismail Merchant
Pooja Bhatt
Mahesh Bhatt

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