(9 September 1909 – 14 July 2003) was an early actress in the Indian film industry.
She was born in Dharwar
to an English professor. She was one of the first educated film actresses. Her father was part of a Marathi
theatre company called Natyamanwantar.
Chitnis' early stage work included comedy Usna Navra
(1934) and with her own film group Udyacha Sansar
. She started acting to support her four children. She started as an extra and went on to stunt films.
She was publicized in the Times of India
as the first graduate society-lady from Maharashtra
. By then she had already made her first major mark as an actress on the silver screen. Chitnis worked at Prabhat Pictures
and Ranjit Movietone
before going on to be the leading lady in Bombay Talkies
which saw her overtake and outshine Devika Rani
. Her association with Bombay Talkies
shot her to stardom and she made a particularly good partner with Devika Rani
's leading man Ashok Kumar
. Ashok Kumar was so impressed by her acting abilities that he admitted to having learnt how to speak with his eyes from her. By the mid 1940s her career went downhill as the new leading ladies came in. For 22 years, Chitnis played the mother of the later leading men including Dilip Kumar
, often playing an ailing mother or a mother going... Read More