(1 August 1932 – 31 March 1972), born Mahjabeen Bano
, was an Indian movie actress and poetess. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema
. During a career spanning 30 years from her childhood to her death, she starred in more than ninety films, many of which have achieved classic and cult status today.
Kumari gained a reputation for playing grief-stricken and tragic roles, and her performances have been praised and reminisced throughout the years. Like one of her best-known roles, Chhoti Bahu, in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
(1962), Kumari became addicted to alcohol. Her life and prosperous career were marred by heavy drinking, troubled relationships, an ensuing deteriorating health, and her death from liver cirrhosis
Kumari is often cited by media and literary sources as "The Tragedy Queen", both for her frequent portrayal of sorrowful and dramatic roles in her films and her real-life story.
Meena Kumari was the third daughter of Ali Baksh and Iqbal Begum; Khursheed
and Madhu were her two elder sisters. At the time of her birth, her parents were unable to pay the fees of Dr. Gadre, who had delivered her, so her father left her at a Muslim orphanage
, however, he picked her up after a few hours.
Her father, a Shia Muslim
, was a veteran of Parsi theater
, played harmonium, taught music, and wrote Urdu
poetry.... Read More