Meena Kumari to most, but Mahjabeen to a few, the actress was born on August 1, 1932 to Ali Baksh and Iqbal Begum. Her father, a Shia Muslim, was a veteran of Parsi theater, played harmonium, taught music, and wrote Urdu poetry. He played small roles in films like Id Ka Chand and composed music for films like Shahi Lutere.

The definitive tragedy queen (in pics)

While legendary actor Dilip Kumar was the anointed tragedy king, Meena Kumari was the definitive tragedy queen. Kumari’s personal and professional life mirrored each other. She not only played tragic roles, but lived a tragic life as well.  Her life and prosperous career were marred by heavy drinking, troubled relationships and ensuing deteriorating health. Three weeks after ‘Pakeezah’ released, she died of liver cirrhosis at a young age of 39 on March 31, 1932.

The actress remains an enigma to all and rules the heart and soul of the cinema lovers, almost 41 years after her demise.  She left an indelible mark on Hindi cinema with her films ‘Baiju Bawra’ (1952), ‘Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi’ (1960), ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’ (1962) and ‘Phool Aur Patthar’ (1966), etc.


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