Mumbai: Veteran Bollywood actress Nanda, best known for her stellar performances in films like 'Hum Dono', 'Ittefaq' and 'Gumnaam', passed away today following a massive heart attack, family sources said. The 75-year-old actress died this morning at her Andheri residence here.
"It is shocking as she did not have any history of illness," a relative of hers told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Born to Marathi film actor-director Vinayak Damodar Karnataki, Nanda began her silver screen career early as a child artist with 'Jaggu' in the 50s.
Her popularity as a child actress made her transition to major roles easier, and she literally grew up on film sets. But it was paternal uncle-filmmaker V Shantaram who gave Baby Nanda a big break by casting her in 1956 hit 'Toofan Aur Diya' in 1956.
With the success of 'Toofan Aur Diya', Nanda did not look back and went on to establish herself in the Hindi film industry with hits like 'Jab Jab Phool Khile', 'Gumnaam', 'Teen Deviyan', 'The Train', 'Mandir', 'Angarey', 'Ram Laxman', 'Bandi', 'Ittefaq', 'Hum Dono', 'Prayashchit', 'Ahista Ahista', 'Prem Rog' and 'Mazdoor' among several others.
She excelled most often as a supporting star but also found great acceptance and popularity as a lead heroine in later years. Her identification with the title role of 'Choti Bahen' which stuck in real life. She shared screen space with noted actors like Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Rajesh Khanna and Shashi Kapoor with whom she starred in eight films.
Their pairing in 'Jab Jab Phool Khile' was a huge success and inspired 'Raja Hindustani'. It was for the first time that the actress played a westernised role. Nanda was nominated for Filmfare Award five times for her performance in Bhabhi (1957), Aanchal (1960), Ittefaq (1969), Ahista Ahista (1981) and Prem Rog (1982). She won Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for 'Aanchal'.
After a small role in Manoj Kumar's 1972 film 'Shor', Nanda reduced her work in films. Her other films such as 'Chhalia' and 'Naya Nasha' did not work. She made a brief return to acting in 1982 as a character actress where she played the onscreen mothe of Padmini Kolhapure in 'Ahista Ahista', 'Mazdoor' and 'Prem Rog'. After that she retired from acting. Nanda's last rites will be performed at 4 pm at the Oshiwari crematorium.