Indian cinema’s tragedy queen Meena Kumari is remembered today on her death anniversary. Born as Mahjabeen Bano, she is one of the highly acclaimed actresses in the cinematic universe who left an impression hard to fade. Call her female Guru Dutt or Cinderella, she is one pillar of strength who led her life on her own terms. Meena Kumari’s personal life was as tragic as her roles in the movies. She married Kamal Amrohi, who was fifteen years older to her and a married man with a child. He refused to have kids with Meena Kumari as she was not a ‘Syed’. After 12 years of marriage, Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari divorced. This pushed this ethereal beauty into deep depression. She took to alcohol that completely damaged her liver. In 1968, she fell seriously ill owing to her drinking habits.
Born in 1933, Meena Kumari grew up on camera, lighting up the silver screen from the age of four when she was known as Baby Meena. She became a formidable actor in Indian cinema, appearing in more than 90 films during her 38-year career.
She portrayed strong yet vulnerable women who made their own way through life, although they were often devastated by romance. This gave her the epithet 'Tragedy Queen'. She came to be known for sailing through complex emotions on-screen with ease.
In her over three decade long career, she appeared in more than 90 films. However, her most memorable work was her role in Pakeezah. Even today, many refer to her as the most beautiful woman of the Indian film industry – besides Madhubala, of course – and rightly so. Mahie Gill, who has played a prominent role in Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster, is an ardent fan of the late actor. The actress had once said that it was a great honour for her to emulate Meenaji onscreen for her role in the film Gangs of Ghost.
Some of her memorable films include "Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam", "Pakeezah", "Mere Apne", "Aarti", "Baiju Bawra", "Parineeta", "Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai", "Foot Path", "Dil Ek Mandir" and "Kaajal".
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