Nargis Dutt, 1929 1981, Bollywood Actor

Nargis Dutt was an Indian actor born on 1st June, 1929. She was born Fatima Rashid and had only one brother called Anwar Hussain, who also became an actor. Nargis became a leading Hindi actor during a career that span over two decades from 1940’s to 1960’s.

At 6 years of age, she appeared in her first movie Talashe Haq, in which she was referred to as “Baby Nargis”. As an adult, she became famous in the movie roles she played, starting with the movies Taqdeer, which she starred when she was 14. She starred in many movies in 1940’s and 1950’s such as Andaz (1949), Barsaat (1949), Deedar (1951), Awaara (1951), Shree 420 (1955) and Chori Chori (1956). She starred alongside Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor in many of her movies.

Her most famous role was in Mother India (1957) which was written by Mehboob Khan and received an Oscar nomination. Her performance in the movie earned her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. In 1958, she married Sunil Dutt and retired from the film industry. She did not feature in a major way in films in the 1960’s. Nargis and her husband formed the Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe that brought together a number of top singers and actors of the time and held stage shows in border areas.

In 1981, a few days before the film debut of her son Sanjay Dutt, Nargis died of pancreatic cancer. The Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Foundation was founded in 1982 in her memory.