Described as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Indian Cinema, Nargis Dutt was born on 1st June 1929 in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India Empire in a Punjabi Muslim family. Nargis being her stage name, she was born as Fatima Rashid. Her father Abdul Rashid was a rich Punjabi Hindu that accepted Islam and her mother Jaddanbai was a Hindustani classical singer and an early pioneer of Indian cinema. It was her mother, that introduced Nargis to the cinema culture. Anwar Hussain, who was Nargis’s maternal brother also went on to become a film actor.
Young Fatima made her first Bollywood appearance at the age of six in the film Talashe Haq where she was credited as Baby Nargis. After that, she was credited as Nargis for all her films.
After her debut, at the age of 14, she appeared opposite actor Motilal in Mehboob Khan’s Taqdeer. During the late 1940s and 1950s, Nargis starred in many Hindi films like Barsaat, Andaz, Jogan, Awaara, Deedar, Anhonee, Shree 420 and Chori Chori. All of these films were loved by the audience, and Nargis became a superstar. Songs from these movies are considered as evergreen Hindi songs. “Ab Mera Kaun Sahara” from the movie Barsaat, “Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi” from Awaara, “Hum Aaj Kahin Dil Kho Baithe” from Andaz, “Rasik Balma” from Chori Chori are songs loved by Hindi song enthusiasts even Today. The beautiful and calming on-screen performance of Nargis made her the favourite actress amongst masses.
Songs like “Shaam Gayi Raat Aayi”, “Ramaiya Vastavaiya“, “Ichak Dana Beechak Dana” from the movie Shree420 became enormous hits and are the most popular Hindi songs of all time. The Hindi song “Pyar Hua Iqraar Hua hai” has been loved and recreated by several popular artists even today.
Nargis also acted in Mehboob Khan’s, Mother India, an Oscar-nominated drama in the year 1957 for which she won the Filmfare Best Actress Award. The movie for a long time was known as the “best Hindi film produced in India,”
In the year 1958, Nargis married actor Sunil Dutt after which she gave up her film career to settle down with her family. She made her last Hindi film appearance in Raat Aur Din from the year 1967. Her role for this movie was critically acclaimed, and Nargis was even awarded the National Film Award for the best actress.
Nargis and Sunil Dutt had three children together, one of them is the Bollywood megastar, Sanjay Dutt. On 3rd May 1981, Bollywood lost one of it’s the finest performer In Nargis as she was battling with pancreatic cancer.
Nargis was an actress with amazing range, style and grace. This is why she is the most celebrated actress until today. Hindi songs never witnessed any actress as graceful as Nargis Dutt.
On her 91st birth Anniversary, Saregama remembers the most looked upon actress of all time and celebrates her contributions to Hindi songs and cinema. You can now listen to all your favourite songs featuring Nargis with Saregama Carvaan, a portable digital audio player with 5000 in-built old Hindi songs.