New Delhi: Veteran actress Kumkum, who was introduced to Hindi films by legendary actor-filmmaker Guru Dutt in the 50s, died in Mumbai on Tuesday, reported news agency PTI. Kumkum was 86 and died at her residence in Mumbai’s Bandra after battling age related ailments, the PTI report cited her sister-in-law Shenaz as saying. “Her last rites took place at Mazgaon cemetery,” she added.
Kumkum, who was a popular actor in the 50s and 60s, starred in over 100 films during a career spanning over two decades. Kumkum, who hailed from Bihar’s Hussainabad, was born as Zaibunnissa and was discovered by Guru Dutt, who gave her a break in his 1954 film Aar Paar as a dancer in the song Kabhi Aar, Kabhi Paar. She also played a small role in Guru Dutt’s 1957 movie Pyaasa.
Kumkum also featured in popular songs such as Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan from 1956 film C.I.D, Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re from 1960 film Kohinoor and Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi from 1964 movie Mr X In Bombay. Kumkum co-starred with Shammi Kapoor in a brief role in 1956 film Mem Saheb and played the female lead opposite Shammi Kapoor in 1959 movie Char Dil Char Raahein. Kumkum worked with Dilip Kumar in Kohinoor.
Kumkum starred opposite Kishore Kumar in several movies and songs such as Sultana Sultana from Shreeman Funtoosh, Ijazat Ho Toh from Haaye Mera Dil and Machalti Hui from Ganga Ki Lahren, are some of their popular onscreen appearances. Kumkum was also a favourite of writer-director Ramanand Sagar, who cast her in movies such as 1968 film Ankhen, 1970 film Geet, 1972 film Lalkar and 1973’s Jalte Badan.
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Kumkum also starred in a few Bhojpuri movies – 1963’s Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo was her first. She was last seen in 1973’s Ek Kunwari Ek Kunwara.
(With PTI inputs)