Sunday, February 27, 2011

Heroines at last

India Post has honoured six legendary heroines drawing from the earliest like Devika Rani, who dominated the early silent and talkie era. She was Tagores niece, and had studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts....she married Himanshu Rai and co founded bombay Talkies....her role in Achyut Kanya (1934) ensured that Pandit Nehru became a fan of hers.

Kanan Devi , started first as Kananbala became a legend of early Bengali cinema. She started as a Child artiste and went on to act in Barua's Mukti, and soon became the top star of New Theatres which she left in 1941 to freelance in both bengali and Hindi Films.

Leela Naidu , was the femina Miss India in 1954 and was featured in Vogue as one of the most Beautiful women of the world. She made her film debut in 1960 with Hrishikesh Mukherji's Anuradha. She acted in a few Merchant Ivory films like the Householder and Guru.

Nutan - Daughter of actress Shobana Samarth , made her debut in Hamara beti, to be moulded by Bimal Roy and his successors like hrishikesh Mukherji, Bimal Dutt and Sudendu Roy. Her song with Kishore - Yeh ratein yeh mausam , is one that still haunts me and is a favourite of mine. Her classic beauty is so very evident in the image on the Stamp.

Meena Kumari - Born Mahjabeen , renamed baby meena , joined films at the tender age of 6 and went on to become one of our most celebrated actresses. Renamed meena Kumari for Bhatts baiju Bawra , she acted in all genres , comedy - Miss mary, Socials - Parineeta and the classics like sahib bibi aur Ghula, Do bigha Zameen and her husband kamal Amrohi's classic - Pakeezah. She also wrote urdu poetry under the pen name Naaz. A tragedy queen , had a tragic life too much like the next heroine to be honoured with a Stamp.

Savithri - What can I say about this brilliant actress ? Just ask people to watch "Paasa Malar" , made during her peak or even Chandrababu's Thattungal Thirakkapadum , made during her last days and you will know. She started as a dramatist , worked in Drama with NTR, Jaggiah etc. Made her debut with L V Prasad's samsaram and K V Reddy's Paathala Bhairavi until she hit stardom with her role in Pelli chesi choodu.

I personally think this is probably the only case of Husband and wife both being honoured with a stamp in the Film world . Gemini , got it a few years ago....of course actress Devika Rani mentioned above , went on to later re marry the Russian Painter Svetoslav Roerich , who has also been given a Stamp.


Anonymous said...

Did Savitri act in K.V. Reddy's Patala Bhairavi? I thought the heroine in that movie was Maalati. Please check.

Unknown said...

yes she did , played the role of a dancer....though K Malati was the heroine....

Unknown said...

you may check out fuller cast at

Pranavam Ravikumar said...

A great as well as new information!

Delhi Gopal said...

Mohan Sir, Thanks for sharing India Post's philatelic tributes to some great heroines of India cinema.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Malathi, the heroine in Pathala Bairavi act in more movies after Pathala Bairavi?

”ஆரண்ய நிவாஸ்”ஆர்.ராமமூர்த்தி said...

சாவித்ரி உண்மையிலேயே ஒரு LEGEND தான் ஸார்!

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.