Kamini Kaushal at Jaipur, 2011
16 January 1927
Lahore, Punjab, British India
Kamini Kaushal (born 16 January 1927) is a Hindi film and television actress, most noted for her roles in films like Neecha Nagar (1946) which won the 1946 Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at Cannes Film Festival and Biraj Bahu (1955) which won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award in 1955.
Kamini Kaushal (Uma Sood) was born to a botanist and professor at Government College, Lahore, British India (now in Pakistan). She did her B.A. (honours) in English literature from Kinnaird College in Lahore. Her sister died leaving behind very young children and Uma married (or was made to marry) her sister’s husband. Her husband, B.S. Sood, was an officer in the Bombay Port Trust.
There is a mention of her having been a stage actress in Delhi. Kaushal worked as a radio artist before she was discovered by Chetan Anand as the lead for his film Neecha Nagar. This movie was done before her marriage and released in 1946.
After Neecha Nagar she returned to Lahore and after marriage settled in Bombay. Soon offers started coming in and in the coming decades Kamini Kaushal worked with all the top leading men of her time such as Ashok Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar (Shaheed (1948), Nadiya Ke Paar (1949), Shabnam (1949) and Arzoo (1950).) She learnt Bharatnatyam at Mumbai's Sri Rajarajeswari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir, where Guru T. K. Mahalingam Pillai, doyen among nattuvanars taught.
In 1965 she moved to playing character roles with a film called Shaheed. As a character artist she was a fixture in seven Manoj Kumar films right up to Dus Numbari in 1976. Kaushal has had a long stint in films with releases until 2003. She made the transition to character roles very easily and has excelled in them ever since.
Dilip Kumar in his biography has admitted his attraction to her. He said that she was his first love. But she never accepted his proposals and remain uninterested towards him as she was married.
She stepped into writing children's stories. Her stories used to be published in the children's magazine Paraag and she dabbled in television doing serials like Chand Sitare on Doordarshan. In 1986, Kaushal made an animation film Meri Pari.
Kaushal worked in the highly popular serial, Shanno Ki Shaadi on STAR Plus. She played the role of Bebe, the grandmother of Shanno, the main protagonist played by Divya Dutta.She also acted in Sri Adhikari Brother's Popular Serial 'Waqt Ki Raftaar'(DD National).
- Braham S. Sood; B. K. Karanjia (2000). An alien in Bollywood: an autobiography (of the spouse of Kamini Kaushal). UBS Publishers' Distributors.
- Biraj Bahu awards, Internet Movie Database
- Stars At Home – Kamini Kaushal, "cineplot.com"
- "Hindi cinema still has a place for the Bimal Roy kind of films", Rediff.com
- "Life dedicated to dance". The Hindu. January 3, 2003.
- Excerpts from Dilip Kumar’s biography, Dilip Kumar: The Star Legend of Indian Cinema by Bunny Reuben, The Tribune, December 21, 2003.
- Kamini Kaushal, legend, Rediff.com, February 18, 2003.
- Kamini Kaushal: Kal Aaj Aur Kal, Rediff.com, October 11, 2007.
- Kamini Kaushal 2008 Interview "nowrunning.com."