Manorama (Hindi actress)

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Manorama (died February 15, 2008[1]) was a Bollywood character actress known best for her role as the comical tyrant aunt in Seeta Aur Geeta (1972). She had a long career extending over 60 years from her debut in 1941 to her final role in Water in 2005. Through her career she acted in over 160 films. After playing heroine roles in the early 40s she settled into playing villainous and/or comic roles. Among many, her memorable performances are in 'Dus Lakh', 'Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje', 'Mujhe Jeene Do', 'Mehboob ki Menhdi', 'Carvan', 'Bombay to Goa','Lawaris' etc.

She acted in films since 1941 under her name Manorama. Her real name was Erin Issac Daniels.She was half-Irish (Irish mother & Indian Christian father). Her father was professor in Engineering college. A trained classical singer & dancer, she used to do stage shows for Red Cross in 40's in Lahore. At the age of nine, she was spotted by Roop K. Shoerey in a school concert in Lahore. She started off as a child artist in 'Khazanchi' under screen name 'Manorama' (given by Shoery) & grew into very successful & highly paid actress of Lahore. After partition she shifted to Mumbai. Actor Chandramohan recommended her to producers. Although she gave superhit Punjabi film 'Lachchi', she was relegated to play Dilip Kumar's sister in 'Ghar ki Izzat' (1948). After her marriage to actor Rajan Haksar, she was slotted into character roles & then to villainous or comedienne roles. After several years of marriage she got divorced. Her last Hindi movie was Akbar Khan's 'Haadsa'(1983).

She switched to TV serials & shifted to Delhi for five years where she worked in series 'Dustak' which also featured Shahrukh Khan. She shot for Mahesh Bhatt's 'Junoon' (1992) too but her role was snipped at the editing table. Around 2001, she worked with Balaji Telefilms for their serials 'Kashti' & 'Kundali'.

Her last movie was Deepa Mehta's 'Water' (2005) where she mesmerised Hollywood critics with her performance.

Manorama died on Feb. 15, 2008 in Charkop, Mumbai. She is survived by a daughter Rita Haksar. Rita did 'Suraj aur Chanda' as heroine opposite Sanjeev Kumar but later got married to an engineer & settled in the gulf.