Nanda (actress)

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Actress Nanda 001.jpg
Nanda at a party in Kenya, 1970
Born (1939-01-08)8 January 1939
Kolhapur, Kolhapur State ( now part of state of Maharashtra)
Died 25 March 2014(2014-03-25) (aged 75)
Mumbai, India
Cause of death Heart Attack
Occupation Actress
Years active 1948–1983
Awards Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Aanchal (1960)

Nanda (8 January 1939 – 25 March 2014) was an Indian film actress who appeared in Hindi and Marathi films. She was best known for her performances in films like Ittefaq, Joru Ka Ghulam, Neend Hamare Khwab Tumhare, Kanoon, Pati Patni, Gumnaam, Akashdeep, Bedaag and Raja Saab.[1]

Early life[edit]

Nanda was born in a Maharashtrian show-business family to Vinayak Damodar Karnataki (Master Vinayak), a successful Marathi actor-producer-director. Her father died in 1947, aged 41 when Nanda was eight years old.[2] The family faced hard times. She became a child actress, helping her family by working in films in the early 1950s. She made her debut with Mandir in 1948.

On the silver screen she was first recognized as "Baby Nanda". In films like Mandir, Jaggu, Angaarey, and Jagriti, she was a child actor between 1948-56.[3] As a result of her involvement in movies, her studies suffered, and she was coached at home by renowned school teacher and Bombay Scouts commissioner, Gokuldas V. Makhi. By taking up a career in films, she supported and educated her six siblings.[4] One of her brothers is Marathi film director Jaiprakash Karnataki. Actress Jayashree Talpade is her sister-in-law.[5]


Nanda in 2010

Nanda's paternal uncle, the renowned film producer -director V. Shantaram gave Nanda a big break by casting her in a successful brother-sister saga Toofan Aur Diya (1956).It was the saga of an orphaned brother and sister pair that is buffeted by a series of tragic setbacks, including the girl losing her sight. She received her first Filmfare Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for Bhabhi (1957); she claims that the reason she didn't win was because there was lobbying involved.[6] She played supporting roles to stars like Dev Anand in Kala Bazar,[7] and played second lead in Dhool Ka Phool.

She played the title role in L.V. Prasad's Chhoti Bahen (1959). The movie was a big hit, making her a star.[8] In this commercially successful 1959 film, Nanda played the blind younger sister looked after by two elder brothers, played by Balraj Sahni and Rehman.[9] She then played lead roles, such as one of Dev Anand’s heroines in Hum Dono (1961) and Teen Deviyan. Both films were acclaimed as "hits". She was the heroine in B R Chopra's Kanoon (1960), a film with no songs, which was then rare.

She won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Anchal (1960).She was paired with Raj Kapoor in Aashiq(1962) and she worked with Rajendra Kumar in 3 films - Toofan Aur Diya(1956), Dhool Ka Phool(1961), Kanoon(1960). In one of her interviews she said she avoided films with Shammi Kapoor because of his "wild" reputation from 1959–72, but later did accept work with him in Prem Rog in 1982.She had quoted in one of here interviews "Many of my great performances were in films that failed or did average business, like ‘Usne Kaha Tha’, ‘Char Diwari’, ‘Nartaki’, and Aaj Aur Kal."[10] She was the second highest paid Hindi actress along with Nutan from 1960-65, and the second highest paid Hindi actress between 1966-69 along-with Nutan and Waheeda, and the third highest paid Hindi actress, along-with Sadhana, from 1970-73.[11]

Nanda was known to encourage newcomers. She signed 8 films with Shashi Kapoor at a time when he was yet to become successful in Hindi Cinema. Their first 2 films as a pair - the critically acclaimed romantic film Char Diwari (1961) and "Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath" (1962) - did not work but the rest were successful at the box office.[12] Shashi, who though had achieved success in English films in 1963 and in 2 Hindi films in 1965, had 5 flops as solo lead hero from his debut in 1961 till 1965 in Hindi films. In Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Nanda played a westernised role for the first time and it helped her image.[13] Her favorite song that was famously picturized on her in the film was "Yeh Samaa." Shashi would later declare that Nanda was his favorite heroine. Nanda, too, declared Kapoor as her favourite hero. In the period 1965-1970, the successful films of the pair Shashi-Nanda include Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain (1965), Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966), Raja Saab (1969) and Rootha Na Karo (1970). In the early 1970s, Nanda suggested Rajendra Kumar, co-producer of The Train, to take Rajesh Khanna as the main lead.[14]

She had another hit film in 1965 with Gumnaam, which helped put her in the top league of heroines.[8] With Dharmendra, she worked in Mera Kasoor Kya Hai and Akashdeep. She played lead heroine roles beginning with Choti Bhehan and Kanoon from 1959–60 and continued to get roles as the main female lead till 1973.She signed with new leading man Rajesh Khanna in the songless suspense thriller Ittefaq (1969) for which she received a Filmfare nomination as Best Actress and which became successful at the box office. After Khanna became a super-star, he signed two more films with her: the thriller The Train (1970) and a comedy Joroo Ka Ghulam (1972) which became hits. Jeetendra, too, had some hit films with her like Parivar, Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke; with Sanjay Khan, she had a hit in Beti and Abhilasha, but offers dried up from 1973 as her pairing with other younger actors like Navin Nischol, Vinod Mehra, Deb Mukerji and Parikshat Sahni did not work.[10] The 3 films Ittefaq, The Train and Joru Ka Ghulam - earned more than her earlier hits opposite Shashi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Dev Anand, Sanjeev Kumar and Jeetendra.[15]

After a small role in Manoj Kumar's Shor (1972), Nanda did few more critically acclaimed films such as Chhalia (1973), Naya Nasha (1974), which flopped and she then stopped acting. In 1982, she came back with three successful films, all coincidentally having her play Padmini Kolhapure's mother in Ahista Ahista, Mazdoor and Raj Kapoor's Prem Rog. Then she permanently retired.[16]

Nanda, who has done some unforgettable work in Bollywood and has given films like like ‘Dhool Ka Phool’, ‘Dulhan’, ‘Bhabhi’, ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’, ‘Gumnaam’, ‘Shor’, ‘Parineeta’, and ‘Prem Rog’ was one of the highest paid actresses of her time. She was the second highest paid Hindi actress along-with Nutan from 1960-1965 and second highest paid Hindi actress in 1966-1969 along-with Nutan and Waheeda and third highest paid Hindi actress with Sadhana from 1970-1973.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Nanda (first from left) with Waheeda Rehman, Helen, and Sadhana in 2010

In 1965, while filming Jab Jab Phool Khile, director Suraj Prakash recalled that a Maharashtrian lieutenant colonel was smitten by Nanda and had asked him to forward his marriage proposal to her mother. In the end, nothing came of it. Nanda's brothers brought home many suitors for her, but she turned them all down.[18]

In 1992, a middle-aged Nanda became engaged to director Manmohan Desai at the urging of Rehman. But he died after falling from the terrace of his rented flat in Girgaon, just a year after her mother died of cancer. According to reports, the railing he was leaning on collapsed. Nanda remained unmarried.[19]

Nanda lived in her residence in Mumbai interacting only with family and close friends. Her close friends from the film industry included Waheeda Rehman, Shammi, Asha Parekh, Helen, Saira Banu, Mala Sinha, Sadhana Shivdasani, Shakila and Jabeen Jaleel.[20] After a long time she made a public appearance with Waheeda Rehman for a screening of the Marathi film Natarang (2010).

She died in Mumbai on 25 March 2014 at her Versova residence, aged 75, following a heart attack.[21]

Select filmography[edit]

Acting Filmography
Film (Year) Role Notes
Mazdoor (1983) Radha
Prem Rog (1982) Virendra's wife
Ahista Ahista (1981) Sangeeta
Qatil Kaun (1980)
Prayashchit (1977)
Jurm Aur Sazaa (1974) Ricky
Asliyat (1974)
Chhalia (1973) Suneeta / Neeta
Naya Nasha (1973) Reena
Shor (1972) Geeta
Parineeta (1972)
Joroo Ka Ghulam (1972) Kalpana
Woh Din Yaad Karo (1971)
Adhikar (1971) Meera
Umeed (1971)
Rootha Na Karo (1970) Neeta
The Train (1970) Neeta / Geeta / Kalavati / Priya
Beti (1969) Sudha Verma
Dharti Kahe Pukarke (1969) Radha
Raja Saab (1969) Poonam
Ittefaq (1969) Rekha
Badi Didi (1969) Bhavna
Abhilasha (1968) Ritu
Juaari (1968) Saroj
Parivar (1967) Meena
Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966) Nishad
Pati Patni (1966) Gauri
Akashdeep (1965)
Bedaag (1965) Manju
Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) Rita Khanna
Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain (1965) Rajani
Teen Devian (1965) Nanda
Gumnaam (1965) Asha
Kaise Kahoon (1964)
Mera Qasoor Kya Hai (1964)
Nartakee (1963) Lakshmi
Aaj Aur Kal (1963) Rajkumari Hemlata / Hema
Aashiq (1962)
Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath (1962) Rajani
Ummeed (1962)
Amar Rahe Yeh Pyar (1961) Razia Hussain
Char Diwari (1961) Lakshmi
Hum Dono (1961) Ruma
Aanchal (1960)
Apna Ghar (1960)
Chand Mere Aja (1960)
Jo Huwa So Bhool Jao (1960)
Kala Bazar (1960) Sapna
Kanoon (1960) Meena Prasad
Usne Kaha Tha (1960) Kamli
Chhoti Bahen (1959) Meena
Dhool Ka Phool (1959) Malati
Naya Sansar (1959)
Pehli Raat (1959)
Qaidi No. 911 (1959)
Zara Bachke (1959)
Barkha (1959) Parvati
Dulhan (1958)
Bandi (1957) Shankar's Daughter
Bhabhi (1957) Lata
Agra Road (1957)
Laxmi (1957)
Sakshi Gopal (1957)
Devghar (1956)
Shatranj (1956)
Toofan Aur Deeya (1956) Nandini
Bandish (1954)
Angarey (1954)
Jaggu (1952) Child artist
Singer Filmography
Film (Year) Song Notes
Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) "Ek Tha Gul Aur Ek Thi Bulbul" with Mohammed Rafi
Music Direction Filmography
Film (Year) Notes
Anbulla Durogi (2012) Tamil film [22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1958 Bhabhi Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
1961 Aanchal [23] Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
1970 Ittefaq Filmfare Award for Best Actress Nominated
1982 Ahista Ahista Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
1983 Prem Rog [24] Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated


  1. ^
  2. ^ Death of Nanda's father; accessed 30 March 2014.
  3. ^ Obituary,; accessed 30 March 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Notice of Nanda's death,; accessed 30 March 2014.
  6. ^ [1],; accessed 29 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Dev's women!",, 25 September 2003.
  8. ^ a b "". Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b [2],; accessed 29 March 2014.
  11. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 March 2014.
  12. ^ Biography
  13. ^ Bollywood actress - Nanda Heights
  14. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 March 2014.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "5 interesting lesser known facts about Bollywood actress Nanda - The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  18. ^ Profile,; accessed 29 March 2014.
  19. ^ Notice of death of Nanda,; accessed 30 March 2014.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Death of Indian actress Nanda,; accessed 30 March 2014.
  22. ^ Nanda's Music Composition
  23. ^ Awards Internet Movie Database.
  24. ^ First Filmfare Awards 1953

External links[edit]