By Our Staff WriterOpening Doorz Editorial | July 28, 2022 

Bollywood Stars of the ’50s and ’60s 

Meena Kumari (1933-1972)

Meena Kumari was the daughter of Parsee theatre actor, singer, and music teacher Ali Bux and dancer Iqbal Begum. The family went through difficult times, so Ali Bux tried to get his three daughters into films. At the early age of six, their middle daughter, Mahajabeen, acted in Vijay Bhatt’s Leatherface. She was given the screen name Baby Meena. As the years went by, she was named Meena Kumari for Bhatt’s musical Baiju Bawra. The talented actress is identified for her beautiful melancholic face and her off-screen bouts of drinking and lovelornness. She was married to director Kamal Amrohi who made one of her best-known films, Pakeezah. Till today, Meena Kumari remains immortalized for her role in this film. Throughout her life and after her death Meena Kumar remained an enigma to her fans. She wrote poems in Urdu using the pen name Naaz. 

Some of her popular films 

Baiju Bawra, Daera, Do Bigha Zameen, Footpath, Parineeta, Baadbaan, Chandni Chowk, Azad, Bandish, Yahudi, Char Dil Char Raahein, Satta Bazaar, Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Chitralekha, Baharon Ki Manzil, Dushman, Mere Apne, Pakeezah.  

Meena Kumari and Shammi Kapoor 
Meena Kumari and Shammi Kapoor: Bollywood stars of the ’50s and ’60s.

Shammi Kapoor (1931-2011)

Shammi Kapoor was earlier called Shamsher Raj Kapoor. He was born in Bombay and was the son of Prithviraj Kapoor and the younger brother of Raj Kapoor. He worked in his father’s Prithvi Theatres from 1948 to 1952. Shammi attained stardom through his film Tumsa Nahin Dekha where he ushered in the ‘swinging sixties era’: the Elvis Presley style of hip swinging and leg shaking to the tune of rock and roll music. 

Junglee is one of his most famous films where he gave a remarkable performance. He married actress Geeta Bali and was a craze amongst young teenage audiences. The actor starred in most of Filmistan’s late 50’s B & W whodunits kind of films. Later on in life, he was the chairman of the Internet Users Club of India and would occasionally star in one or two films as a character actor.

Some of his popular films 

Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Dil Deke Dekho, Char Dil Char Rahein, Junglee, Chinatown, Dil Tera Diwana, Bluff Master, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, Kashmir Ki Kali, Jaanwar, Rajkumar, Teesri Manzil, Brahmachari, Andaz, Shalimar, Rocky, Prem Rog, Vidhaata, Betaab, Prem Granth.

Also Read: Dilip Kumar and Rajendra Kumar

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