Published On: Sat, Jun 4th, 2016

Remembering the beautiful and enigmatic Nutan, on her 80th birth anniversary today.



Remembering Nutan, one of the finest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema, on her 80th birth anniversary today.

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Nutan was undoubtedly one of the greatest and most expressive actresses that Indian cinema has ever seen. She was that rare actress who could convey much more with just a look or fleeting glance or gesture than most actors could even with expansive dialogue at their disposal. And leave alone acting, even the great Lata Mangeshkar has many a time singled her out as the heroine whose expressions came closest to suggest she was genuinely singing the song herself!

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Nutan gave several blockbusters in a career of over four decades. A multiple Filmfare Award-winner, Nutan’s charm, and grace won hearts. She shone like a bright star among her contemporary actresses like Madhubala, Waheeda Rehman and Meena Kumari.

Nutan was born to actress Shobhana Samarth and poet and director Kumarsen Samarth in 1936.

nutan-koozaFilmmakers like Chandulal Shah and K. Asif noticed her beauty even as she turned a teenager and offered her roles. But her mother chose her daughter a debut in ‘Hamari Beti’ (1950). Nutan won the Miss India pageant in 1951. Her first powerhouse performance came in a women-oriented role in ‘Seema’ (1955), with another great actor Balraj Sahni. Nutan won her first Filmfare Award for this film.

Next, Nutan starred in a romantic comedy ‘Paying Guest’ (1957), opposite then heartthrob Dev Anand. This showed that her talent was not limited to serious roles.

The year 1959 was another landmark for her with ‘Anari’, ‘Kanhaiya’ and ‘Sujata’. Nutan won a Filmfare Award for ‘Sujata’. A revolutionary subject of that time, ‘Sujata’ dealt with a girl of a lower caste falling in love with a boy from upper caste (Sunil Dutt). As usual Nutan gave such a power-packed performance that it left most of the audiences teary eyed.

Nutan-filmfareDev Anand and Nutan also acted in ‘Tere Ghar Ke Saamne’ in 1963. But it was Bimal Roy’s ‘Bandini’ which released the same year that catapulted her to greater heights of fame and glory. Nutan’s portrayal of a tormented woman who gives up everything for love, is still considered one of the best performances. Of course, she garnered a Filmfare Award.

Nutan went on to be a part of many more memorable films (‘Sarawsati Chandra’, ‘Milan’, ‘Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki’). Even in her older age, her roles as a mother in films like ‘Meri Jung’ and ‘Karma’ are still remembered.

An actress known for the versatility of her roles, Nutan has contributed significantly to the industry. She appeared in more than 70 Hindi films in a career span of over four decades.

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One of the finest actresses of Hindi cinema, Nutan would have turned 80, if she was alive today. Nutan has portrayed some of the best characters Bollywood has produced with a lot of ease and grace.

Highly regarded for her acting abilities, Nutan was recognised as an accomplished dramatic actress, and her performances often received praises and accolades. She holds the record of winning five Filmfare Best Actress Award, the highest number of awards won by an actress.She holds the record of winning five Filmfare Best Actress Award, the highest number of awards won by an actress.

nutan-bollywoodAwards and nominations

Filmfare Awards

* 1956 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Seema
* 1959 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Sujata
* 1963 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Bandini
* 1967 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Milan
* 1978 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki
* 1985 – Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Meri Jung


Other Awards

* 1963: BFJA Best Actress Award: Bandini
* 1967: BFJA Best Actress Award: Milan

Nutan passed away on February 21, 1991 at the age of 54.

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology