Nargis – A Spirited Star

Born as Fatima Rashid, Nargis undoubtedly was one of the gifted stars of Bollywood. Her name is derived from the name of a flower, Narcissus. She started acting in her childhood with the movie Talash-E-Haq however she became a full time actress with Tamanna in 1942.

She was brought into the world of cinema by her mother Jaddanbai, who was a classical singer and courtesan, to avoid her from becoming a courtesan too.

She acted with Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor in a lot of films which were successful commercially. A few of those films are Deedar, Awaara, Barsaat and Andaz. During her career, which spanned from the 1940s to the 1960s, her most acclaimed movie was Mother India. This movie won her the trophy of best actress at the Filmfare Awards. Appearing as Radha in this movie, it was considered as one of the best roles she had ever done. Reportedly her co-star Sunil Dutt, who in future went on to marry her, saved her from a fire accident while shooting of this film.

Nargis chose to quit acting after her marriage. Namratha, Sanjay Dutt and Priya Dutt were their kids.

Nargis was bestowed with the prestigious award, a film star can get, which is the Urvashy Award, the Urvashy Award. She has also received the Padma Shri, Karlovy Award and the National Film Award. It happened for the first time that a female star of the Hindi film Industry got the esteemed Padma Shri.

Other than acting, Nargis established the Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe, with her husband. This group, consisting of many well-known actresses and actors, went to the border for the soldiers.

This group is the first from the lot to reach Dhaka after Pakistan and India war. She was also elected to Rajya Sabha. But, Nargis could not complete her tenure as she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and succumbed to it.

Apart from being an excellent actress, Nargis was also recognized as an ardent social worker. She was the first supporter of The Spastics Society of India, where she put effort for the benefit of spastic kids. She was an evergreen person in the minds of her family members as her chair was unoccupied during the premiere of Rocky, Sanjay Dutt’s debut movie. The Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Foundation was built in her fond memory.

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