Who was Nargis Dutt ?
Nargis Dutt or Fatima Rashid was an Indian film actress born on 1 June 1929 in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India and died on 3 May 1981 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. She was starred in many films of Bollywood. She was one of the greatest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema.
Some Lesser Known facts about Nargis
- She was born as Fatima Rashid in Calcutta, Bengal (now, Kolkata, West Bengal).
- Her father, Abdul Rashid alias Mohan Babu, was a wealthy Mohyal Tyagi (a Punjabi Hindu), who had converted to Islam. He was from Rawalpindi, Punjab (now in Pakistan).
- Her mother, Jaddanbai, was a trained Classical Music Singer and was considered one of the pioneers of Indian Cinema.
- Nargis aspired to become a doctor. However, her mother encouraged her to pursue a career in acting and introduced her to the movie culture.
- At the age of six, She made her debut as a child artist in the 1935 film Talashe Haq; in which she was credited as “Baby Nargis,” which means Narcissus (the daffodil flower) in Persian. Since then she had been credited as “Nargis” in all of her films.
- She left her acting career, after marrying Sunil Dutt in 1958.
- She became the first actress to win this award.
- After working along with Raj Kapoor in Shree 420 (1955), she had a long relationship with him and when he refused to divorce his wife, she ended the year-long relationship with him.
- She first met Sunil Dutt at the set of Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin. At that time, Sunil was a student and aspiring actor while she was an established star.
- It is reported that she was offered a whopping 50000 Rs then; while Sunil Dutt received merely 10 or twelve rupees per month for his role in Mother India.
- She became the first Indian Actress to receive an International Film award when she received the Best Actress Award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Czechoslovakia in 1958.
- Sunil Dutt was impressed with Nargis when she helped his sister reach the hospital as Sunil wasn’t aware of any doctor or hospital in Mumbai.
- At one point, doctors advised Sunil Dutt to switch off her life support system when she was admitted at the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York, as she had been in a coma for months. However, Sunil refused to do so and to his surprise, she came out of her coma and started recovering.
- She died of Pancreatic Cancer on 3 May 1981 (just 4 days before her son Sanjay Dutt’s debut film Rocky).
- Very few are aware that Nargis was actively involved in her husband’s production venture. They formed the Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe, which involved several leading stars performing at shows across borders.
- She became the first patron of Spastics Society of India and her work helped gained recognition to the cause and portrayed the star as a social worker, and later helped her win Rajya Sabha nomination in 1982.
- In 1993, Government of India released a postal stamp in her name.
- The National Film Awards instituted the “Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration” for her contribution to the Indian Cinema.
- In 2011, Rediff.com listed her “the greatest actress of all time.”
- She loved penning down her emotions in the form of letters to her son and daughters.
- In one such letter, before going to New York for her treatment, she wrote- “I am in such a mental condition, I have gone far away from all of you, and I don’t know what is going to happen. But I have faith in God. He is not going to be so cruel as to not send me back to all of you. I know how much all of you love me. Keep praying for me that all will be well with me.” In another letter to her son, Sanjay Dutt, she wrote- “Now you have promised to do even better and I promise I will come and see you every month. You know you are our only son and we have great hopes on you. You must study hard and become a big man so that you can look after us in the old age.”
- She was buried at Badakabarastan in Marine Lines, Mumbai. The street name was later changed to Nargis Dutt Road in her memory.
- Most of her films usually had a tragic end.
- Does Nargis Smoke ? Not Known!
- Does Nargis Drink Alcohol ? Not Known!
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