Film Career of Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari got her major breakthrough in Vijay Bhatt's movie Baiju Bawra (1952). She became the first woman to achieve a Filmfare award for the movie. Meena Kumari was famous for her tragic roles in films like Parineeta (1953), Do Bigha Zameen (1953), Ek Hi Raasta (1956), Sharda (1957), and Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi (1960). The tragic dimensions to her screen persona were further confirmed by successes like Kamal Amrohi's Daera (1953), Bimal Roy's Yahudi (1958), and Guru Dutt's Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962). However, the actress has also depicted light-hearted roles as well like Azaad (1955), Miss Mary (1957), Shararat (1959) and Kohinoor (1960). After a gap of four years Kumari starred in hit movies like Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Kaajal (1965), and Phool Aur Patthar (1966). All the movies earned her Filmfare nominations. Her next two movies Chandan Ka Palna and Majhli Didi did not do well. However apart from such roles, her most famous film, till date remains Pakeezah (1971), which was made by her husband Kamal Amrohi. They had separated but reconciled their differences to complete the film which saw the light of the day after fourteen years. Pakeezah became a box-office superhit after her death and she has since acquired the legendary status. The movie is regarded as one of her best film till date.
Meena Kumari married Kamal Amrohi in 1952 who was fifteen years elder to her but their relationship did not persist. Soon the couple divorced each other. Grieved by her separation, she resorted to drinking. Towards the end of 1970s Meena Kumari was extremely sick and had to be admitted to hospital. She died on March 31, 1972 of cirrhosis of the liver. Kumari left bits and pieces of Urdu poetry for Gulzar. Meena Kumari's last film was Gomti Ke Kinare (1972). Tanha Chand, a collection of her Urdu poems under the pseudonym Naaz was compiled by Gulzar and published after her death. She has also recorded a disc of her Urdu poems, I write, I recite with music by Khayyam.
Awards and Honours of Meena Kumari
1954 Filmfare Best Actress Award - Baiju Bawra
1955 Filmfare Best Actress Award - Parineeta
1963 Filmfare Best Actress Award - Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
1966 Filmfare Best Actress Award - Kaajal
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards
Meena Kumari has won several awards at the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards (BFJA)
1963 Best Actress (Hindi): Aarti
1965 Best Actress (Hindi): Dil Ek Mandir
Special Award: Pakeezah
Filmography of Meena Kumari