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Naseem Banu

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Naseem Banu

Born: 4 July 1916

Died: 18 June 2002

  • She was an Indian film actress.
  • She was referred to as Naseem and known as “Beauty Queen” and the “first female superstar” of Indian Cinema.
  • Starting her acting career in the mid-1930s she continued to act till the mid-1950s.
  • Her first film was Khoon Ka Khoon (Hamlet) (1935) with Sohrab Modi under whose Minerva Movietone banner she acted for several years.
  • Her high-point came with Modi’s Pukar (1939) in which she played the role of Empress Nur Jahan.
  • According to composer Naushad, she got the sobriquet Pari-Chehra (fairy face) Naseem through the publicity advertisements of her films.
  • She was the mother of actress Saira Banu and mother-in-law to the actor Dilip Kumar.
  • She had started her career with Khoon Ka Khoon (Hamlet) (1935) and went on to make several films with Modi under the Minerva Movietone banner.
  • After acting in films like “Khan Bahadur” (1937), Talaq (Divorce) (1938), Meetha Zahar, and Vasanti (1938) she started work in what became known as her most famous film Pukar in the role of Noor Jahan.
  • To prepare for the film she went riding every day and learnt singing.
  • The film took over a year to complete and brought Naseem into prominence in a spectacular manner.
  • One of her songs, “Zindagi Ka Saaz Bhi Kya Saaz Hai” became popular with the audiences.
  • The publicity of the film dealt on her beauty calling her Beauty Queen and Pari Chehra a name that was to endure over the years before passing on to her daughter Saira Banu.

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