Star of the week - GEETA BALI


Name: Harikirtan Kaur
D.O.B: 1930
Birthplace: Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan
Occupation: Actress
Considered: One of the most spontaneous and expressive stars of Bollywood.


• Geeta Bali received a Filmfare Nomination as Best Actress for Vachan(1955), and another nomination as Best Supporting Actress for Kavi (1955).

Interesting facts:

• Geeta Baali started her film career as a child actress, at the age of 12, with the film The Cobbler. She made her debut as a heroine in Badnaami(1946).

• Geeta Bali’s family lived in Amritsar before 1947. Her father, Kartar Singh was known as a philosopher . He was a Sikh scholar and kirtan (Sikh devotional music) singer. Her maternal grandfather, Takhat Singh was the founder of a boarding school for girls and the first of its kind established in 1904 in Ferozepur.

• Geeta’s elder brother DigVijay Singh Bali was a film director. He directed the movie Raag Rang starring her and Ashok Kumar in 1952.

• Her parents encouraged her and her sister to learn classical music and dance, horse riding and gatka fencing. Fundamentalist Sikhs socially boycotted the family, as they did not like the girls performing in public and they picketed the theatres.

• She became a star in the 1950s. Anand Math is considered one of her memorable movies.

• On 23 August 1955, Geeta married Shammi Kapoor, with whom she was working in the film Coffee House at the time. They two had a son (Aditya Raj) and a daughter (Kanchan).

• Unlike other actresses who gave up films after marrying into the Kapoor family, Bali kept acting until her death. Her last film was Jab Se Tumko Dekha Hai (1963). She did more than 70 films in a 10-year career.

• She died on 21 January 1965, having contracted smallpox while shooting a Punjabi film, Rano, based on a novel Eik Chadar Maili Si by Rajinder Singh Bedi. He was directing the film and she was the producer. Bedi, devastated by the untimely death of Bali, abandoned the project. He wrote later that he had put the novel, Ek Chadar Maili Si, on her burning funeral pyre.

• Geeta is the aunt of actress Yogeeta Bali. Her personal secretary was Surinder Kapoor, father of producer Boney Kapoor and actors Anil and Sanjay Kapoor.

• Her films include Sohag Raat (1948), Bawre Nain (1950), Baazi (1951), Ghayal (1951), Albela(1951), Jhamela (1953), Jaal (1952), Baaz (1953) and Mr. India (1961).