Star of the week - KAMINI KAUSHAL


Name: Uma Kashyap
DOB: 24 February, 1927
Star sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lahore, Punjab, British India
Occupation: Actress and producer


• Kamini Kaushal is most noted for her roles in films such as Neecha Nagar (1946), which won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at Cannes Film Festival and also won her an award at the Montreal Film Festival, and Biraj Bahu (1955), which won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award.

• Her roles in Do Bhai (1947), Shaheed (1948), Ziddi (1948), Shabnam (1949), Nadiya Ke Paar (1948), Arzoo (1950), Paras (1949), Namoona (1949), Jhanjar (1953), Aabroo (1956), Night Club (1958), Jailor (1958), Bade Sarkar and Godaan (1963) are considered her career's best performances.

Interesting facts:

• Kamini was the youngest among two brothers and three sisters. She is the daughter of Prof. Shiv Ram Kashyap, widely regarded as the father of Indian Botany who discovered six species of plants. He taught at Punjab University at Lahore.

• Kamini had been a stage actress in Delhi during her college days from 1942 to 1945. She worked as a radio child artist in Lahore before the Partition, from 1937 to 1940.

• She was only seven when her father died. Kamini did her B.A. (honours) in English literature from Kinnaird College in Lahore. She got an offer to act in films through Chetan Anand and made her debut in Neecha Nagar.

• Chetan’s wife Uma was also part of the film. Hence, Kamini asked him to give her a new name, starting with 'K' to match with the names of her daughters.

• After her marriage, she settled in Bombay with her husband and became the first leading heroine to continue working as the lead even after marriage.

• She was also one of the first well educated heroines in Hindi cinema and had learnt Bharatnatyam in Mumbai.

• In every film starring her as the lead from 1947-1955, except when opposite Ashok Kumar, her name would appear first in the credits even before the leading hero's name.

• Kamini was the first lead for whom Lata Mangeshkar ever sang for in the film Ziddi.

• Dilip Kumar, in his biography, has admitted his attraction to her while they acted in films together, but Kamini rejected his proposal as she was already married. The actor said that she was his first love. Kamini quoted in an interview on this: "We were both shattered. We were very happy with each other. We shared a great rapport. But what to do? That’s life."

• She made a popular puppet show broadcast in 1972 which ran for a year and was the first such children's series in Hindi. She stepped into writing children's stories which would be published in the children's magazine Paraag, featuring the antics of Bunty, Chhota bhai and Mota bhai – who were all loosely based on her own son and his cousin contemporaries.

• She also dabbled in television doing a few serials. In 1986, Kamini made an animation film, Meri Pari. She appeared in The Jewel in the Crown (1984), a popular British television serial.