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Meena Kumari Birth Anniversary: Here Are a Few Interesting Facts About The Tragedy Queen

Did you know that Meena Kumari's father did not have enough money to pay the doctor who had delivered her and left her at an orphanage. More interesting facts about her follow.

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Updated:August 1, 2019, 9:53 AM IST
Meena Kumari Birth Anniversary: Here Are a Few Interesting Facts About The Tragedy Queen
Image of Meena Kumari

An enigma and an icon, the tragedy queen of Bollywood, Meena Kumari remains relevant even now. Born on August 1, 1933, she starred in 92 films in her career spanning 33 years and her portrayal of a nautch girl in Kamal Amrohi's Pakeezah became a historical document.

On her 86th birth anniversary, here's looking at few interesting facts about The Tragedy Queen of Indian cinema.

Kumari started her career as Baby Meena

Born as Mahjabeen Bano, she started her career when she was four year old. A large number of her early films were with Vijay Bhatt, both as a child and adult. In fact, it was during the shoot of Ek Hi Bhool in 1940 that Bhatt renamed her Baby Meena which would later become Meena Kumari as she grew older.

She was almost abandoned at an orphanage

Kumari was not born into riches. In fact, when she was born, her father did not have enough money to pay the doctor who had delivered her and left her at an orphanage. Thankfully, he came back for her a few hours later.

Meena Kumari was also called Reading Mahjabeen

Even though the actress was admitted to school various times, she had to leave mid-way due to work commitments. Kumari was supporting her family since she was 4. However, she had a great love for reading and would bring her books to the sets. This habit led her to be nicknamed Reading Mahjabeen.

Meena Kumari dominated Filmfare

Not only were many of Kumari's films sent as Official Entries to the Oscars, she won the Best Actress Award at the very first Filmfare ceremony in 1954 for Baiju Bawra. She won it again in the subsequent year for Parineeta. In 1963, she was nominated for three films and won for Saheb Bibi Aur Ghulam.

Meena Kumari gifted her diary of poems to Gulzar

Gulzar who debuted in direction with Mere Apne had cast Kumari as the lead. The two shared a close bond and as Kumari's love for Urdu grew, she became closer to the poet. In fact, before she passed away, Kumari had gifted her diaries of poems, written under the name Naaz to the poet. Gulzar would later publish some of them.

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