Nargis – A Tribute on her 30th Death Anniversary

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On May 3, it’s 30 years ago that the legendary actress Nargis passed away. Her memory lives on in the hearts of the people who knew her or saw her in her films. As Mother India, she became an unforgettable icon. To celebrate and honor the actress we take a look at her life and some of the highlights of her career!

Nargis was born in Kolkata on June 1, 1929 as Fatima A. Rashid, daughter of director, singer and actress Jaddanbai and sister of actor Anwar Hussain. She started acting in movies when she was a child, already having taken up her artist name Nargis (= narcissus). Her first leading role she got at the age of fourteen in Taqdeer.

In the 1950’s Nargis and Raj Kapoor formed a very popular jodi on the silver screen and were said to have a romance in real life too, though Raj was already married. Their most successful films included Aag, Andaz, Barsaat, Shree 420, Awara and Chori Chori.

While shooting for Mother India (1957), an Oscar-nominated film which made Nargis an undying star in Hindi Cinema, Nargis fell in love with Sunil Dutt who played her son in that movie. They got married on March 11, 1958, which was quite controversial because at that time it was very rare to have a Hindu-Muslim marriage. They couple had three children: Sanjay, Namrata and Priya.

After settling down, Nargis’ appearances on screen became very rare, and 1967 after Raat Aur Din she ended her film career to dedicate her life to her family and to her charity activities. After suffering from pancreatic cancer Nargis passed away May 3, 1981 – just five days before the release of her son Sanjay’s debut film Rocky. She was buried next to her mother’s grave at Marine Drive Cemetary in Mumbai. In the village Mandhaulli near the district Yamunanagar (Haryana), a memorial on the banks of the river Yamuna reminds of Nargis who until today is ranking as one of the most charismatic and seductive actresses the Indian film industry ever had.

Nargis with her husband Sunil Dutt

Nargis with her three children – Sanjay, Namrata & Priya Dutt

Nargis with Raj Kapoor in Awara

Nargis with Raj Kapoor

Nargis in the movie Jagte Raho

Nargis in the movie Mother India


Nargis with her whole family

Nargis with 2 year old Sanjay and 6 month old Namrata

Nargis and Sunil Dutt. Sunil Dutt got injured while saving Nargis from a fire on the sets of Mother India

Nargis and Raj Kapoor in Awara

Nargis and Raj Kapoor in Shree 420

Nargis in Mother India

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