Biography

Kumkum, born Zaibunnissa (22 April 1934 – 28 July 2020) was an Indian film actress from Hussainabad in Sheikhpura district, Bihar. Her father was Nabab of Hussainabad and belonged to a highly reputed family. She acted in almost 115 films in her career. She is best known for her roles in Mr. X in Bombay (1964), Mother India (1957), Son Of India (1962), Kohinoor (1960), UjalaNaya DaurShreeman FuntooshEk Sapera Ek LuteraGanga Ki LaharenRaja Aur RunkAankhen (1968), LalkaarGeet and Ek Kuwara Ek Kuwari. She paired with many film heroes of her era and was popular in roles alongside Kishore Kumar.

Kumkum also acted in Bhojpuri films, starting with Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo (1963), which was also the first ever Bhojpuri film.

Career

Kumkum was discovered by Guru Dutt. Guru Dutt was to picturise the song “Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar Laaga Teere Nazar” for his movie Aar Paar (1954) on his friend Jagdeep (father of Javed Jaffery, Naved Jaffery), but later decided to picturise this song on a female actor. But at that time, no one agreed to do a small song. Then Guru Dutt finally picturised this song on Kumkum. Later, Kumkum was seen in a small role in Pyaasa (1957). The famous song “Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan” from C.I.D (1956), sung by Geeta Dutt was picturised on her. She was also paired alongside Shammi Kapoor in a side role in Mem Saheb (1956) and also in lead opposite Shammi Kapoor in Char Dil Char Raahein (1959).

She was trained in Kathak by the famous Pandit Shambhu Maharaj. She showed her dancing talents in the film Kohinoor (1960) with Dilip Kumar. “Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re” and “Haye Jaadugar Qaatil, Haazir Hai Mera Dil”, sung by Asha Bhosle for Naushad were picturised on Kumkum. She was paired opposite Kishore Kumar in films like Ganga Ki Laharen, Shreeman Funtoosh, Haaye Mera Dil and Mr. X in Bombay. The songs like “Khoobsurat Haseena” from Mr. X in Bombay, “Ijazat Ho Toh” from Haaye Mera Dil, “Sultana Sultana” from Shreeman Funtoosh and “Machalti Hui” from Ganga Ki Lahren, which were picturised on the pair Kishore-Kumkum remain popular since their release till date. She has been a favourite choice for writer director Ramanand Sagar.

Ramanand Sagar decided to cast Kumkum as Dharmendra’s sister in Ankhen, a super hit film of 1968. In 1970, for Geet, Kumkum was Ramanand Sagar’s choice for a small role. But in Lalkar (1972), she was paired with Dharmendra, while Rajendra Kumar was paired with Mala Sinha. Kumkum was paired with Kiran Kumar in Jalte Badan (1973), produced, directed and written by Ramanand Sagar. She was paired opposite Vinod Khanna in Dhamkee in 1973 and the duet song “Chand Kya Hai Roop Ka Darpan” became hugely popular. She was paired opposite Pran in the comedy film Ek Kuwara Ek Kuwari, directed by Prakash Mehra, which was a blockbuster.

After her marriage, she left the industry.

Filmography

  • Aar Paar (1954) as dancer in song “Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar” (Uncredited Role)
  • Mirza Ghalib (1954)
  • Mr. & Mrs. ’55 (1955)
  • House No. 44 (1955)
  • Kundan (1955)
  • Funtoosh (1956)
  • C.I.D. (1956)
  • Basant Bahar (1956)
  • Naya Daur (1957)
  • Mother India (1957)
  • Pyaasa (1957)
  • Char Dil Char Rahen (1959)
  • Shararat (1959)
  • Kali Topi Lal Rumal (1959)
  • Ujala (1959)
  • Kohinoor (1960)
  • Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960)
  • Son Of India (1962)
  • King Kong (1962)
  • Sher Khan (1962)
  • Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo (1963, Bhojpuri)
  • Laagi Nahi Chhute Ram (1963, Bhojpuri)
  • Mr. X in Bombay (1964)
  • Ganga Ki Lahren (1964)
  • Ek Sapera Ek Lutera (1965)
  • Shreeman Fantoosh (1965)
  • Raja Aur Runk (1968)
  • Aankhen (1968)
  • Gunah Aur Kanoon (1970)
  • Geet (1970)
  • Aan Baan (1972)
  • Lalkaar (1972)
  • Dhamkee
  • Jalte Badan (1973)
  • Ek Kunwari Ek Kunwara (1973)

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