Bollywood star Kumkum passed away at the age of 86 on Tuesday in Mumbai.
She starred in more than 100 films including hits like Mother India (1957), Naya Daur, Pyaasa (1957), Mr and Mrs 55 (1955), Mem Sahib, Dushman (1957), Arpan (1957), Kohinoor (1960) and King Kong (1962).
In 1963, she also starred in the first Bhojpuri film Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo.
Born on April 22, 1934 in Sheikhpura, Kumkum aka Zaibunnissa’s started her career in the late 1940s. She was discovered by the legendary Guru Dutt who picturized the song ‘Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar Laaga Teeri Nazar’ from the film Aar Paar (1954) on her. She also had a small role in Dutt’s film Pyaasa three years later.
Her big hit was the 1957 film Mother India starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Raaj Kumar and Rajendra Kumar.
You might recognize Kumkum from this 1956 song ‘Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jan’ from the film C.I.D.
Or these classics with Dilip Kumar in Kohinoor (1960) ‘Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re’ and ‘Haye Jaadugar Qaatir, Haazir Hai Mera Dil’.
She also starred opposite Kishore Kumar and Dharmendra in several films including Ganga Ki Laharen, Mr X in Bombay, Ankhen (1968) and Laikar (1972).
Tributes poured in from her Bollywood co-stars and friends on Twitter.
We have lost another gem. I have known her since I was a kid and she was family, a superb artist and a fantastic human being, innalillahe wa innailaihe raajeoon. Rest in peace kunkum aunty 🙏 #ripkumkum #kumkum pic.twitter.com/CT60alQbOC— Naved Jafri (@NavedJafri_BOO) July 28, 2020
What a lagend right from my teens I had followed.cherished her performances in classics with equally legendary co stars.will miss u terribly Kumkum ji. #kumkum— satish shah (@sats45) July 29, 2020
Friends….Kum kum …. Meri filmi zindagi ki ibtida jis chhoti si gudiya ka saath shuru hoie thi….woh …. hameesha hameesha ke liye humen chhod kar chali gai ….. I am extremely sad …. pray 🙏 for her soul be in peace ….. pic.twitter.com/K5r9tA1uwc— Dharmendra Deol (@aapkadharam) July 28, 2020
Mujhe abhi pata chala ki jaani maani abhinetri Kumkum ji ka dehaant hua. Mujhe ye sunke bahut dukh hua.Allah unko jannat naseeb karein.— Lata Mangeshkar (@mangeshkarlata) July 28, 2020
#RIPKumkum ji my dads first heroine of Kingkong film who went on to do many films with him ! 2020 is continuing to be cruel .— Vindu Dara Singh (@RealVinduSingh) July 28, 2020