Trivia time #40

Can anyone tell me who this actress is? This is a film still from 1940; by this time she was already well-established (she had begun acting in the silent era) and she went on to have a long and illustrious career in Hindi cinema.

My good friend Raja knew that she is the lovely Lalita Pawar, one of my favorite character actresses of all time. She gave an interview which I am attaching here as a pdf giving details of her introduction to films as a child, and the accident which ended her days as a heroine and gave her that one=eyed squint which has been her hallmark since. I don’t remember how I came to have this, but if you know please remind me and I’ll give you and the appropriate publication due credit!

Lalita Pawar Interview.pdf

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36 Comments to “Trivia time #40”

  1. Looks like Lalita Pawar.

  2. Yeh She does look like Lalita Pawar.. Or maybe Ruby Meyers?

  3. Now that it has been pointed out, she does look like Lalita Pawar.

  4. Wow! So Katharine Hepburn-y!

  5. i guess she is she is Lalita Pawar.

  6. Raja is correct! I can’t stump you guys with ANYTHING! :) She is Lalita Pawar, and I am posting a pdf of an interview she gave detailing the beginning of her career, and the accident which gave her that characteristic squint. I found it somewhere or someone sent it to me, but unfortunately I can’t remember the details…so if I need to credit someone or something for it do let me know!

  7. Too late, but I thought she was Lalita Pawar as well!

  8. Lalita Pawar wouldnt have occurred to me – a change of hairstyle and a squint makes a whale of a difference! She looks so very Hollywood, here.

    I think I read an interview of hers (about her “accident”) over at Filmi Girl‘s old blog.

    • I know! Me neither…as Beth says, so Kate Hepburn!

      I don’t think Filmi Girl is where I got this…although I could be wrong! Hopefully she will let me know if so :)

  9. I couldn’t get the pdf to open on my browser :( This has happened with me earlier too with some other pdf. It says the file could not be repaired etc. What am I doing wrong?

    • Are you using an old browser? It might help to update it. Also, I use a Mac so if your pc software isn’t compatible with Mac files for some reason it might be the problem. You could try saving the file to your hard drive and opening it with Acrobat instead of opening it with your browser, too.

      I use the latest version of Firefox and they work fine for me.

  10. Raja’s good. So Lalita Pawar was wearing pants at the same time Katherine Hepburn was.
    Kudos to her for surviving the worst thing that can happen to an actress. And memsaab, I liked her in Aankhen too.

  11. I guessed her to be Lalita Pawar. Promise :-)

    It’s the area around her eyes as well as her eyes, if you aren’t looking for the tragic ‘damage’ done to one.

    I too have read about the accident/slap that changed her whole life, but can’t remember where.

  12. I came across another interview (her last) in screenindia. It has a slightly different version of the accident.

  13. Oh yes, that’s definitely Lalita Pawar! Have you ever seen the pic of her in the bikini-sarong outfit? Seriously glamorous. Here’s a link to the photo:

  14. Once it was mentioned, I could also see from the face that it was Lalita Pawar, but my first guess was the other actress Ava mentioned above, Ruby Meyers aka Sulochana.

    Thanks for the interview. I have definitely become a Lalita Pawar fan, very recently. :) I hadn’t seen that interview before, but I did see the one from Screenindia. It was fun to see that she was actually the one who came up with the idea for V. Shantaram to play the blind hero himself in Parchhaiyan, a film that I like a lot (though mainly for the songs). On a tangential note, I have been trying to figure out for a while now who the actress is with the sitar in this scene:

  15. What a career! She looks lovely here, but she did well, even after her accident. I used to hate her of course, as a kid. And realize only now what a formidable actress she is.

  16. Super article and images of Lalita Power.

    thats what I alwayz call her bcos she was the Power House and way ahead of her times in dressing, her roles, her on screen persona, everything.

    Show me one movie where her role cud be said as boring ????? What a wide range of roles she cud do…..

    A chip of da old block, and yu just do not make ’em anymore,
    I have never missed any of her movies, still collecting.

    I could be wrong but what I understood was she distanced herself and settled in Pune, rather disillusioned with Bollywood and their ilk, well quite a few of these veterans were very unhappy, take another one Bhagwan Dada. Same fate !

    How many of us see her being remembered today ? In India we have 101 TV channels and print media, do we ever see her/their CONTRIBUTION, HER MOVIES, HER LIFE or any of the OTHER back bones of Bollywood.

    For eg Leela Misra, Nazir Hussein,Om Prakash, S N Bannerjee, Moni Chatterjee, and yeah one of my top fav N A Ansari, Gope, Cuckoo, Kanhaiyalal, Motilal, Agha, Anwar Hussein, Nirupa Roy, Durga Khote, Leela Chitnis, Raj Mehra, David, Achla Sachdev, Radha Krishan,… I cud go on and on !

    Their contribution I am afraid is destined to a dustbin, yeah yu heard it right-DUSTBIN. Not acknowledged at all, they do not exist. Sorry for these ‘strong’ words but was it not for Internet any mention of these great guyz n dollz wud simply would not exist.

    Btw just for info, she was born in Indore, MP on 18th April 1916, not in Maharashtra as many may think !!!

    And her birth name….. can yu guess folks ??????

    Ambika Laxman Sagun

    How many movies did she do ???
    600, 700…. we do not have a count.
    She started acting at the age of 8 or 9 !

    Can never forget her in Professor (1962) as Sita Devi Verma, what a performance or in Majhli Didi (1967) as Kadambini or in Mr. & Mrs. ’55 (1955) as Seeta Devi or any movie of and with Raj Kapoor

    And ….. 600/700 more .)

    Very nice to see her being brought into your Blog Memsaab.

    Cheers .)

    • Hey Ash, its interesting that you’ve mentioned Bhagwan Dada in the same breath as Lalita Pawar. As it happens, he happens to be the chap who administered the ‘fatal’ slap…some precursor to Daya!

  17. A very interesting aspect of her life which many of us do not know, I do not is her spouses, supposedly 3 but what happened to them…. a mystery… she had married ? or lived with ?

    Hanuman (? – ?) (divorced)
    G.P. Pawar (? – ?) (divorced)
    Raj Kumar Gupta (? – ?)

    A tough lady who ran life on her terms, that was obvious from the roles she played and am sure in real life also she was the same.

    Cheers .)

  18. Wow! great! so i am one of them who gave the correct answer at the right time. Not the first but the third…well thats an very good result. My mom is feeling proud for me.

  19. P.S.
    Some reports suggest she was born in Yevle, in Nashik ?

    must admit many aspects of her life we do not have much of a clue as not very much is archived or is it ?

    Would be nice if readers can shed something about this talented lady.

    Cheers .)

    • There is an article linked above which is interesting, written after her death. Would love to be able to get hold of more info on these people myself (but you know that already) :)

  20. Thanks for the treasure trove of info from all the contributors!

  21. What I wouldn’t give to see some of Lalita’s early films, particulary her stunt movies!

  22. Pardon me if this is dupe SS, but readers have a look at our Super Power lady here

    Movie Ramshastri 1944, looked deadly as ever.

    Another movie worth viewing is Do Dulhe from 1955, on Moser, a VCD, excellent audio/video, a wonderful story line and made by Gemini of Madras, Def a remake of their original version and has a starcast of-
    Lalita Power
    David.. as a baddie
    our dasher Kanhaiyalal… as a goodie pandit .)
    Achla Sachdev

    All chip da ol block and we sure do not make ’em anymore…..oh OK I know I am biased with my olde goldies….)

    I know Memsaab yu wud love to have Subs so that yu can write yr wonderful write ups…. mayb our colleague DO cud do that ?

    Cheers. )

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