Lovely Lalita Pawar

Just to let you know that I’ve made lots of updates to the Galleries above, including the Nahiiin! Face one. It still cracks me up to look at it, every time :)

And in that spirit, I thought I’d share this lovely photo of Memsaab favorite Lalita Pawar, probably from sometime in the late 1930s (before the accident resulting in a wonky eye), courtesy of my friend Sudhir via the most excellent “Filmography of Silent Cinema: 1913-1934” by Dr. R.K. Verma (it’s honestly more like an encyclopedia of silent Indian cinema).

46 Comments to “Lovely Lalita Pawar”

  1. Oh, so even Lalita Pawar was born in Indore? What is it with Indore, Jabalpur, Rewa…all these places in Madhya Pradesh (at that time Central Provinces & Berar)? SO many oldtimers seem to have had some connection there.

    Prem Nath (and Rajendra Nath & co) – Jabalpur/Rewa
    Kapoor family (maybe due to the Prem Nath connection) – Rewa
    Lata Mangeshkar – born in Indore
    Chandramohan – born in Narsinghpur, Madhya Pradesh
    Tarun Bose – Nagpur
    Raju Hirani – Nagpur

    And I am sure there are many more (maybe others can add). Right now, we have our Atul holding fort in that area. :-)

    More on CP&B here. .

    And yes, it is a lovely photo. I’ve always liked Lalita Pawar in movies. Lalita Pawar, Durga Khote, Leela Chitnis – all leading ladies from that era who went on to play mother/grandmother roles.

    • They were all lovely, and aged very elegantly (sans plastic surgery and botox!) :)

    • A few more additions to your list:
      The Ganguly brothers – Ashok, Kishore, Anup (Khandwa, MP)
      The Pataudi family – Saif, Soha, Sharmila (by marriage) – Bhopal connection
      Jaya Bhaduri – Jabalpur/Bhopal
      Salim Khan (script writer) – Indore
      Ashutosh Rana – from MP

  2. I can never forget her performance with Raj Kapoor in the “Kele waali” role. She was so versatile. On the one hand she performed the stick warden/saas/Shaahi maa whereas she played loving mom’s role with the same conviction. I wonder that our industry will ever be able to get actors of the same caliber or not. thanks to my parents who never allowed cable tv at home and I got to see brilliant actors like her on DD!

  3. Great photo memsaab. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for uploading this @memsaab.
    One point I’d like to make is that her list of early films seem so un-Lalita Pawar-ish (especially if one is used to seeing her in her latter day mom or MIL avatar) – Mysterious Prince, Champion of the Sword, The Mighty, Sweet Angel, Flaming Soul etc. Goes to show that there is so much I (we) do not know ..

    • Well, she started in silent films and they were limited in scope and a lot of them were stunt films I think. Would really love to see them though!

  5. Lalita Pawar will always be Manthara from the Ramayan to me…or the really witchy mother-in-law in an 80s saas-bahu movie. That picture of her reminds me of Morticia Addams though.

    • Morticia…:) That’s funny. I always just think of her as an incredibly versatile and engaging character actor. Wish I could see some of her “heroine” films.

  6. Any time Lalita or Pran came on screen, I simply cringed and looked the other way in a theater to avoid seeing them. They were so effective in portraying terrible characters.

  7. Wonderful photo! LP looks so demure yet sexy. Pity she never played the vamp to Pran’s villian. :-)

  8. Beautiful photo. Didn’t know she was also called Amboo. :)

    • I didn’t either…she really had a LONG career in films, started when she was TEN. That is amazing.

      • Wikipedia mentions she was born Amba Laxman Rao Sagun and her first husband was a Pawar. Maybe she changed her first name after marriage, as was the tradition in those days (some Maharashtrian families still follow this).

  9. I am a great fan of Lalita Pawar. My top three films of her (in no particular order): Anadi (an excellent performance as Raj Kapoor’s guardian); Junglee (simply brilliant as Shammi’s strict mother) and Bombay to Goa (totally hilarious)…

  10. Who can forget her in Professor and Mem Didi, really this lady has huge, huge super performances, can not count really :)

    • You and Vinod above have pinpointed some of her great performances for sure. I loved her in Bombay to Goa, what comic timing she had! Truly a very talented lady.

  11. Aw – this is more of a stub ..:(. I was hoping for a longer write up on Lalitaji. She was indeed a versatile actress… I cringe at the bit roles she had to play towards the end. I don’t remember the film but one of them really was an insult to her dignity, her very talent … I guess she needed the money but that the Director/Writer should make her act out such a role , she an actor of such calibre who had acted in much greater films than what that scum could ever dream of directing… Her end was lonely and shocking. RIP.

    And yes… what on earth did she do to her eyebrows :D.

    Leela Mishra is another favourite of mine. I hope you can give us bigger write ups of these old stalwarts. I think you once mentioned that you wanted to write a book on old character actors…

  12. Ah – re-visted the gallery. Leela Chitnis next to Lalita Pawar was a revelation :D I couldn’t believe that was her with that ‘arched’ look!

    • I think of her as someone who is more well-known…it’s pretty easy to find writeups about her online. Leela Chitnis was gorgeous too, so elegant. Even her picture in the Nahiiin! Face Gallery shows that :)

  13. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lovely Lalita!
    I would have so loved to meet her!
    An all-time favourite of mine. How I love to hate the roles she did!!! and also love her in many!
    You made my day!
    Thank you Sudhir!
    Oliver asks for more!

  14. Thanks for the great picture of Lalita Pawar… This is even better than seeing those early ’40s clips of Manorama! My favorite Lalita films include Shree 420, Dahej, Parchhaiyan, and Bindiya. She is one of my favorites too.

  15. I always remember her as Mrs Gomes in Naseeb. One of her nicer characters.

  16. She was a versatile actor, It always amazed me how easily she could be Ms D’Sa, Mrs Gomes and then a wicked saas to a poor bahu. She had an amazing two-in-one role as a spy and mausi in Dharmendra’s Aankhen. And of course her beautiful reactions in the children’s song Dadi amma Dadi amma manjao.

    • But her best was as Sita Dev opposite Shammi Kapoor in Professor. As a kid I was scared of that stick and her crooked eye. Because of the type of roles she performed, she did not get her due.

    • Oh yes, loved her in Aankhen. And in Professor. Well, she rocked pretty much everything she was in, even the worst movies :)

  17. I didn’t know she looked this beautiful :-)

    She really made a mark in “Kohraa” (1964). Waheeda’s emotions were so true to life, but I am sure it was because of Lalitha Pawar’s histrionics in the movie.

    She could be such a loving mother or a scheming villainess. Her eyes spoke for her which was what made her so effective.

    I think “Anari”(1959) was her first positive character role.

  18. Lalita Pawar looks lovely here, pity she was slapped so hard by Bhagwan which sort of had an adverse effect on her eye, I am sure she would have been a heroine for longer time otherwise.

  19. WOW!!! i’m seeing lalita pawar when she was young, for the first time. She’s really stunning!!! she was looking good even in her old age…

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