Once a leading lady in a number of Bollywood productions, actress Lalita Pawar died on 24 February 1998 at the age of 81. A prolific artist she appeared in over 700 films in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati languages. She is most remembered for her roles film in Anari (1959), Shri 420 and Mr & Mrs 55. Her performance as Manthara, in Ramanand Sagar's television epic Ramayan was well appreciated. She was honoured by the Government of India as the first lady of Indian cinema, in 1961. Lalita Pawar will be ever remembered for her steadfast and remarkable contribution to Hindi cinema.
Lalita, born Amba Laxman Rao Sagun on 18 April 1916, hailed from Yeola in Nashik. Her father Laxman Rao Shagun was a wealthy silk merchant. In personal life Lalita Pawar was quite sober lady. After the failure of her first marriage with Ganpatrao Pawar, she married film producer Rajprakash Gupta of Ambika studios, Bombay. She died on 24 February 1998 in Aundh, Pune, and was survived by her husband, a son and daughter-in-law.
Life and Times of Lalita Pawar
She started her career at age nine in the film, Raja Harishchandra (1928). With nascent beginning she soon created niche for herself in the industry and became the leading lady of the day. She later went on to play lead roles in silent era and 1940's films. She co-produced and acted in a silent film, Kailash (1932), and later produced another film, Duniya Kya Hai in 1938, a talkie. She also played lead role in film, Himmat-e-Marda (1935). Her illustrious career lasted until the end of her life, spanning more than six decades. A turning point in her life came in 1942. While filming a scene in the movie Jung-E-Azadi, new actor Bhagwan dada slapped her so hard, that she suffered from facial paralysis and a burst left eye vein. This halted her journey as a lead actress and she had to switch to character roles which won her immense fame and popularity later in life.
Lalita Pawar did justice in shades of various character roles that she played in her long span of life. She became synonymous with roles of the dominating matriarch or mother-in-law. She received Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for playing the role of talkative landlady Mrs. L. D'Sa in Raj Kapoor-Nutan starrer Anari (1959). Her role either as tough matriarch in Professor (1962), or as a firm but kind matron in Anand (1971) won her much of her fame and popularity. She injected life into the role of devious hunchback Manthara in Ramanand Sagar's teleseries Ramayan. In short she gave her best in whatever role offered to her. A perfect performer she was matchless. In her long career she acted with all the leading actor and actresses of the time and was well appreciated for her flawless acting skill.
Entire Film Industry
(FAN OF Mrs. LALITA PAWAR)
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