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Veteran Bollywood actress Nanda passes away at 75

Yesteryear actress Nanda, best known for her stellar performances in films like 'Hum Dono' and 'Ittefaq', passed away on Tuesday following a massive heart attack, family sources said.

In pictures: Veteran Bollywood actress Nanda laid to rest

Veteran actress Nanda passes away
Nanda at a recent event. Pic/Yogen Shah

The 75-year-old actress died this morning at her Andheri residence here. "It is shocking as she did not have any history of illness," a relative of hers told on condition of anonymity. Born to Marathi film actor-director Vinayak Damodar Karnataki, Nanda began her silver screen career early as a child artist with 'Jaggu' in the 50s.

Nagarjuna and father Akkineni 

Nageswara Rao
Nanda during her heydays. File Pic

Nanda's popularity as a child actress made her transition to major roles easier, and she literally grew up on film sets. But it was paternal uncle-filmmaker V Shantaram who gave Baby Nanda a big break by casting her in 1956 hit 'Toofan Aur Diya' in 1956.

With the success of 'Toofan Aur Diya', Nanda did not look back and went on to establish herself in the Hindi film industry with hits like 'Jab Jab Phool Khile', 'Gumnaam', 'Teen Deviyan', 'The Train', 'Mandir', 'Angarey', 'Ram Laxman', 'Bandi', 'Ittefaq', 'Hum Dono', 'Prayashchit', 'Ahista Ahista', 'Prem Rog' and 'Mazdoor' among several others. She excelled most often as a supporting star but also found great acceptance and popularity as a lead heroine in later years.

Her identification with the title role of 'Choti Bahen' which stuck in real life. She shared screen space with noted actors like Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Rajesh Khanna and Shashi Kapoor with whom she starred in eight films. Their pairing in 'Jab Jab Phool Khile' was a huge success and inspired 'Raja Hindustani'. It was for the first time that the actress played a westernised role.

Nanda was nominated for Filmfare Award five times for her performance in Bhabhi (1957), Aanchal (1960), Ittefaq (1969), Ahista Ahista (1981) and Prem Rog (1982). She won Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for 'Aanchal'. After a small role in Manoj Kumar's 1972 film 'Shor', Nanda reduced her work in films. Her other films such as 'Chhalia' and 'Naya Nasha' did not work.

She made a brief return to acting in 1982 as a character actress where she played the onscreen mothe of Padmini Kolhapure in 'Ahista Ahista', 'Mazdoor' and 'Prem Rog'. After that she retired from acting.

Nanda's last rites were performed at 4 pm on Tuesday at the Oshiwari crematorium.

Bollywood mourns Nanda

Bollywood celebrities took to Twitter to pay their condolences to the late actress. Here's what they said...

Riteish Deshmukh: Na Na karte pyaar tumhi se kar baithe - RIP Nandaji

Madhur Bhandarkar: Saddened to hear that veteran actress Nandaji has passed away. Jab Jab Phool Khile and Gumnaam still remain favourites. End of an era. RIP.

Rohit Roy: Just heard the sad news. Nanda ji RIP.. Always so dignified..

Shweta Pandit: Very sad to know about Nandaji's demise. Had met her at Dilip Kumar sahab's house and even sang Allah Tero Naam for her.. She was so happy

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9 Comments

  • Shamlal Puri25-Mar-2014

    Very saddened to read the news. One of the best actresses of yester-years Nanda ji was an impressive star whose roles left a deep impression. She still had a huge following of Bollywood fans around the world. May her soul rest in peace, Om Shanti - Shamlal Puri, London

  • sharmila25-Mar-2014

    Nandaji you have gone into a beautiful world of God...stay beautiful and at peace

  • seegoolam sunil27-Mar-2014

    News of Bollywood's hitherto actress Nanda is sad and stirs sorrow. She was indeed a great artist of immense talent. I first discovered her on screen in the 1964 film ' Nartaki' opposite Sunil Dutt. Graceful, romantic and endowed with a heavenly charms the audiences were definitely conquered. However 'jab jab phool khile, Raaja Saab, Beti ,Teen Devian and Juaari amongst many others will be mostly remembered because of her fabulous portrayal and landmark performances. The melodious tune' ye shama

  • shashi bhushan sahay25-Mar-2014

    Very very sad news.she was my favourite actress. May GOD extend peace to her pious soul

  • shashi bhushan sahay25-Mar-2014

    Very very sad news.she was my favourite actress. May GOD extend peace to her pious soul

  • Harsh Kumar Misra25-Mar-2014

    I am very much sad , to hear Nanda is dead.

  • Subhash Modi26-Mar-2014

    Indian well known actress Nanda was simply a wonderful actress. She will be sadly missed by all those who knew her well. May God rest her soul in eternal peace. With condolances and sympathies to Nanda's Family, relatives and friends. Subhash Modi - Mobile Number +254 733 720009 Nairobi, Kenya

  • S. Israr Ali25-Mar-2014

    Getting news of passing away of my beloved heroine Nanda due to sudden heart attack grieved me immensely. While I wish the departed soul peace in her next life, I wonder such great stars really die or take another avatar. Nanda devi will always be remembered for her splendid performances, an excellent and compassionate person and will remain alive in hearts. My heartfelt condolences for her family, entire group, well wishers, fans, friends and admirers.

  • bharatkumar dahyabhai mehta 26-Mar-2014

    Nanda - she is beloved actress. One of my favourite . i am in deep shok . There is no words come to my lips. May god give her long peace. Bharatkumar Dahyabhai Mehta - Madhi - 394340.

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