Veteran Bollywood actor Kumkum, who worked in around 115 films and popular songs such as ‘Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar’ and ‘Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi’ passes away on Tuesday at her Bandra residence at the age of 86. Television director and late comedian Jagdeep’s son Naved Jafri tweeted to confirm the news. “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. Rest in peace Kumkum aunty. (sic)”
She was spotted by Guru Dutt, who was looking for a good dancer to picturise the immortal song Kabhi aar kabhi paar for his 1954 film, Aar Paar. Dutt finalised Kumkum and the song went onto become a huge hit. Dutt then gave her a role in his 1957 classic, Pyaasa. Kumkum worked with Shammi Kapoor in Mem Saheb (1956) and had a lead role opposite the actor Char Dil Char Raahein (1959).
A fine Kathak dancer, she trained under Pandit Shambhu Maharaj.
Kumkum’s notable films include Mr. X In Bombay, Mother India, Son Of India, Kohinoor, Ujala, Naya Daur, Shreeman Funtoosh, Raja Aur Runk, Lalkaar, and Geet.
She starred opposite Ashim Kumar in the first Bhojpuri film, Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo (1963).
With inputs from IANS!