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Date of Birth: 8 January 1939
Nanda started out as Baby Nanda – the innocent younger sister of the leading actors. Her guileless visage, free of spite, added to her charm. She grew up to be an elegant, soft-spoken actress and starred in over 40 films. She did try to break out of her ingenuous image and played a manipulative wife in Aashiq, and a murderer in Yash Chopra’s Ittefaq. She even assumed the glam doll look in The Train. But Nanda’s prime appeal lies with her endearing innocence.
Nanda’s life was marked with tragey. Her father Master Vinayak, a successful actor cum director of the 1930s and 1940s, died when she was just a kid of eight years. After the demise of her father, her family became poverty-stricken and Nanda tried to provide for her family by working as a child artist in 1950s films like Jaggu and Angaarey.
Master Vinayak’s friend V Shantaram offered Baby Nanda her big break by casting her in the brother-sister narrative Toofan Aur Diya (1956). The film was immensely successful. Nanda courageously turned down offers for a regular income because that involved signin long-term contracts with some big production house. As an alternative she settled for side roles like sister of Raaj Kumar in Dulhan or of Dev Anand in Kaala Bazaar, or even minor appearances in films like Dhool Ka Phool. Her talent was to arouse protective instincts in the audience’s hearts and garner their sympathy. Two of her noticeable tearful roles include Bhabhi (1957) and Chhoti Bahen (1959). She portrayed the title role in the latter, a film by L V Prasad in which the quintessential Raakhi song Bhaiya mere rakhee ke bandhan ko nibhana became hugely popular. The audiences shed plenteous tears as they watched her travails in the hands of her brother and sister-in-law. Soon Nanda began to feature in the roles of female lead in films like Hum Dono (1961) opposite Dev Anand and B. R. Chopra’s Kaoon (1960). The confusion of a wife by her husband’s aloofness in Hum Dono, unaware of the fact that she is in fact sharing her life with her husband’s double, was eloquently portrayed by Nanda.
The colorful Jab Jab Phool Khile with Shashi Kapoor finally broke her lachrymose image and from a diffident woman became a sporty, glamorous heroine. The film was a runaway success.
Nanda's Landmark Films
1956 Toofan Aur Diya
1959 Chhoti Bahen
1961 Hum Dono
1963 Aaj Aur Kal
1965 Jab Jab Phool Khile
1970 The Train
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