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Vyjayantimala Height

Vyjayantimala

Name: Vyjayantimala

Height: 5'6"

Date of Birth: 13 August 1936

Birthplace: Madras, Tamil Nadu, India

Vyjayanthimala Bali was a famous Hindi film actress of yesteryears. She hails from present day Chennai in South India and had received rigorous training in Bharatnatyam since her childhood. When she was only four years old, Vyjayanthimala received the rare honor of performing in front of the Pope. At the early age of 15, she received an offer from the production house AVM to act in a Tamil film, Vazhkai, made by M V Raman, a family friend. The film succeeded in the box office and was remade in Hindi as Bahaar (1951). Her career was guided farther by the strict hands of her grandmother Yadugiri Devi.

Vyjayanthimala was fluent in Hindi and after her success in Tamil films, she acted in some mediocre Hindi films like Ladki and Nagin (1954). The catchy, foot-tapping numbers of Hemant Kumar and her mesmerizing dance to the tune of "Tan Dole Mera Man dole" song in Nagin made the movie a stupendous success. Overnight, Vyjayanthimala became a much sought after star. Bimal Roy noticed the multitude expressions float over her countenance and her perfectly posed mudras in the dances, and despite contradictions from well wishers, cast her as Chandramukhi opposite screen legend Dilip Kumar in Sarat Chandra's classic tale of tragic love, Devdas. The film and Vyjayanthimala's histrionic talents were critically acclaimed. She received the Best Supporting Actress Award. But the self-righteous actress refused to accept the award because her opinion was that her performance was no lesser than the main lead of the film - Suchitra Sen as Paro. Another controversy followed as B R Chopra's laborer-versus-the rich (1957) saga, Naya Daur 's original heroine Madhubala got involved in a court case with Chopra over her refusal to shoot outdoors and was replaced by Vyjayanthimala. Next, she starred in Madhumati, Bimal Roy's most commercially successful film. She shined in this author-backed role, and made a sprightly mountain damsel as she flitted across the screen, lip-syncing to Lata's scintillating Aaja re pardesi. In this movie also she was paired again with Dilip Kumar. But another 1958 film Sadhana ultimately gave Vyjayanthimala her coveted first Best Actress Award. B R Chopra cast her in the film when Nimmi refused to play a prostitute. Vyjayanthimala enacted role with aplomb and daring, and managed to evoke tears with Sahir Ludhianvi's mournful song Aurat ne janam deeya mardon ko, mardon ne usse bazaar deeya. She left for Paris in 1959 to perform several dance shows that were hugely appreciated. The megahit Ganga Jamuna (1961) had Vyjayanthimala sharing screen space with Dilip Kumar as his wife, Dhanno. Her fluent rendition of Bhojpuri, her agile dancing and the brilliantly executed death scene - one of the most memorable ones in the history of Hindi films - won her next Best Actress Award. With Dilip Kumar she went on to deliver a number of hits and altogether she made six films with him. Their last film Sungharsh released in 1968. At that time they had a bitter disagreement and were not on talking terms. Vyjayanthimala worked with all the leading actors of her time, with Dev Anand in Jewel Thief and with Kishore Kumar in his comic capers. Her energetic dance numbers in Chadh gayo paapi bichhua (Madhumati) or Buddha mil gaya (Sangam) or Hothon pe aisi baat (Jewel Thief), enthralled the audience. She set new standards of dancing in the Hindi film industry and paved the way towards the popularity of her successors from the Southern states, from Hema Malini To Aishwarya Rai, all skilful dancers. While she was working with Raj Kapoor in Sangam, rumors of an affair with Raj Kapoor sparked off, causing much hue and cry. In this film, she reinvented herself as she changed her image of a traditional girl, donning swimsuits and the titillating performance in the song Buddha mil gaya. However, she convincingly brought forth her character's predicament of living with her husband's suspicions.

Vyjayanthimala married Raj Kapoor's personal physician Dr Bali. When her lavish period epic Amarpali failed to make a mark in the hearts of the audience, she received a major set back and decided to quit films at the helm of her career. She shifted to Chennai ultimately joined politics. She went on to win an election to become a Lok Sabha M.P. Today, even as she approaches 70, her munificent devotion to her art - Bharatnatyam - continues.

Awards:

* 1956 - Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award, Devdas. She refused to accept it, saying that she was not a supporting actress, but a heroine, so she should get the award for Best Actress.

* 1958 - Filmfare Best Actress Award, Sadhna

* 1961 - Filmfare Best Actress Award, Ganga Jamuna

* 1964 - Filmfare Best Actress Award, Sangam

* 1995 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award

Vyjayanthimala's Landmark Films:

Year Film
1951 Bahar
1954 Nagin
1955 Devdas
1956 New Delhi
1957 Naya Daur
1958 Madhumati
1958 Sadhana
1961 Ganga Jamuna
1964 Sangam
1967 Jewel Thief

 

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