Devika Rani, 86, famed Indian actress of the ’30s, died March 9 in Bangalore.
Grandniece of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, she set up the production company Bombay Talkies with her first husband, filmmaker Himanshu Rai, whom she had met while studying in London. Her starring role in the first Hindi talkie, “Karma,” made her a celebrity overnight. Other films included “Achut Kanya.”
After Rai’s death in 1940, she continued to run Bombay Talkies for a couple of years, but after marrying the Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich in 1945, she retired from the screen and the couple moved south to Bangalore. Roerich died in 1993.
Rani had no survivors.