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Nanda, Yesteryear Bollywood Actress, Dies at 75

Former Bollywood leading lady Nanda died March 25 in the Mumbai, India, suburb of Andheri. She was 75.

The star of such 1960s hits as “Jab jab phool khile,” “Gumnaam,” “Teen deviyan” and “The Train,” was not known to have been ailing. Family members said her death was a shock.

Nanda, who went by just one name like many other Bollywood actors, was the daughter of a famous Marathi filmmaker Master Vinayak and started her career at age 5. A niece of famous Bollywood director V. Shantaram, her big break came in his “Toofan aur diya” in 1956. . For the longest time she played supporting parts in films like “Kala Bazaar,” leading to the nickname of “choti bahen” or younger sister, which stuck throughout her life. But she moved on to leading roles, starring in all genres from romantic movies like 1962’s “Hum dono” to thrillers such as “Itefaq” and “Gumnaam.”

In her heyday, Nanda co-starred with the top Bollywood leading men like Raj Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna and Shashi Kapoor, with whom she was paired in one of her most famous film, “Jab jab phool khile.”

She starred in all genres from romantic films like “Hum dono” to thrillers such as “Itefaq” and “Gumnaam.”

As with all older Indian actresses she segued to mother roles in such films as 1982’s “Prem rog,” her last film. But
Nanda, who never married, was briefly engaged to filmmaker Manmohan Desai (“Amar Akbar Anthony”) before he committed suicide. There were no immediate survivors.

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