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Mumtaz (born 31 July 1947 in Bombaymarker, India) is a famous Bollywood actress, most remembered for her roles in Tere Mere Sapne (1971) and Khilona (1970), which got her Filmfare Best Actress Award, while the film itself, won Filmfare Best Movie Award.


Early life

Mumtaz was born to Abdul Saleem Askari and Sardar Shadi Habib Agha in Bombay, India, on 31 July 1947. Originally they are from Afghanistan. She entered Bollywood at the age of twelve.


She started as an extra in films in the early 1960s. She accepted small roles in big films like Mujhe Jeene Do and big roles in small budgeted stunt films like Boxer, Samson, Tarzan, and King Kong. In the 1960s, she starred in as many as 16 action films with freestyle wrestler Dara Singh and was labelled as a stunt film heroine.

She first gained attention in a supporting role as a vamp in the A grade color hit film Mere Sanam (1965). The memorable sexy song yeh hai reshmai was picturized on her. The success of the film led to another sizzling song "Aye dushman jaan" in another big-budget film Patthar Ke Sanam. Finally, she gained major attention when she played one of Dilip Kumar's leading ladies in Ram Aur Shyam (1967). The film became one of the top hits of the year, and she received her first Filmfare nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Suddenly, Mumtaz was flooded with offers, but still not for major leading lady roles. She supported Sharmila Tagore in several films in the late 1960s, such as for Saawan Ki Ghata, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi, and Mere Humdum Mere Dost. She had a memorable song and dance number ("Aaj kal tere mere") with her then-boyfriend Shammi Kapoor in the hit film Brahmachari (1968).

It took Raj Khosla's blockbuster Do Raaste (1969) starring the phenomenon Rajesh Khanna to finally make Mumtaz a full-fledged star. Oddly, it was just an inconsequential girlfriend role, but director Khosla, so good at picturizing songs, filmed four unforgettable songs on Mumtaz. The film made her hugely popular, and she acknowledged that even though she had a small role, it was still one of her favorite films.. When earlier, she had played a small role as Rajendra Kumar's sister in Gehra Daag, now was elevated to playing his leading lady in Tangewala. Earlier, Shashi Kapoor had refused to work with her because she was a "stunt film heroine" in Saccha Jootha, now wanted her to be his heroine in Chor Machaye Shor.

Mumtaz had no problems acting sexy and due to her great looks, easily had several more hit films. She acted in over a hundred films in a career that spanned just 12 years. She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for one of her favorite films Khilona in 1970, and she was "very happy that the audience accepted her in an emotional role." Mumtaz starred in many movies with Feroz Khan and her other popular pairing have been with Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna. She has also acted with Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar and other top heroes of her era. She was proud of her work in her other favorite films Tere Mere Sapne for director Vijay Anand, as well as Roop Tera Mastana, Aap Ki Kasam, and Aaina.

She quit acting after her appearance in Aaina (1977) which was a flop, even though it had co-starred Rajesh Khanna and was directed by famous director Kailasam Balachander. After that, she left films for marriage to a millionaire and only returned for one final film appearance 12 years later in the 1989 film Aandhiyan, which flopped and she turned down other film offers. In 1996 she received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

In June 2008, she was honored for her "Achievement in Indian Cinema" by the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) in Bangkok.

Mumtaz will next be seen in UniGlobe Entertainment's Cancer docudrama 1 a Minute with Olivia Newton-John, Namrata Singh Gujral, Kelly McGillis, Jaclyn Smith, Melissa Etheridge, William Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin, Diahann Carroll and Priya Dutt. The feature is narrated by Kelly McGillis.

Personal life

Mumtaz married millionaire Mayur Madhvani on 29 May 1974. They have two daughters Natasha and Tanya. Natasha, the elder daughter, married actor Fardeen Khan, son of Feroz Khan, in a lavish ceremony, in December 2005. Her sister Mallika is married to Randhawa, younger brother of famous wrestler Dara Singh.

Mumtaz had acknowledged that she has successfully battled cancer and that she and her husband have overcome personal problems in their marriage.


When asked which performances she is most proud of: "I was okay, nothing great at all. I liked Khilona that fetched me the Filmfare Best Actress Award. I also liked myself in Roop Tera Mastana, Aaina and Tere Mere Sapne. I should have won the Best Actress Award for Tere Mere Sapne. I really deserved it. Instead it went to Asha Parekh for Kati Patang in which she wore white and stood in front of piano doing precious little. Khair, jaane do (let it go). God has given me so much."


1961 Films

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