Meena Kumari, the tragedy queen of Bollywood reigned the film industry for 30 years and closed her eyes at a meager age of 39. Meena Kumari earned the title not just because of her reel life roles but also because of her real life being nothing less than a tragedy.

She created history during this period by being the only nominee for the Filmfare Award in 1962, for her roles in Aarti, Main Chup Rahungi, and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. She won the award for Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. Despite the tragedy queen tag, she was also noted for light-hearted comedic roles in films like Azaad (1955), Miss Mary (1957), Shararat (1959) and Kohinoor (1960).

The greatest hallmark of Meena Kumari lied in her ability to depict the struggle of Indian women existing especially in the 50s and 60s, Kumari Onscreen Persona is described as a perfect example of real traditional Bharatiya Nari by the Indian film fraternity like Mohammed Zahur Khayyam and Javed Akhtar. Kumari gained a reputation for playing grief-stricken and tragic roles, and her performances have been praised and reminisced throughout the years. Like Kumari portrayed of Pakeezah under Kamal Amrohi‘s direction became a historical piece of document. In her performances, beauty, aristocracy, tragedy, personality all blended into one. Her role as Chhoti Bahu, in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, is considered one of the best performances in Indian Cinema. Chhoti Bahu a role dangerously close to Kumari’s own tragic life, like the character of Chhoti Bahu, in real life Meena Kumari also became addicted to alcohol. Kumari life and prosperous career were marred by heavy drinking, troubled relationships, an ensuing deteriorating health, and her death from liver cirrhosis in 1972.

And here we bring you some of her rare & unseen photos-

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Meena Kumari with husband Kamal Amrohi

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Jamuna, Gemini Ganesan and Meena Kumari in a scene from ‘Miss Mary’.

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Dilip Kumar and meena kumari in Yahudi (1958)

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Raaj Kumar & Meena Kumari in Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960)

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Dharmendra, Meena Kumari and child actor Sachin in a still from Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Majhli Didi’.

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Dharmendra and Meena Kumari in a still from the movie ‘Purnima’ (1965).

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David, Meena Kumari, Bharat Bhushan,Usha Kiron

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BR Chopra, Raaj Kumar and Meena Kumari

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At a film premiere – Meena Kumari, Usha Kiran, music director Madan Mohan, Talat Mahmood and other guests.

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Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari, along with actress Shashikala (left), after receiving the Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor (female) respectively in 1962.

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Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari in a still from the movie ‘Parineeta’.

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Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari in a still from the 1955 Hindi film ‘Bandish’.

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