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The frowning glory of Manorama: Watch


The Anglo-Indian actress' had a talent for a unique expression. On her 90th birth anniversary, we take a look at some videos of Manorama and her iconic frown.

Mayur Lookhar

Film stars are as much a product of their talent as they are of their idiosyncrasies. 

Dev Anand delivered dialogues with a wobbly neck. Ranjit had his lusty ‘Aaaaeyyyyyy’. Om Prakash was branded with his ‘Hmmm..Bhagyawan’. And the late Manorama had her famous frown.

Born Erin Issac Daniel to an Irish mother and an Indian Christian father in Lahore, the actress was given the name Manorama after she played a character by that name in the 1941 film, Khazanchi.

Manorama’s best though would come much later when she switched to playing character roles. She often played a tyrannical aunt or mother with a frown for a face and an angry rant up her sleeve.

Here are some of Manorama’s memorable frowns:

Seeta Aur Geeta (1972)

Seeta aur Geeta has to be the crowning jewel. Manorama played the evil aunt Kaushalya who tortures Seeta. However, Kaushalya finds her match in Geeta.

Bombay to Goa (1972)

Bombay to Goa was one laughter riot as it brought together the finest comedians of the time. Watch how poor Mehmood finds out the hard way that his singing is no music to Manorama’s ears.

Johar Mehmood in Hong Kong (1971)

Even if she were dancing, Manorama wouldn’t lose that frown. Here’s how it is done.

Ek Phool Do Maali (1969)

Manorama plays Champa. But you can bet that this Champa is not the ‘phool’ in the movie.

Sharda (1957)

She'd mastered the art of playing the indomitable spouse early in her career. Unfortunately, the henpecked husband chooses to rebel and reminds Lajjo (Manorama) who is the boss of the house. This scene from the Raj Kapoor classic will leave you in splits.