Article Hindi Marathi

Seema and Ramesh Deo, Marathi cinema's golden couple – Valentine's Day special

Seema began her film career working opposite Ramesh in Jagachya Pathivar (1960). The pair got married in 1963.

Keyur Seta

Ramesh and Seema Deo are probably the best-known on- and off-screen couple in Marathi cinema, though, curiously enough, both have acted in many more Hindi films than Marathi. But the crucial difference is that in Marathi cinema they often played the leads while in Hindi cinema they had to play second fiddle to the established stars.

Ramesh Deo, who is older to Seema by over a dozen years, hails from a Rajput Sisodia family which had settled in Kolhapur at the turn of the last century. His acting career began in Marathi films in the early 1950s. The young man started out playing small roles and slowly progressed to playing more pivotal characters, mainly negative roles, by the end of the decade.

That was also the period when Nalini Saraf, who used the screen name Seema, began making her way in Marathi cinema. Her first film as leading lady, Raja Paranjpe's Jagachya Pathivar (1960), also featured Ramesh Deo. The film was a hit, helped in no small measure by its musical score composed by the accomplished music director Sudhir Phadke.

Over the next two decades, Ramesh and Seema Deo appeared together in several Marathi and Hindi films, many of which were hits. One very important film in this period is Vardakshina (1962), which saw Seema cast opposite Ramesh Deo. The film's plot had Ramesh Deo's character falling for Seema while trying to help her get married to someone else. The film also had a strong message against dowry.

The following year the two artistes, stars by then in Marathi cinema, got hitched. They celebrated the 50th anniversary of their wedding in 2013.

After breaks for the birth of their two sons, Ajinkya Deo and Abhinay Deo, Seema Deo continued to work in films and even did some leading roles with other leading men. Ramesh Deo also resumed taking up villainous roles.

In Hindi cinema, however, she and Ramesh Deo were often cast as a couple, though they also appeared separately as supporting artistes in several films. Among the films they did together are such hits as Saraswatichandra (1968), Anand (1971) and Dream Girl (1977).