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News Hindi

Yesteryear actress and dancer Kum Kum dies at 86

The actress was buried in the evening at a cemetery in Mazgaon, Mumbai.

Our Correspondent

Actress and dancer Kum Kum, who shot to fame with Guru Dutt’s Aar-Paar (1954), died earlier today. The 86-year-old was buried in the evening at a cemetery in Mazgaon, Mumbai.

Born Zaibunissa on 22 April 1934 in modern-day Bihar, the actress and her family came to Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1952. The young woman had learnt Kathak from Pandit Shambhu Maharaj in Lucknow and was an accomplished dancer. As a teenager, she got a small dancing part in Shaheed Lateef's Sheesha (1952). Her elder sister Radhika was also an actress.

Kum Kum was cast by Guru Dutt for the song 'Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar' in Aar-Paar which led to more roles in films like Mr & Mrs 55 (1955), C.I.D. (1956), Naya Daur (1957), Pyaasa (1957) and the Mehboob Khan classic Mother India (1957).

Her Kathak training was an asset for films like Kohinoor (1960) with Dilip Kumar where she showed off her dancing skills in the song 'Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re'. Mehboob Khan also cast her as the lead in Son Of India (1962); however, the film did not do well at the box office.

Kum Kum also acted in the first ever Bhojpuri film Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo (1963). Later in her career, she made a popular pair with actor-singer Kishore Kumar in films like Mr. X In Bombay (1964) and Shreeman Funtoosh (1965).

Through the 1960s and 1970s, popular songs continued to be picturized on the talented dancer. She was cast opposite Dharmendra in Lalkar (1972) and was paired with Vinod Khanna for Dhamkee (1972). After her marriage in the 1970s, the actress retired to a quiet life away from films.

Kum Kum was remembered today by the offspring of her former co-stars Jagdeep and Johnny Walker.