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Veteran actress Nimmi, star of Aan (1952), dies at 87

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The beautiful Nimmi, who once rejected the attentions of Hollywood star Errol Flynn, died at a hospital in Juhu in suburban Mumbai yesterday.

Our Correspondent

Yesteryear actress Nimmi, star of films like Raj Kapoor's Barsaat (1949), Mehboob Khan's Aan (1952) and SU Sunny's Uran Khatola (1955), has died. She was 87.

Nimmi died in a hospital in Juhu in suburban Mumbai late on Wednesday evening. She had been ailing for a while.

Speaking to the Indian Express newspaper, Nimmi's nephew, Ijhar Hussain, said, "She had been unwell for some time now. We had celebrated her 87th birthday on March 18. We will be having the last rites tomorrow but are yet to decide how to do the funeral considering the body cannot be brought to the society due to the coronavirus, and also we aren’t sure how many people can gather for the funeral. We will take a decision tonight."

Born Nawab Banoo in 1933, she made her debut in Hindi cinema with Raj Kapoor's Barsaat (1949). It was Raj Kapoor who christened her Nimmi, marking her rise to stardom. As Nimmi, she went on to be part of some superhit films like Deedar (1951), Aan (1952), Daag (1952), Amar (1954), Uran Khatola (1955) and Kundan (1955), mostly opposite Dilip Kumar.

When the team of Aan had gone to London for the film's international premiere, the gorgeous actress caught the attention of the swashbuckling Hollywood star Errol Flynn who wanted to kiss her hand and was famously turned down by Nimmi, who reportedly said, "Don't you know I'm an Indian girl?"

Paying tribute to his father's discovery, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor wrote, 'RIP. Thank you Nimmy Aunty for all the blessings and love for Bobby on its premiere release. You were a part of the RK family. Barsaat was your first film. Allah aapko Jannat naseeb kare. Ameen.'

Director Mahesh Bhatt wrote, ' "You may win your hearts desire, but in the end you are cheated of it by death.” Goodbye Nimmiji.'

Actor Jaaved Jaaferi reminisced about a meeting with the yesteryear star at her residence some time back in his post. 'Had a beautiful and heartwarming opportunity a few years back to be in the same frame with four classic Bollywood beauties. From left: Azra, Nimmi, Kumkum, Ameeta. Just remembered this on Nimmi aunty’s demise.'

The actress was one of the most popular stars of the 1950s, even though she often played second lead, and starred with the reigning triumvirate of Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor. One of her last films was K Asif's unfinished project, Love And God (1986).