Actor / Singer / Director Hindi
Leela Chitnis Biography
Born : 09 September 1909, in Dharwar, Bombay Presidency, British India (Karnataka, India)
Death : 14 July 2003, in Danbury, Connecticut, USA
In her initial years in Hindi films, she worked at Prabhat Pictures, Pune and Ranjit Movietone. Soon she was associated with one of the top studios during the 1930s and 40s, Bombay Talkies. At Bombay Talkies, she rose to stardom and her pairing with co-star Ashok Kumar became instant hits, with movies such as Azad (1940), Bandhan (1940) and Jhoola (1941).
By the mid-1940s Chitnis entered another stage of her career when she played a suffering mother in Shaheed (1948). The next four decades saw Chitnis being typecast in similar maternal roles. Her personification of this character played a determining role in establishing her central role in defining the histrionics of maternal melodrama in Hindi films. During her working years, Chitnis also wrote and directed a theatrical adaptation of Somerset Maugham's The Sacred Flame (1928). Her autobiography, Chanderi Duniyet was published in 1981.
Chitnis was the first Indian film actress to endorse the popular soap brand, Lux. What started with Chitnis, has made the brand what it is today, and its association with Hindi film stars as an epitome of the link between beauty, promotion and stardom.
Her last film was Dil Tujhko Diya (1985). In the late 1980s, Chitnis moved to the US to live with her children. She died in 2003 in the States.
- Dr. Gajanan Yeshwant Chitnis (1928 - ???)