Bollywood Actress Saira Banu
This beautiful actress Saira Banu was born in India on 23rd august 1944. Saira inherited her beauty from her mother. Her mother was Naseem Banu. People today would remember her as Saira Banu’s mother and Dilip Kumar’s mother-in-law. But there was a time when Naseem Banu was known as the original Beauty Queen. Her daughter Saira’s title, years later, was only hereditary and, perhaps, not so deserving. Naseem Banu possessed natural beauty. She did not need to wear silks, satins and jewels galore to attract attention away from her face. Naseem Banu, a well-known actress of the 1930's and 1940's. Saira’s grandmother was the famous playback singer of the yesteryears Shamshad Begum. Saira Banu is also the wife of Bollywood’s actor Dilip Kumar. Though Saira had spent a significant part of her childhood in London, and went to a finishing school, she fit the role of a rustic. She is 5'6" or 1.68 m tall. She was a proficient kathak artiste.
Saira Banu made her acting debut opposite Shammi Kapoor in the 1961 hit film Junglee for which she earned her first Filmfare nomination as Best Actress. Gifted with an milky white complexion, mahogany eyes , aquiline nose and an enviable figure, Saira thrived because her debut in Junglee (1961) coincided with the onset of the era of color and Kashmir in Hindi films. It also instantly made her a successful actress throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. She did earn three additional Filmfare nominations as Best Actress for Shagird (1967), Diwana (1968), and Sagina (1974). Sagina is a 1974 Hindi movie Directed by Tapan Sinha the film stars Dilip Kumar, Saira Banu, Aparna Sen and Om Prakash. It was a remake of a Bengali version called Sagina Mahato(Dileep kumar and Saira Banu) which was released in 1970 . It was the first movie of Dileep kumar and Saira Banu together. In 1976 she acted in the hit movie 'Hera Pheri' along with Amitabh Bachchan. In 1966, 22-year-old Saira married 44-year-old super star of Bollywood Dilip Kumar and despite apprehensions from the media, theirs has been one of the longest lasting marriages in Bollywood.
But most of her 1960s films showed her either shrieking (who can forget the roof-shattering "You... farebi" from April Fool), simpering ("Samjhao apne dil ko" she whispers to an excited Rajendra Kumar while he drools Aaj ki raat yeh kaisi raat in Aman), or squealing (the famous Aiyaa from Shagird). The silver lining to the dark clouds was provided by Manoj Kumar. Ignoring all advice, he decided to play the waiting game for Saira to recover. He cast her as the smoking, drinking, miniskirt flaunting Indian girl in Purab Aur Paschim. Her identity suddenly grew up when she wore two towels and tantalised Ranjeet in the sensual Thoda sa Thehro.
When there was time in Bollywood to show sexuality on screen and actresses like Sharmila Tagore, saira banu and Parveen Babi were in trying there best to fulfill the demand of audiences. Saira (who had been bold right from her Mera naam Rita Christina days in April Fool), became the first from the Asha Parekh-Nanda-Sadhana brigade to adapt to the times. Her daring decolletage made her rivals rush to their tailors (designers had still to enter the fray, full-time). Asha Parekh and Sadhana may have shone in the 1960s but by 1972, their halos were dimming.
Saira was still a saleable star. Her valiant attempts to establish a reputation as an actress after Gopi, Sagina and Bairaag (all with Dilip Kumar) and films like Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Chaitali met with limited success. In 1976, Saira chose to end her film career. Subsequently she has weathered a storm in her marriage, appeared in a cameo opposite her husband in Duniya (1984) and become a successful television producer. Later on she wanted to bring back husband Dileep Kumar to acting under her production banner. “Yes I hope to bring back Dilip Sahib once I prove my capability as a producer. There were one or two scripts that we had revived including ‘Satya Master’. If he agrees, I would like to produce that film,” Saira Banu told to reporters.
Saira also came out strongly against the recent trend of Bollywood that is remaking of old films, saying she had even tried to convince filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali not to remake `Devdas’ . “I am totally against remakes of old films. How can you hope to replace the original actor, his performance in a remake? I have seen the new ‘Devdas’(starring Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff and Aishwarya Rai) and although it has great production value and grandeur, it does not have the soul that the original had,” the yesteryear actress said.
Now a days she has become a good director. Speaking about her direction she says “I would love to direct, ideally a light, romantic ambition, but directing and even acting is a full time job. You have to be there all times. My priorities have changed. I prefer to look after my home and family. In production, I can take my own time.”
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