Meena Kumari Net Worth

Meena Kumari was born on August 01, 1933 in  Bombay, Bombay Presidency, India, India, is Actress, Costume Designer. Born 1933 into a poor Parsee theatre family of Ali Bux and dancer Iqbal begum in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. Entered films to support family in difficult times. She was six when hired for Leatherface (1939) in 1939 by Vijay Bhatt and named Baby Meena. Later she became Meena Kumari when cast for Bhatt's Baiju Bawra (1952). She did mythological films with Homi Wadia and then comedies like Miss Mary (1957). She became personified as the archetypal good Hindu wife through many roles, long suffering and always true to the man. She excelled at tragedy and was often shown in a white sari carrying the film with her emotive acting. She was also thought to be the only actress who could sell a film on the strength of her name alone. Her major films are Daera (1953), Baiju Bawra (1952), 0046164, and of course her most well known film, Pakeezah (1972). She was married to Kamal Amrohi with whom she started making "Pakeezah". They separated in 1964. She was also an accompalished Urdu writer and had several poems published by Gulzar after her death. She battled alcoholism and loneliness and finally died, alone, in 1972.
Meena Kumari is a member of Actress

Age, Biography and Wiki

Who is it? Actress, Costume Designer
Birth Day August 01, 1933
Birth Place  Bombay, Bombay Presidency, India, India
Died On 31 March 1972(1972-03-31) (aged 38)\nMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Birth Sign Virgo
Cause of death Liver Cirrhosis
Other names Tragedy Queen, Meenaji, Manju, Female Guru Dutt, Cindrella of Indian Films, Naaz (her pen name).
Occupation Actress, Singer, Poetess, Costume Designer.
Years active 1939–1972
Spouse(s) Kamal Amrohi (m. 1952)
Relatives Mehmood Ali (brother-in-law)
Awards 4 Filmfare Award for Best Actress 3 BFJA Award for Best Actress

💰 Net worth: Under Review

Some Meena Kumari images

Awards and nominations:

Meena Kumari has won several awards at the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards (BFJA)



Meena Kumari was born with the name Mahjabeen in a family of poor theatre artists, Ali Bux and Iqbal Begum on 1 August 1933. This was a great disappointment to Ali Bux because he wanted a son. Meena Kumari was the second daughter of Ali Bux and Iqbal Begum. Khursheed Bano (also an actress) was her elder sister and Mahliqa (also known as Madhu, first married to actor Mehmood Ali) was her younger sister. At home, Mahjabeen's family called her by the name "Munna". Her family could not afford to pay the Doctor for her delivery, so her father decided to leave her at an orphanage. He changed his mind a few hours later and fetched her home. Mahjabeen said as a child that she wasn't interested in a film career, and would rather attend school. In spite of this, her parents started peddling four-year-old Mahjabeen to film studios for work opportunities. Director Vijay Bhatt cast her in the film Leatherface and on her first day she was paid Rs. 25.


She began acting when she was four. She initially worked mostly in Vijay Bhatt productions; Leatherface (1939), Adhuri Kahani (1939), Pooja (1940) and Ek Hi Bhool (1940). Vijay Bhatt rechristened Mahjabeen as "Baby Meena" during the filming of Ek Hi Bhool (1940).


More films followed for baby Meena, namely Nai Roshni (1941), Bahen (1941), Kasauti (1941), Vijay (1942), Garib (1942), Pratiggya (1943) and Lal Haveli (1944).


Meena Kumari was also a playback singer. She sung as a child Artist for films like Bahen till 1945.


Meena was cast under the name Meena Kumari in Ramnik Production's Bachchon Ka Khel (1946). One of the major blows in Kumari's life was the death of her mother, Iqbal Begum, merely 18 months after the family's arrival at their new house in Bandra. She had lung cancer and died on March 25, 1947. In an interview given to Filmfare magazine in 1958, Meena Kumari remembers her mother's last days and her untimely death. Films like Duniya Ek Sarai (1946), Piya Ghar Aaja (1947) and Bichchade Balam (1948) Veer Ghatotkach (1949), Shri Ganesh Mahima (1950), Lakshmi Narayan (1951), Hanuman Patal Vijay (1951) and Aladdin Aur Jadui Chirag (1952). Films such as Magroor (1950), Hamara Ghar (1950), Sanam (1951), Madhosh (1951), and Tamasha (1952) either saw her in multi-starrers or in lead roles which unfortunately failed to leave a lasting impact on the audience. Meena Kumari desperately needed a film which would transform her into a sensation among the audience and she soon got one – it was her mentor Vijay Bhatt's musical, Baiju Bawra (1952).


On the sets of Tamasha, Ashok Kumar introduced filmmaker Kamal Amrohi to Meena Kumari. Later, Kamal Amrohi offered Meena Kumari a lead role in his upcoming film Anarkali and the contract was signed on March 13, 1951. On May 21, 1951 Meena Kumari was involved in a motor car accident while returning from Mahabaleshwar to Bombay. She was admitted to Sasoon hospital in Poona, injured around the left hand. Kumari went through bouts of depression, and Kamal Amrohi visited her regularly during her days in the hospital. When they were not scheduled to meet, both Kumari and Amrohi would write letters to each other.


For four months this hospital affair continued and love blossomed. This accident left Meena Kumari with a banded left pinky which remained banded throughout her life, and she used to cover her left hand with a dupatta or saree during shoots. After Kumari was discharged from hospital, a telephoning marathon between her and Amrohi began during nights. Soon shooting of the film Anarkali commenced but the Producer Makhanlaljee, suffered a financial disaster and the film was abandoned. On 14 February 1952 Meena Kumari, 18, and Kamal Amrohi, 34, secretly got married in a simple "Niqah" ceremony in the presence of a Qadi and Kumari's younger sister, Mahliqa (Madhu). The Niqah paper was witnessed by Baqar Ali (Kamal Amrohi's friend and assistant) and Qadi's two sons, and signed in the name of Mahjabeen Bano (Meena Kumari's real name) and Syed Ameen Haider (Kamal Amrohi's real name). After the ceremony, the newlyweds parted. Amrohi left for Sion and Meena and Madhu returned home. The marriage was kept secret from the family and media, although Kamal Amrohi was already married and had three children from his former wife. After some months, the matrimony news was leaked to Kumari's father, Ali Bux, by a cook who overheard their midnight phone conversations. The father recommended a divorce. Meena Kumari remained Adam Ant on her decision, but stayed in her father's house. Meanwhile, Kamal Amrohi planned a film called Daera in 1953 and decided to cast Kumari, now his wife, in it. Kumari asked her father's permission for working in the film, but Ali Bux refused on the basis that the dates were given to Mehboob Khan for the film Amar. She protested, but he warned his daughter that if she went to shoot for Daera the doors of his house would be permanently shut for her. Reluctantly, Meena Kumari agreed, but after shooting for five days, she instigated a disagreement with Mehboob Khan and left the studios. On August 14, 1953, Meena Kumari drove to Bombay Talkies and worked in front of her husband's camera for the film Daera. Ali Bux somehow came to know this by some external sources and at night, on her return, he refused to open the door. Meena Kumari turned her car around and left for her husband's residence at Sion.


In 1953, soon after the success of Baiju Bawra, Kumari appeared in Dream House, an advertisement by Dunlopillo UK along with Ashok Kumar. Kumari was a regular face to be featured on various film magazines and beauty soaps throughout her career. Her step-son recalls that Meena Kumari was an avid reader of novels by Agatha Christie and always used to keep mogra flowers by her bed before she slept. The makers of film Jahan Ara (1964) had approached Kumari to play the role of Jahan Ara Begum. It was the time when Kumari was doing films which were commercially successful and critically acclaimed. Meena Kumari passed on this role to her friend, Actress Mala Sinha. This film not only helmed her appreciation from critics but also resulted in a nomination in the Best Actress Category at the 12th Filmfare Awards.


In 1954, during the shooting of Azaad (1955 film), Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi were in South India, and here Kamal Amrohi began outlining the plot of his next film with his wife and decided to call it Pakeezah. Meena Kumari was determined to complete the film and, well aware of the limited time left for her to live, went out of her way to complete it at the earliest. Despite her rapidly deteriorating health, she gave the finishing touches to her performance.


Meena Kumari was a patient of chronic insomnia and was on sleeping pills for a long time since the days of the telephoning conversations with Kamal Amrohi. During 1963, Dr. Saeed Timurza, her physician, then prescribed a small peg of Brandy as a sleeping pill alternative and this was officially how she came into contact with the habit that was to kill her. Somehow this prescribed peg of Brandy turned into heavy drinking after her separation from her husband in 1964. After that, Kumari's name was associated with Rahul, Gulzar, Dharmendra and Sawan Kumar Tak.


On 5 March 1964, at the mahurat of the film Pinjre ke Panchhi, Kamal Amrohi's assistant, Baqar Ali slapped Meena Kumari when she allowed Gulzar enter her makeup room.


Upon recovery, Kumari returned to India in September 1968 and on the fifth day after her arrival, Meena Kumari, contrary to doctors' instructions resumed work. Suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, although Meena Kumari temporarily recovered but was now much weak and thin. She eventually shifted her focus on more 'acting oriented' or character roles. Out of her last six releases namely Jawab, Saat Phere, Mere Apne, Dushman, Pakeezah & Gomti Ke Kinare, she only had a lead role in Pakeezah. In Mere Apne and Gomti Ke Kinare, although she didn't play a typical heroine role, but her character was actually the central character of the story. Director Sawan Kumar Tak said "Not only did she not drink, she would not let me drink either. she did not touch a drop after London". After returning from London, Kumari for the first time, purchased her own home, which was on the eleventh floor of a building called "Landmark", situated at Carter Road, Bandra.


One of the first biographies of Meena Kumari was written just after her death by Vinod Mehta in October 1972. It was titled Meena Kumari – The Classic Biography. The biography was re-published in May 2013.


Shaira (alternative title Sahira) which means "Poetess" was a short documentary on Meena Kumari released in 1980. It was directed by S Sukh Dev along with Gulzar and was produced by Kanta Sukhdev.


Meena Kumari has always been a subject of interest among present day filmmakers, thanks to her massive star appeal. In 2004, a modern-day adaption of her classic film Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam was to be made by Pritish Nandy Communications in which Aishwarya Rai and later Priyanka Chopra was to portray her role of Chhoti Bahu. However, the film got shelved and paved way for a TV series helmed by Director Rituparno Ghosh in which Actress Raveena Tandon essayed this role.


A postal stamp was issued in honour of Meena Kumari on 13 February 2011 by India Post.


The film won four Filmfare Awards, including the Best Actress award. This movie was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 13th Berlin International Film Festival, where Meena Kumari was selected as a delegate. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam was chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars.


In 2015, it was reported that Tigmanshu Dhulia was to make a film on Hindi cinema's Tragedy Queen, which was to be a screen adaptation of Vinod Mehta's book, "Meena Kumari – The Classic Biography". Actress Kangana Ranaut was approached to portray Kumari but the film was shelved yet again due to lack of authentic facts and after strong protestion of Meena Kumari's stepson Tajdar Amrohi.


On 24 February 2016 Meena Kumari's original publicity material and memorabilia, including paintings and portraits of her films, were displayed at the Womanhood Festival at Osianama Liberty Mumbai India.


In 2017, Director Karan Razdan also decided to direct an official biopic on Meenaji. For this, he approached Madhuri Dixit and Vidya Balan to play the Great Tragedienne but due to variety of reasons, both of them declined the offer. He later turned to Actress Sunny Leone who showed great interest to essay her onscreen. More recently, Actress Richa Chadha has also expressed her wish to play the legendary icon. However, the project of an official biopic on Meena Kumari remains to be at initial stages.


Meena Kumari herself once said that people picked strands of her hair to make a taweez (talisman) out of it. She never used products like glycerin in order to shed tears, but always shed her genuine ones while acting. Indian Film Critic Bhawana Somaaya says: "There was a time when top heros were not willing to work with Meena Kumari, because she played the powerful roles". Vinod Mehta shares: "Meena Kumari become so powerful that she would make or break stars, Kumari adopted an attitude of guardian, artistic mentor towards the newcomers who worked opposite her like Rajendra Kumar in Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan and with Sunil Dutt in Ek Hi Raasta." Meena Kumari helped Dharmendra enormously in the initial stages of his career, and established Dharmendra's acting career in Indian Cinema. The legendary Kathak master Pandit Lachhu Maharaj’s praise for Meena Kumari’s dance when he remarked on the unique way in which she would take a turn. "The way in which she would turn, the angles of her shoulders, come naturally to her and cannot be taught." Ashok Kumar said: "Meena was a natural Actress. She was very choosy, but once she accepted a role, she put her heart into it and it’s not surprising that she’s still remembered for her sensitive portrayals. Sometimes when saying a dialogue I'd add a line not in the script and even as I worried about how Meena would react, she’d surprise me with just the right response."