Remembering Hindi film industry’s yesteryear actress Mehtab on her 20th death anniversary.
Mehtab (1918–1997) was a popular Indian actress of Hindi/Urdu films who worked from 1928–1969. She was born in Sachin, Gujarat, to a Muslim family and named Najma. Her father, Nawab Sidi Ibrahim Mohammad Yakut Khan III, was the Nawab of Sachin, near Surat in the state of Gujarat. Starting her career in the late 1920s with small roles in films like Second Wife (1928), Indira B. A. (1929), and Jayant (1929) she went on to do character roles before acting in the lead opposite Ashraf Khan in Veer Kunal (1932). After almost a decade of doing mainly action-oriented roles, she came into prominence with the Kidar Sharma directed Chitralekha (1941) due to her bathing scene in the film.
She married her early co-star Ashraf Khan with whom she had a son. They divorced later and she married Sohrab Modi in 1946. Modi cast her in the historical drama Jhansi Ki Rani (1953), which in spite of having spectacular scenes and lavish sets was a disaster. She stopped acting in films following 1953 except to act in her last role as a character artist in Modi’s Samay Bada Balwan (1969). She died in Mumbai on 10 April 1997.
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