Remembering Nutan, one of Hindi cinema’s legendary actresses, on her 82nd birth anniversary today.

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Nutan Samarth Bahl (born as Nutan Samarth; 4 June 1936–21 February 1991), better known as Nutan, was an actress. She appeared in more than 70 Hindi films in a career spanning nearly four decades. Regarded as one of the finest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema, Nutan was noted for playing unconventional parts and her performances often received praise and accolades Nutan holds the record of five wins of the Best Actress award at Filmfare, which was held only by her for over 30 years until it was matched by her niece Kajol in 2011; she is overall the most-awarded actress in the female acting categories at Filmfare, with six awards alongside Jaya Bachchan In 1974, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.

Part of the Samarth-Mukherjee family, she is the daughter of film actress Shobhna Samarth and filmmaker Kumarsen Samarth and the granddaughter of actress Rattan Bai. Nutan started her career at the age of 14 in the 1950 film Hamari Beti, directed by her mother Shobhna. She subsequently starred in such films as Nagina and Humlog (both 1951). Her role in Seema (1955) garnered her wider recognition and a Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She sang a song in the film “Chhabili” under the baton of Snehal Bhatkar. This movie featured her in the lead and was released in 1960. She continued playing leading roles through the 1960s until the late 1970s and went on to win the award on four other occasions for her roles in Sujata (1959), Bandini (1963), Milan (1967) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). Some of her other films of this period include Anari (1959), Chhalia (1960), Tere Ghar Ke Saamne (1963), Saraswatichandra (1968), Anuraag (1972) and Saudagar (1973). In the 1980s, Nutan started playing character roles and continued working until shortly before her death. She portrayed mostly motherly roles in such films as Saajan Ki Saheli (1981), Meri Jung (1985) and Naam (1986). Her performance in Meri Jung earned her a sixth and last Filmfare Award, this time in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Nutan was married to Rajnish Bahl in 1959 till her death from breast cancer in 1991. Their son, Mohnish Bahl is a well-known character actor in Hindi films and television.

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