Kumkum was a popular Hindi film actress of the 1950s and1960s. Born Zaibunnissa at Hussainabad in Bihar in 1934, she has acted in nearly 115 films in her career.
Kumkum was discovered by Guru Dutt and her first onscreen appearance was for the song “Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar Laga Teer-E-Nazar” in Aar-Paar (1954). Later Kumkum was seen in a small role in Pyasa (1957).
She is best known for her roles in films — Mother India (1957), Naya Daur (1957), Ujala (1959), Kali Topi Lal Rumal (1959), Kohinoor (1960), Son Of India (1962), Ganga Ki Lahren (1964), Shreeman Funtoosh (1965), Ek Sapera Ek Lutera (1965), Raja Aur Runk (1968), Ankhen (1968), Geet (1970) and Lalkar (1972).
Kumkum was a trained Kathak dancer and she has several classical pieces picturized on her and some non-classical hits. In the beautiful classical song “Madhuban Mein Radhika Naache Re” from Kohinoor, Kumkum entranced the audience with a graceful kathak performance. Kumkum is a delight to watch in the song “Madhuban Mein Radhika”, so lovely, so skilled a dancer, so graceful and yet energetic.
Kumkum also acted in Bhojpuri films. Her first film in Bhojpuri cinema was Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo (1963).
Kumkum continued her career in Hindi films till the 1970s before she got married and moved to Saudi Arabia. In later years Kumkum came back to India.