Tribute to Hindi Cinema’s Legendary Singer/Actress Tun Tun on Her Birth Anniversary.

BollywooDirect
2 min readJul 11, 2024

--

Tribute to Hindi Cinema’s Legendary Singer/Actress Tun Tun on Her Birth Anniversary Today (11/07).

She gave us beautiful music and made us laugh. Starting as a young singer and later becoming the well-loved comedian Tun Tun, her impact is unforgettable. Born Uma Devi Khatri in 1923 in a small village in Uttar Pradesh, she lost her parents early. Her uncle raised her in a strict Punjabi family. Despite not having formal music training, she learned to sing from the radio. During a time when girls’ education was rare and their ambitions were often discouraged, Uma Devi bravely taught herself to read and write Hindi, and even some Urdu and English, to help her singing career.

At 13, she ran away to Bombay to follow her dreams and challenge the singers she admired. She wanted to sing for Naushad, a composer she thought was the best. After many attempts, she finally sang for him and impressed him with a song by Noor Jehan. Her career began with the hit song “Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon” from the movie Dard in 1947. But her success didn’t last long.

The chaos of India’s partition affected the film industry, and as the Mangeshkar sisters became popular, Uma Devi’s opportunities decreased. She knew her voice couldn’t compete with theirs, and she had gained a lot of weight. Naushad, her Rakhi brother, saw her talent for comedy and suggested she try acting.

This led to her successful second career. She made her acting debut in the film Babul, produced by Naushad, with stars like Dilip Kumar and Nargis. She was given the name Tun Tun, which became famous. As the first well-known comedienne in Indian cinema, she entertained people in movies like Aar Paar, Pyaasa, Mr. and Mrs. 55, and Mom Ki Gudiya.

Tun Tun is remembered as one of the few artists who successfully switched from singing to comedy, leaving a lasting legacy in Hindi films.

--

--