Other names Pramila
Died August 6, 2006, Mumbai
Spouse Paul (m. 1992–2006)
Name Esther Abraham
Children Haidar Ali, Naqi Jahan
|Full Name Esther Victoria Abraham|
Born 30 December 1916Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Movies Basant, Arangetram, Beqasoor, Achhut Kannya, Kavari Maan
Similar People Haidar Ali, Saraswati Devi, Bharathan, Anil Biswas, Franz Osten
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Esther Victoria Abraham (30 December 1916 - 6 August 2006), better known by her stage name Pramila, was an Indian model, actress and first woman film producer in the Hindi film industry. She is also well known for winning the first Miss India pageant in 1947.
Pramila was born in Kolkata, in a Baghdadi Jewish family. She was the daughter of Reuben Abraham, a businessman from Kolkata, and Matilda Isaac, from Karachi. She had 3 siblings from her father's first marriage to Liya, and 6 siblings from her own parents' marriage.
She had five children (four sons and a daughter), one from her first marriage and four from her second marriage to fellow actor Syed Hasan Ali Zaidi, better known as Kumar (who appeared in Mughal-e-Azam and Shri 420), a practicing Shia Muslim. She was his second wife. After Kumar emigrated to Pakistan in 1963, she decided to continue to live in India and act and produce films.
Her youngest son, Haidar Ali, has also pursued a career in films and television. Her daughter Naqi Jahan, was crowned Eve's Weekly Miss India in 1967, representing India at the Queen of the Pacific Quest beauty pageant in Australia. They are the only mother and daughter to have won the Miss India title.
Esther Victoria Abraham alias Pramila died on August 6, 2006.
Pramila was the winner of the first Miss India pageant, in 1947 and at the age of 31. Her first job in the entertainment industry was as a dancer for a Parsi theatre company, dancing during the 15 minutes pause while the reel projector was changed. Pramila acted as a fearless stunt star in 30 films, including Ulti Ganga, Bijli, Basant (film) and Jungle King. She also became the first major woman film producer in India, with 16 films under her banner Silver Productions. Morarji Desai, the then Chief Minister of Bombay, had her arrested because she was suspected of spying for Pakistan, due her constant travels to that country. However, it was later proven she travelled to promote her films.
Pramila was a multi talented person. Not only was she a fine actor and film producer, she was also a graduate of the University of Cambridge, became a skilled teacher, often designed her own film costumes and jewelry too.