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Lalita Pawar

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Years active  1928–1997
Name  Lalita Pawar

Role  Actress
Died  February 24, 1998, Aundh
Lalita Pawar Memorable Vamps of Bollywood Lalita Pawar YouTube
Full Name  Amba Laxman Rao Sagun
Born  18 April 1916 (1916-04-18) Nasik, Bombay Presidency, British India
Awards  1959: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in Anari1961: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award - Acting
Spouse  Raj Kumar Gupta (m. ?–1998), Ganpatrao Pawar
Similar People  Mehmood, Nirupa Roy, Om Prakash, Shashikala, Hrishikesh Mukherjee

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Lalita Pawar (18 April 1916 – 24 February 1998) was a prolific Indian actress, who later became famous as a character actress, appearing in over 700 films in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati cinema, where she gave hits such as Netaji Palkar (1938), made by Bhalji Pendharkar, New Hana Pictures’ Sant Damaji, Navyug Chitrapat’s Amrit, written by VS Khandekar, and Chhaya Films’ Gora Kumbhar. Her other memorable roles were in the films Anari (1959), Shri 420 and Mr & Mrs 55, and the role of Manthara, in Ramanand Sagar's television epic serial Ramayan.


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She was born Amba Laxman Rao Sagun on 18 April 1916, into an orthodox family in Yeola in Nashik. Her father Laxman Rao Shagun was a rich silk and cotton piecegoods merchant. She started her acting career at age nine in the film Raja Harishchandra (1928), and later went on to play lead roles in the silent era and 1940's films, in a career that lasted until the end of her life, spanning seven decades.

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She co-produced and acted in a silent film Kailash (1932), and later produced another film Duniya Kya Hai in 1938, a talkie.

Lalita Pawar TIL So hard did actor Bhagwan slap 25year old Lalita

In 1942, as a part of a scene in the movie Jung-E-Azadi, actor Master Bhagwan was to slap her hard. Being a new actor, he accidentally slapped her very hard, which resulted in facial paralysis and a burst left eye vein. Three years of treatment later, she was left with a defective left eye; thus she had to abandon lead roles, and switch to character roles, which won her much of her fame later in life.

She was known particularly for playing maternal figures, especially wicked matriarchs or mothers-in-law. She also notably played the role of the strict but kind Mrs. L. D'Sa in Anari (1959) with Raj Kapoor. Under Hrishikesh Mukherjee's direction, she gave the performance of a lifetime, for which she received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. And as the tough matriarch who falls in love in Professor (1962), and the devious hunchback Manthara in Ramanand Sagar's television series Ramayan. She was honored by the Government of India as the first lady of Indian cinema in 1961.

Personal life

Her first marriage was to Ganpatrao Pawar, which went sour after his affair with her younger sister. She later married film producer Rajprakash Gupta, of Ambika studios, Bombay. She died on 24 February 1998 in Aundh, Pune, where she had been staying for a while. She was survived by her husband, a son and daughter-in-law. Her death went unnoticed for two days when her family was in Mumbai for her husband's throat surgery.


  • 1959: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in Anari (1959)
  • 1961: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award - Acting
  • References

    Lalita Pawar Wikipedia