|Other names Saeeda Bano|
Role Film actress
Name Swaran Lata
|Years active 1942–1971|
|Born December 20, 1924 (1924-12-20) Rawalpindi, British Punjab (British India)|
Died February 8, 2008, Lahore, Pakistan
Spouse Nazir Ahmed Khan (m. 1945–1983)
Movies Rattan, Heer, Pheray, Ghar Ki Shobha
People also search for Nazir Ahmed Khan, M. Sadiq, Akhtar Nazir
Swaran Lata (Urdu: سورن لتا, Punjabi: ਸਵਰਨ ਲਤਾ 20 December 1924– 8 February 2008) was a Pakistani film actress. She started her career in the film industry in British India and later moved to Pakistan. She was described as a Tragedy Queen because of her emotional, tragic roles, her presence on the film screen and her moving dialogue delivery. She worked in Bollywood and in Pakistani cinema.
Swaran Lata was born into a Siyal Khatri Sikh family in Rawalpindi, British India, now in Pakistan on 20 December 1924. She did her Senior Cambridge diploma from Delhi and then joined the Academy of Music and Arts, Lucknow. In the early 1940s, her family moved to Bombay. She acted in a total of 22 movies in British India from 1942 to 1948.
Sawarn Lata later converted to Islam after she married Nazir Ahmed, a famous actor, director and producer at the time. She changed her name to Saeeda Bano - a Muslim name. The Swaran-Nazir pair was a very creative couple, churning out many movies together both before and after Partition of India in 1947.
An exceptional and wondrous story about how she entered the realm of acting trails Swaran. Her parents died when she was very young and she lived most of her adolescent life with her elder brother, whom she recalls "very strict" on her. However, it is the story of how she got discovered that Swaran tells with great passion: "I was a student at a college in Lucknow, India. When I was traveling from Delhi to Lucknow, a few film directors happened to see me. They approached me to act in films but I was not interested at first. One of them then went to my elder brother with the offer, and to my utmost surprise he agreed".
Swaran Lata started her career as a stage actress. Her first film was Awaaz released in 1942. Swaran and Nazir migrated to Pakistan at the time of the Partition of India in 1947. They left everything they had behind in Bombay and shifted to Lahore, Pakistan. The duo had to start from scratch and were considered among the pioneers of the early Pakistani film industry.
Swaran Lata was the lead actress of Pakistan's first ever silver jubilee film Pheray (1949). This film was a Punjabi film but she was comfortable as an Urdu language speaker who was educated in Lucknow, the home of Urdu littérateurs. For the film, she was coached in Punjabi language by Baba Alam Siahposh, a Punjabi poet, who was also one of the lyricists of the film songs.
As a lead actress, Laarey (1950), Naukar (1955), Heer (1955) were her famous films, and as a supporting actress, Sawaal (1966) was her famous film. From 1960 onwards, she cut back her film appearances and mainly shifted towards supporting roles until she gracefully retired in 1971.
In her lifetime, Swaran worked with great names like Prithviraj Kapoor and Motilal in India and with Santosh Kumar, Darpan, Inayat Hussain Bhatti and Habib in Pakistan.
Swaran Lata died at the age of 83 in Lahore on 8 February 2008. She had four children (three daughters and a son).