Yesteryear actor Kumkum, who was known for her roles in classic films like Mother India, Mr. X, Naya Daur and Raja Aur Runk, today passed away at her Bandra residence in Mumbai.
The 86-year-old actor’s real name was Zaibunnissa and she was from Sheikhpura district, Bihar. Her sister-in-law Shenaz informed that Kumkum succumbed to age-related issues. “Her last rites took place at Mazgaon cemetery,” Shenaz added.
As news of the actor’s demise broke, condolence messages began pouring in. From her co-actors to today’s stars in Bollywood, everybody shared their grief at the death of the veteran actor.
“I just got to know about the passing away of popular actor Kumkum. I’m really sad. May her soul rest in peace,” shared legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar. Actor Jaaved Jaffery, called Kumkum a close family friend through his father. “Another veteran passes on… Debuting in ‘Aar Paar’ with the title song picturised on her, she went on to star in many films and breathed her last today. Inna lillaahe wa inna elaihe raaje oon,” tweeted Jaffery.
The actor was said to have been discovered by Guru Dutt, who had wanted to picturise his friend and actor, Jagdeep, in the song “Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar Laaga Teere Nazar” for his movie Aar Paar (1954). But it was later planned to picturise this song on a female actor, but no female actor was ready to take up that small role. Then, the song was done with Kumkum.
Kumkum has played various small roles in Guru Dutt’s movies like Pyaasa (1957) and the famous song “Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan” from C.I.D (1956), sung by Geeta Dutt was picturised on her. Other than that she was also paired with Shammi Kapoor in a side role in “Mem Saheb” (1956) and in a lead character in “Char Dil Char Raahein” (1959).
Her memorable film appearances also include “Kohinoor”, “Ujala”, “Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere” and “Naya Daur”. Very few people know that she had also performed in the first Bhojpuri film “Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo” in 1963. She also played sister to Bollywood superstar Dharmendra in Ramanand Sagar’s “Ankhen” in 1968, and later went on to be paired opposite him as a lead in Sagar’s “Lalkar” (1972) and “Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere” in 1960.