#GoldenFrames: Tanuja, one of the few uninhibited and spontaneous actors of Indian cinema | Photogallery


01 / 18

Tanuja gave some superhit movies in her time. The actress is the daughter of yesteryear actor Shobhna Samarth, sister of actor Nutan, and wife of filmmaker Shomu Mukherjee. Tanuja has not just in Hindi cinema but also in Bengali and Marathi cinema. The feisty actor has worked in various film industries across India, has acted in movies as diverse as ‘Jewel Thief’ (1967) and ‘Teen Bhubaner Pare’ (1969) and yet never taken her career as a competitive exercise. A recipient of two Filmfare Awards, Tanuja was also honoured with Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

 (BCCL)

02 / 18

Tanuja was born to filmmaker Kumarsen Samarth and actress Shobhna Samarth in a Marathi family. She has three sisters, Chatura, Reshma and actress Nutan, and one brother Jaideep. Tanuja’s grandmother, Rattan Bai, and cousin Nalini Jaywant were also actresses. Tanuja’s parents parted while she was still a child, and Shobhana became linked to actor Motilal. Shobhana produced debut movies for Tanuja and her older sister, Nutan.

 (BCCL)

03 / 18

Tanuja started her film career with her older sister Nutan in ‘Hamari Beti’ (1950) as Baby Tanuja. As an adult, she debuted in the movie ‘Chhabili’ (1960), directed by her mother, and had her sister Nutan in the lead. The movie that truly marked her transition to lead actress was ‘Hamari Yaad Aayegi’ (1961), directed by Kidar Sharma, who had earlier discovered Raj Kapoor, Madhubala and Geeta Bali.

 (BCCL)

04 / 18

#GoldenFrames: Tanuja, one of the few uninhibited and spontaneous actors of Indian cinema

Guru Dutt helped Tanuja to tone down her performance. The result was that the natural, spontaneous performer gave a highly restrained performance, which became the highlight of the movie ‘Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi’ (1966). Tanuja played an important role in the hit movie ‘Jewel Thief’. Followed by lead roles in ‘Izzat’ (1968) with Dharmendra, ‘Jeene Ki Raah’ (1969) with Jeetendra. In the same year, Tanuja won the Best Supporting Actress at Filmfare for ‘Paisa Ya Pyar’ (1969). After the success of ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’ (1971), she acted in ‘Door Ka Raahi’ (1971), ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’ (1972), ‘Do Chor’ (1972) and ‘Ek Baar Mooskura Do’ (1972), ‘Kaam Chor’ (1982), ‘Yaarana’ (1981) and ‘Masoom’ (1983). Some of the other movies she has acted in are ‘Pavitra Paapi’ (1970), ‘Bhoot Bangla’ (1965) and ‘Anubhav’ (1971). Some of her Marathi movies are ‘Zaakol’ (1980), ‘Unad Maina’ (1988) and ‘Pitruroon’ (2013).

 (BCCL)

05 / 18

#GoldenFrames: Tanuja, one of the few uninhibited and spontaneous actors of Indian cinema

During the mid-1960s, Tanuja started a parallel career in Bengali movies in Kolkata, starting with ‘Deya Neya’ (1963), opposite Uttam Kumar. She followed it up with ‘Anthony-Firingee’ (1967) and ‘Rajkumari’ (1970). The actress had an on-screen chemistry with Soumitra Chatterjee, with whom she made some movies such as ‘Teen Bhuvaner Parey’ (1969) and ‘Prothom Kadam Phool’ (1969). Tanuja spoke her own lines in these Bengali movies. Tanuja retired from movies for several years but returned when her marriage ended. She was now offered supporting roles, often starring with former heroes. Her ‘Pyar Ki Kahani’ actor Amitabh Bachchan had to call her bhabhi (sister-in-law) in ‘Khuddar’ (1982). She also played a supporting role in Raj Kapoor’s ‘Prem Rog’ (1982). In 1986, Tanuja received an invitation from Sri Lanka to appear in the Sinhalese movie ‘Peralikarayo’ (1986) opposite Vijaya Kumaratunga, where she played the main role.

 (BCCL)

06 / 18

#GoldenFrames: Tanuja, one of the few uninhibited and spontaneous actors of Indian cinema

Tanuja appeared in movies such as ‘Saathiya’ (2002), ‘Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula’ (2003), and ‘Khakee’ (2003) as a supporting actress. In 2008, Tanuja starred as a judge along with her daughter, Kajol, and son-in-law, Ajay Devgan, on a family dance series, ‘Rock-N-Roll Family’. In 2013, Tanuja played a widow in the Marathi movie ‘Pitruroon’; the actress had tonsured her head to make her character look authentic.

 (BCCL)

07 / 18

#GoldenFrames: Tanuja, one of the few uninhibited and spontaneous actors of Indian cinema

In 1973, Tanuja married filmmaker Shomu Mukherjee. The couple has two daughters, actresses Kajol and Tanisha. Kajol is married to actor Ajay Devgan. Shomu passed away at age sixty-four on April 10, 2008, from a heart attack. Filmmakers Joy, Deb and Ram are her brothers-in-law. She is the aunt of actors Mohnish Behl, Rani and Sharbani, and director Ayan Mukherjee.

 (BCCL)

08 / 18

#GoldenFrames: Tanuja, one of the few uninhibited and spontaneous actors of Indian cinema

Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja during the shooting of the Hindi flick ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’ in Mumbai on March 17, 1970.

 (BCCL)

09 / 18

#GoldenFrames: Tanuja, one of the few uninhibited and spontaneous actors of Indian cinema

Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja during the shooting of the Hindi flick ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’ in Mumbai on March 17, 1970.

 (BCCL)

10 / 18

#GoldenFrames: Tanuja, one of the few uninhibited and spontaneous actors of Indian cinema

Tanuja (L) interacts with celebrated singer, Usha Uthup during the 59th Idea Filmfare award night, held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai on January 25, 2014.

 (BCCL)





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