Veteran actress Nimmi passed away at a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday. Nawab Banoo who gained stardom in the 1950s was known widely by her stage name, Nimmi, rechristened to the actress by the legendary filmmaker Raj Kapoor. She explored varied genres with her acting prowess. Her best performances are considered to be in the films Sazaa (1951), Aan (1952), Uran Khatola (1955), Bhai-Bhai (1956), Kundan (1955), Mere Mehboob (1963), Pooja Ke Phool (1964), Akashdeep (1965), and Basant Bahar (1956).

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The talented actress succumbed to her prolonged illness and breathed her last in the evening at a Juhu hospital. Nimmi will be buried at a cemetery in Reay Road in Mumbai on Thursday afternoon. Mourning her death, actor Rishi Kapoor tweeted, “RIP. Thank you, Nimmi aunty for all the blessings and love for Bobby on its premiere release. You were part of the RK family. Barsaat was your first film. Allah aapko jannat naseeb care. Amen.”

Childhood years

Born to an actress mother, Wahidan, Nimmi was well-connected to Bollywood since childhood. She reminisced visiting Bombay quite a few times in the early years. After the sudden loss of her mother when she was eleven, the young girl was sent to Abbottabad to live with her maternal grandmother. Later, after partition, the two shifted to Mumbai with another relative who herself was in the Indian film industry.

Path to stardom

Called by Mehboob Khan, a friend of her mother’s to see the production of Andaz, Nimmi met Raj Kapoor who decided to cast the young girl as the second lead- an innocent shepherdess who falls in love with a heartless city dweller. Despite the presence of Nargis, Raj Kapoor and Premnath, Nimmi’s role received a lot of praises from the audience and gave her the big break. She was being offered a lot of films after her debut film became a huge hit.

She was a singer as well and sang her own songs in the film Bedardi (1951) in which she also acted. She acted alongside many prominent actors and actresses before forming a popular on-screen pair with Dilip Kumar. At the London premiere of Aan, she even received four serious offers from Hollywood.

An early retirement

Nimmi left the stardom she had well-received quite early. The last film she did was K. Asif’s Love & God, also known as Kais Aur Laila. She believed that the film would render her as an eternal actress but the production was put to a halt when K. Asif died. It was finally released two decades after Nimmi had left the film industry by Asif’s widow, Akhtar Asif, that too in an incomplete form.

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Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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