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You are here: My Nasik Hall of Fame Lalita Pawar

Lalita Pawar

Lalita Pawar

Nasik, the holy city, has given many of gems to India since its existence. There are some famous personalities from Nasik who have embossed their names in all the areas of work and struggles. Lalita Pawar is one of such personalities who had a great presence in Bollywood, for more than seven decades.

Lalita Pawar was born on 18th April 1916, in an orthodox family in Yevle village of Nasik, where her father was a rich cotton piece goods merchant. She was a veteran Indian film actress who later became famous as character actress. With seven decades in the film industry, Lalita Pawar's career started as a child artiste in the silent era and continued to leading lady roles, but people remember her mostly for her roles as a character actress.

Best known for her screen persona of the relentlessly malicious mother-in-law, Lalita Pawar has had the longest ever innings - from 1928 to 1998. She began acting at the age of nine, as a child artist in the film 'Raja Harishchandra' and later started to play lead roles in 1940's Hindi cinemas.

She was noted for her versatility, as she portrayed characters of various shades in films ranging from mythological and historicals to thrillers, comedies and melodramas. Her mega hits include films like Netaji Palkar, Amrit, Sant Damaji, Gora Kumbhar, etc. Her other memorable performance were in the films, Shri 420, Anari, and Mr. and Mrs. 55. She made a smooth transition into the era of the talkies, being cast in the lead role in films like Rajkumari, Duniya Kya Hai and Himmat-e-Mard.

One of the eye-catching things about her performances was a permanent squint in her eye, which was actually the result of an accident on a film set. This accident damaged her eyesight and controlled her face, resulting in the resilient actress switching from lead roles to character roles. Eventually, she became famous and was praised for portraying overly-domineering matriarchs.

Lalita's longevity was amazing. No other star from 1920's lasted as long as her. She kept on acting right up to the year of her death. She began acting at the age of 9, in the silent era, and was performing even at the age of 82, in the era of digital sound! She also left her mark on Indian TV as the evil Manthara in Ramayan. In 1959, Lalita Pawar won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her performance in Anari and also won the Sangeet Natak Akadami Award in 1961. She also received a Filmfare Award for her role as a strict matron in the film 'Professor'.

Known as one of the 'most ravishing beauties of the silent movies', Lalita Pawar died on 24th February 1998 in Pune where she spent her last days. The Maharashtra Government has instituted an award in her memory, honoring her for the contribution she made in Marathi and Hindi cinema.

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