Neetu Singh has made a mark as one of the most effervescent, vivicious and charming female actors ever in the Hindi film industry. Neetu started her career as a child actor named Baby Sonia in the movie Suraj.
As a leading lady, she was there for a very brief period as she quit the film industry after getting married to Rishi Kapoor in 1980. Recently she made a comeback with special appearances in Love Aaj Kal, Do Dooni Chaar, and Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Neetu and Rishi also acted with their son Ranbir in the movie Besharam which is her last movie so far.
Today, July 8, is her birthday. Let us take a journey of her brilliant career and her top movies. Neetu has some of the best songs ever, and I shall specifically mention them in this blog.
Yaadon Ki Baaraat – This multi-starrer movie gave us two of our top actresses, Zeenat Aman and Neetu Singh. RD Burman’s mesmerising music and Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics gave us some of the best songs ever, including Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, picturised on Neetu and Tariq. Though Neetu had a minor role, this movie helped give a big boost to her career and she got many leading lady roles due to this movie. Aamir Khan played the young Tariq and this is technically his 1st movie.
Khel Khel Mein is a memorable movie starring Neetu and Rishi who had as many as 12 movies together. Rakesh Roshan too starred in this movie which has super music by RD Burman and lyrics by Gulshan Bawra. “Ek mein aur ek tu”, “Khullam khulla pyar karenge“, “Sapna mera toot gaya” are the 3 hit duets while “Humne tumko dekha” was a Shailendra Singh solo, and he soon became known as voice of Rishi Kapoor.
Kabhie Kabhie was a much looked forward to movie as it was Yash Chopra’s 2nd directorial venture with Amitabh-Shashi after their blockbuster hit Deewaar. Rishi and Neetu were together and had the hit songs “Tere phoolon jaisa rang” and “Tere chehre se“. This movie had the iconic song “Kabhie kabhie mere dil mein“. It was supposed to be sung by Mukesh but he fell ill and was hospitalised and due to paucity of time, Yash Chopra decided to go ahead and film it with Amitabh Bachchan’s voice. He however had gone to visit Mukesh in hospital, and the great singer said “I know your decision, but since this song has different versions in the movie, please keep one version for me”. Moved by the seriousness of Mukesh passion, Yash Chopra cancelled Amitabh’s version and gave both the solo and the duet to Mukesh, keeping only the dialogue for Amitabh. This turned out to be one of the best songs of Mukesh’s glittering career.
Amar Akbar Anthony
Manmohan Desai’s classic had Neetu opposite Rishi once again, while Shabana and Parveen were opposite Vinod Khanna and Amitabh. Neetu featured in the 2 songs of Rishi, sung by Mohd Rafi, namely “Taiyabali pyar ka dushman” and “Pardah hai pardah” and drew attention and praise. She was also in the iconic song, “Humko tumse ho gaya hai pyar” which is the only song which has Kishore, Rafi, Mukesh and Lata together. The famous comment had been given by Kishore, “For three heroines we 3 singers are required, but for 3 heroes, one Devi is enough”.
Interestingly, in the Rajnikanth-Amitabh starrer Andha Kanoon, the 3 villains, Pran, Danny and Prem Chopra were named Amar, Akbar and Anthony.
Another Amar Akbar Anthony trivia is that Neetu is named Dr Salma in the movie, but in her introductory scene Akbar (Rishi) addresses her by mistake as Neetu instead of Dr Salma or Salma.
Neetu entered movies early and left movies early. However in her brief career she is one of our unforgettable heroines, and she and Rishi are one of the all-time great pairs.
Happy birthday Neetu!