Meena Kumari is amongst the legendary actresses of Bollywood. Sadly, she witnessed an untimely death at the age of 38. She started working at the age of 4 and her career spanned over 33 years.
In a career over three decades, Meena Kumari earned a tag of ‘Tragedy Queen’ and always fetched critical acclaim for her work. Film enthusiasts still recall her classic performances in films like Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Pakeezah, Mere Apne, Aarti, Baiju Bawra, Parineeta and many others. But did you know, she just charged a single rupee for one of the aforementioned classics? Read on.
Meena Kumari once charged just a single rupee as her fee and the film was Pakeezah. She charged one rupee as a token of appreciation for her classics. The film also featured Raj Kumar and Ashok Kumar in key roles. The film was a big commercial success back then and is considered as a cult in Indian cinema.
For the unversed, the muhurat of Pakeezah was shot on 16th July 1956 and it made it on the big screen on 4th February 1972. Initially, the response was not so great, but the Kamal Amrohi directorial picked up impressively afterwards. It is said that the tragic death of Meena Kumari pushed the film at the box office.
Yes, Meena Kumari died just a month later of Pakeezah’s release. She was suffering from liver cirrhosis. Due to a turmoil in personal life, the actress suffered chronic insomnia and alcoholism. Pakeezah cemented her status as a legendary and irreplaceable actress but unfortunately, she was no more to enjoy it.