Mumtaz turns 70: Did you know Shammi Kapoor and Jeetendra were in love with the actor?
Think of Mumtaz and you’ll be reminded of the beautiful chirpy girl in Hindi cinema’s evergreen songs such as Bindiya Chamkegi, Jai Jai Shiv Shankar, Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyar and Yeh Reshmi Zulfein. During her career spanning three decades, Mumtaz worked with popular actors of her time — Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dev Anand, Jeetendra, Shammi Kapoor, Dhamendra and Shashi Kapoor. However, not many would know that Shammi and Jeetendra were in love with her.
As Mumtaz celebrates her 70th birthday today, here’s taking a look at some lesser known facts about the actor.
1. Mumtaz is an Arabic word. It means ‘the distinguished’ or ‘the best’.
2. Her parents Abdul Saleem Askari and Shadi Habib Agha are from Iran. They got divorced just one year after she was born (in 1947).
3. After their separation, Mumtaz’s mother moved in with her maternal grandmother and aunt. The family went through financial crisis and Mumtaz and her sister Malika decided to work in the film industry to help their family.
4. Mumtaz started her career as a child artist in Hindi films and she made her acting debut with the 1952 film Sanskar.
5. Later, the actor made her debut as an adult opposite Dara Singh in Faulad (1963). In an interview, Mumtaz had said, “To a certain extent, I can say I owe my career to Dara Singh because after doing films with him, I started getting good offers. I have very high regards for him.”
6. Interestingly, Mumtaz used to receive remuneration as high as 2.5 lakh at that time. “My role used to be very small, maybe a couple of romantic scenes and some songs. I still remember I used to get a remuneration of Rs 2.5 lakh, which was considered a big amount in those days,” she was quoted as saying.
7. Mumtaz worked in many B-grade films before making her foray into mainstream cinema with Do Raaste (1969) opposite Rajesh Khanna.
8. In Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971), Dev Anand first offered the role of his sister to Mumtaz. But she opted out of the film, as she didn’t want to play his on-screen sister when she was playing lead opposite him. Hence, Zeenat Aman was roped in to play the part.
9. In Bandhe Haath (1973), for the first time Amitabh Bachchan played double role and it was opposite Mumtaz.
10. There were reports that actors Shammi Kapoor and Jeetendra were in love with Mumtaz. In fact, the former even wanted to marry her. “I was lucky that men wanted to marry me. There was an attraction, yes, but I didn’t act on it… There was no time for love and romance. Of course, I was fond of Jeetu. Dharmendra was an attractive man. Dev saab was so handsome. But it’s not always necessary to have an affair with your co-stars. You can admire them from a distance,” Mumtaz said in an earlier interview. About Shammi Kapoor, she had said in the same interaction, “I was all of 18, and in love with Shammi Kapoor while we were filming Brahmachari. He wanted me to give up my career, but I wasn’t ready. I had my family to look after. I had lost my mother during Boond Jo Ban Gaye Moti. (1967)”
11. At the peak of her career, Mumtaz tied the knot with businessman Mayur Madhwani in 1974 at the age of 27, and she left films and moved to Mombasa, and then London. They have two daughters Natasha and Tanya.
12. Mumtaz is the mother-in-law of actor Fardeen Khan. Her daughter Natasha married Feroz Khan’s son in 2005.
Follow @htshowbiz for more