Kuldip Kaur (1927–3 February 1960) was an Indian film actress who worked in Hindi and Punjabi films.[1][2] Known for her roles as negative characters, she was cited as Indian cinema's "most polished vamps" and actor Pran's "opposite number".[3] She started her acting career with the first Punjabi film produced in India following Partition; Chaman, also called The Garden in 1948.[4]

Kuldip Kaur
Kuldip Kaur (1952).jpg
Kuldip Kaur in Baiju Bawra (1952)
Born1927 (1927)
Died3 February 1960(1960-02-03) (aged 32–33)
Years active1948–1960
Spouse(s)Mohinder Singh Siddhu

Acclaimed as a "vamp" of "exceptional talent" and the "first female villain" in Indian cinema, she has been compared to artists like Shashikala and Bindu.[5] Active from 1948 to 1960, she acted in over 100 films, most of them in Hindi and some in Punjabi. She died in 1960 from tetanus.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Kuldip Kaur was born into a Guron Jat family in 1927 in Lahore, Punjab, British India. Her family were Ladhran royal family in Attari, Amritsar District, in Punjab.[3] She was married to Attariwala royal member Mohinder Singh Sidhu, a grandson of the military Commander of Ranjit Singh's army, General Sham Singh Attariwala.[6] Married at the age of fourteen, she became a mother at the age of sixteen.[3]

She defied convention to join films while still in Lahore. She left Lahore in 1947 while communal violence was raging. She was described as a brave lady by Saadat Hasan Manto in his chapter on Kuldip Kaur, titled "Kuldip Kaur: The Punjabi firecracker" in his book Stars from Another Sky: The Bombay Film World of the 1940s. Kaur returned to Lahore in spite of the violence, to pick up Pran's car. His car had been left behind when Pran and she left for Bombay to escape the communal rioting in Lahore following partition of India. She drove the car back alone from Lahore to Bombay, via Delhi.[7]


The German cinematographer, Josef Wirsching of Bombay Talkies, took her screen test at the request of Savak Vacha, one of Bombay Talkies' then-proprietors, along with Ashok Kumar and S. Mukherji. On his recommendation she was cast in supporting roles.[1]

One of Kuldip Kaur's first films was the Punjabi language Chaman (1948), which turned out to be a big success at the box office, co-starring Karan Dewan with Meena Shorey.[4] Kuldip Kaur also acted in two Hindi films that year; Ziddi directed by Shaheed Latif and starring Dev Anand, Kamini Kaushal and Pran, and Grahasti both of which were "box office hits". In Grahasti she performed the role of a "modern, sophisticated woman intolerant of her husband".[3]

In 1949, Kuldip Kaur acted in Ek Thi Ladki, a musical success, with music by Vinod. Her next film was Kaneez (1949), an average film commercially. In 1950, she was in two successful Hindi films; Samadhi and Aadhi Raat and two Punjabi films; Madari and Chhai. In Samadhi, the popular song "Gore Gore Banke Chhore" was picturised on her and Nalini Jaywant.[1] In 1951, she acted in several films such as Rajput, Nai Zindagi, Ek Nazar, Afsana and Mukhda, where she played the lead role. Afsana was directed by B. R. Chopra and starred Ashok Kumar and Veena. Kaur was stated to have played her role of a vamp "to perfection".[citation needed]

She then appeared in films such as Baiju Bawra (1952) in which her acting was critically acclaimed as the dacoit queen, Roopmati. Some of the other films she acted in 1952 to 54 were Anjaam (1952), Baaz (1953), Anarkali (1953) where her acting was praised, Aabshar (1953), Gul Bahar and Dak Babu in (1954). 1955 was a busy year for her, acting in films such as Teer Andaz (1955) and Miss Coca Cola (1955). With few releases in 1956, she returned with Ek Saal (1957), acting opposite Madhubala and Ashok Kumar. In 1958, Kuldip Kaur had roles in two films; Sahara and Panchayat. In 1959, she worked in three films Pyaar Ka Rishta, Mohar and Jagir. Mohar had music composed by Madan Mohan and became another musical success for her.[8] Maa Baap, Bade Ghar Ki Bahu, Sunheri Raatein and the Punjabi film Yamla Jatt in 1960 were the last films she acted in. Her last film was Honeymoon (1960), also one in which she played the vamp.[9]

Some of the important films Kuldip Kaur acted in were Ek Thi Ladki, Samadhi (1950), Aadhi Raat (1950), Chhoti Bhabhi (1950), Anarkali (1953), Afsana (1951) and Baiju Bawra.


She died on 3 February 1960 in Bombay, Maharashtra, of tetanus, following thorn pricks from a Ber tree (jujube) on a visit to Shirdi, Ahmednagar District, which she did not consider serious enough to require treatment.[1]


Kuldip Kaur was active between 1948-1960.[10]

Year Film Director
1948 Chaman Roop K. Shorey
1948 Ziddi Shaheed Latif
1949 Kaneez Krishna Kumar
1949 Ek Thi Ladki Roop K. Shorey
1950 Aadhi Raat S. K. Ojha
1950 Lajawab Jagatrai Pesumal Advani
1950 Meena Bazaar Ravindra Dave
1950 Samadhi Ramesh Saigal
1951 Afsana B. R. Chopra
1951 Do Sitare D. D. Kashyap
1951 Ek Nazar O. P. Dutta
1951 For Ladies Only Bedi
1951 Gumasta S. M. Yusuf
1951 Lachak M. I. Daramsey
1951 Mukhada Roop K. Shorey
1951 Nai Zindagi Mohan Sinha
1951 Rajput Lekhraj Bhakri
1951 Stage Vijay Mhatre
1952 Anjaam Shanti Kumar
1952 Baiju Bawra Vijay Bhatt
1952 Ghungru Hiren Bose
1952 Hamari Duniya Sushil Sahu
1952 Jaggu Jagdish Sethi
1952 Naubahar Anand Kumar
1952 Neelam Pari Dhirubhai Desai
1952 Sheesham Kishore Sharma
1953 Aabshar Hasrat Lucknavi
1953 Anarkali Nandlal Jaswantlal
1953 Baaz Guru Dutt
1953 Gharbaar Dinkar Patil
1953 Farmaish B. K. Sagar
1953 Mashuqa Shanti Kumar
1954 Dak Babu Lekhraj Bhakri
1954 Gul Bahar [[Nanubhai
1954 Pilpili Saheb H.S. Kavatra
1954 Hukumat Raja Yagnik
1954 Lalpari Kedar Kapoor
1954 Mastana H. S. Rawail
1955 Daku Aspi
1955 Duniya Gol Hai Om Prakash
1955 Jashan S. Shamsuddin
1955 Mast Qalandar Kedar Kapoor
1955 Miss Coca-Cola Kedar Kapoor
1956 Indra Leela Rajendra Sharma
1956 Inquilab Kedar Kapoor
1956 Sultan-E-Alam Mohan Sinha
1957 Ek Saal Devendra Goel
1957 Jai Ambe Shanti Kumar
1957 Maharani A. Karim
1957 Paisa Prithviraj Kapoor
1958 Panchayat Lekhraj Bhakri
1958 Sahara Lekhraj Bhakri
1958 Son Of Sindbad Nanabhai Bhatt
1959 Chand Lekhraj Bhakri
1959 Jagir Jag Mohan Mattu
1959 Mohar P. Jairaj
1959 Pyar Ki Rahen Lekhraj Bhakri
1960 Bade Ghar Ki Bahu Kundan Kumar
1960 Bhakta Raj Vishnu Vyas
1960 Maa Baap Vishnu Vyas
1960 Rickshawala Shankar Mehta
1960 Sunheri Raatein Lekhraj Bhakri


  1. ^ a b c d e Bali, Karan (20 March 2015). "Kuldip Kaur". upperstall.com. The Rest. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Kuldip Kaur Actress". omnilexica.com. Omnilexica. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Patel, Sushila Rani Baburao (1952). Stars of the Indian Screen. India: Parker and Sons. p. 23.
  4. ^ a b K. Moti Gokulsing; Wimal Dissanayake (17 April 2013). Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-77284-9. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  5. ^ Tilak Rishi (2012). Bless You Bollywood!: A Tribute to Hindi Cinema on Completing 100 Years. Trafford Publishing. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-1-4669-3963-9. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Kuldip Kaur". sikhchic.com. Young Bites Daily. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  7. ^ Saʻādat Ḥasan Manṭo (1 January 2000). "Kuldip Kaur: the Punjabi firecracker". A Manto Panorama: A Representative Collection of Saadat Hasan Manto's Fiction and Non-fiction. Sang-e-Meel Publications. p. 234. ISBN 978-969-35-1089-8. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  8. ^ Augla, Harjap Singh. "Kuldip Kaur". apnaorg.com. APNA. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  9. ^ Kahlon, Sukhpreet. "Too hot to handle: Remembering Kuldip Kaur". cinestaan.com. Cinestaan. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Kuldip Kaur". citwf.com. Adam Goble. Archived from the original on 25 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.

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