Lalita Pawar (18 April 1916 – 24 February 1998) was a prolific Indian actress, who later became famous as a character actress, appearing in over 700 films in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati cinema, where she gave hits such as Netaji Palkar (1938), made by Bhalji Pendharkar, New Hana Pictures’ Sant Damaji, Navyug Chitrapat’s Amrit, written by VS Khandekar, and Chhaya Films’ Gora Kumbhar. Her other memorable roles were in the films Anari (1959), Shri 420 and Mr & Mrs 55, and the role of Manthara, in Ramanand Sagar's television epic serial Ramayan.
Amba Laxman Rao Sagun
18 April 1916
|Died||24 February 1998 (aged 81)|
|Awards||1959: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in Anari|
1961: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award - Acting
Pawar was born as Amba Laxman Rao Sagun on 18 April 1916, into an orthodox family in Yeola in Nashik. Her father Laxman Rao Shagun was a rich silk and cotton piecegoods merchant. She started her acting career at age nine in the film Raja Harishchandra (1928), and later went on to play lead roles in the silent era and 1940's films, in a career that lasted until the end of her life, spanning seven decades.
She co-produced and acted in a silent film Kailash (1932), and later produced another film Duniya Kya Hai in 1938, a talkie.
In 1942, as a part of a scene in the movie Jung-E-Azadi, actor Master Bhagwan was to slap her hard. Being a new actor, he accidentally slapped her very hard, which resulted in facial paralysis and a burst left eye vein. Three years of treatment later, she was left with a defective left eye; thus she had to abandon lead roles, and switch to character roles, which won her much of her fame later in life.
She was known particularly for playing maternal figures, especially wicked matriarchs or mothers-in-law. She also notably played the role of the strict but kind Mrs. L. D'Sa in Anari (1959) with Raj Kapoor. Under Hrishikesh Mukherjee's direction, she gave the performance of a lifetime, for which she received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. And as the tough matriarch who falls in love in Professor (1962), and the devious hunchback Manthara in Ramanand Sagar's television series Ramayan. She was honored by the Government of India as the first lady of Indian cinema in 1961.
Her first marriage was to Ganpatrao Pawar, which went sour after his affair with her younger sister. She later married film producer Rajprakash Gupta, of Ambika studios, Bombay. She died on 24 February 1998 in Aundh, Pune, where she had been staying for a while.
|1944||Ram Shastri||Anandi Bai (wife of Peshava Raghoba Dada)|
|1950||Dahej||Mrs. Biharilal (Suraj's mother)|
|1951||The Immortal Song|
|1952||Daag (1952 film)||Shankar(Dilip Kumar)'s Mother|
|1955||Shri 420||Ganga Mai|
|1955||Mr & Mrs 55||Seeta Devi, Anita's Aunt|
|1957||Nau Do Gyarah|
|1959||Anari||Mrs. L. D'Sa|
|1961||Junglee (1961 Film By Subodh Mukherjee)||Shekhar's mother|
|1961||Hum Dono||Major's Mother|
|1962||Professor||Sita Devi Verma|
|1963||Grahasti||Harish Khanna's sister|
|1963||Ghar Basake Dekho||Mrs. Shanta Mehra|
|1966||Phool Aur Patthar||Mrs. Jeevan Ram|
|1967||Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti||Shefali's mother|
|1976||Aaj Ka Ye Ghar||Mrs. Shanti Dinanath|
|1979||Manzil||Mrs. Chandra (Ajay's mother)|
|1980||Yaarana (1981 film)||mother|
|1980||Kali Ghata||Ambu, House keeper|
|1980||Phir Wohi Raat||Hostel Warden|
|1980||Sau Din Saas Ke||Bhavani Devi (Prakash's mother)|
|1981||Naseeb (1981 film)||Mrs. Gomes|
|1986||Ghar Sansar||Satyanarayan's mother|
|1987||Watan Ke Rakhwale||Radha's Maternal Grandma|
|1988||Pyasi Aatma (1998 film)|
- "Lalita Pawar". Britannica.com.
- "Lalitha, an actress and a gentlewoman". Rediff.com. 26 February 1998. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
- "Tribute to Laita Pawar". Screen.
- "Lalita Pawar – Memories". cineplot.com.
- Anari Archived 19 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine Indian Cinema, University of Iowa.
- "Lalita Pawar – Memories". cineplot.com.
- "Lalita Pawar." Indian Express. 26 February 1998.
- Filmography at Upperstall.com.
- Naseeb (1981 film) [Wikipedia.org].
- Pawar, Lalita. "Lalita Pawar Filmography". http://www.muvi.com. External link in
- Awards Internet Movie Database.
- Sangeet Natak Akademi Award - Acting Official listing at Sangeet Natak Akademi Official website.