Shyama (Hindi actress)

Shyama (born Khurshid Akhtar; 7 June 1935 – 14 November 2017) was an Indian actress who appeared in Hindi films. She was active between 1945–1989. She is best known for her roles in Aar Paar and Barsaat Ki Raat.

Shyama (Hindi film actress).jpg
Khurshid Akhtar

(1935-06-07)7 June 1935
Died14 November 2017(2017-11-14) (aged 82)
Resting placeBadakabarastan, Marine Lines, Mumbai
Years active1945–1989
Notable work
Tarana (1951)
Aar Paar (1954)
Sharada (1957)
Barsaat Ki Raat (1960)
Spouse(s)Fali Mistry (1953–1979; his death)
AwardsFilmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress (1958)

Early lifeEdit

She was born in 1935 in a Muslim family. Actress Noor (full name Noorjahan) was her younger sister, who married comedian actor Johnny Walker.[1]


Shyama arrived in Mumbai from Lahore in the 1940s. As a young girl, she acted in a few films such as Noor Jehan's husband Shauqat Rizvi's Zeenat (1945) and Meerabai (1947).[2] She worked with Shammi Kapoor in romantic classic Mirza Sahiban (1957).

Director Vijay Bhatt gave her the stage name Shyama, by which she is credited in her movies. She had starring roles in Guru Dutt's classic Aar Paar, and later in Barsaat Ki Raat, which was perhaps her best performance. She was a major star in the 1950s and 1960s and acted in more than 150 movies, many in starring roles. During the period 1952-60, she appeared in as many as 80 films, mostly in leading roles. In 1963, she had as many as 18 releases and in 1964 she had 17 releases.

Shyama in Chhoo Mantar (1956)

Her best known roles were in Aar Paar (1954), Barsaat Ki Raat (1960) and Tarana. She was also noticed for her versatility through her performances in Milan, Bhai-Bhai (1956), Mirza Sahiban (1957), Bhabhi (1957) and Sharada (1957). For her performance in Sharada, she was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.

She was the actress in late 50s who has been most responsive to the rhythm and lyrics of the music directors and poets. Songs picturised on her such as "Ae Dil Mujhe Bata De", "O Chand Jahan Wo Jaye", "Ae Lo Main Hari Piya", "Dekho, Wo Chand Chhup Ke Karata Hai Kya Ishare", "Chhupa Kar Meri Aankhon Ko", Sun Sun Sun Sun Zalima and "Ja Re Ka Re Badara" are examples of her sensitive acting. She did a double role in Do Bahen (1959), portraying twins who were completely different in character.

She quoted in an interview: "I never needed to be taught [about acting]... I was confident and didn't need to think too much." She believed stars are born and not made.[3]

Johnny Walker and Shyama had worked in films such as Choo Mantar, Aar Paar, Musafir Khanna, Khota Paisa and Khel Khilari Ka.[4]

In later years, her memorable roles came in films of Rajesh Khanna such as Masterji (1985) and Ajanabee (1974) and others such as Sawan Bhadon (1970) and Dil Diya Dard Liya (1966).

Personal lifeEdit

She was married to cinematographer Fali Mistry in 1953. Her husband was a Parsi (Zoroastrian) from Bombay, India. They kept the marriage secret for as many as 10 years because of the fear that Shyama's career would suffer if her marriage became known; in those days, it was thought that the fan following of female stars became less as soon as they married. The marriage was revealed to the public shortly before the birth of their first child, their elder son. The couple had three children, two sons, Faroukh and Rohinton, and a daughter Shirrin. Fali Mistry died in 1979, thereafter she continued to stay in Mumbai.[5]

Shyama's close friends were actress Ameeta and Johnny Walker. Nasir Kazi, Johnny Walker's son, expressed his grief on hearing the news of her death. In an interview with Mid-Day, he said, "It's really disheartening to know about the demise of Shyama aunty. She had done several films with my father and in a lot of them she was opposite him also. In fact, in the film that was made on his name "Johnny Walker", she was the heroine with him.[6] Her son Faroukh Mistry is a cinematographer.[7] Faroukh's previous film to hit the theatres was Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain in the year 2018.[8]


Shyama died on 14 November 2017 due to a lung infection at the age of 82.[9] She is buried at Bada Kabrastan, Marine Lines.[10]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ ""He was asked to pretend to be drunk" – Johnny walker's daughter gives us a glimpse of the legend's".
  2. ^ Pandya, Sonal. "Shyama, star of Guru Dutt's Aar-Paar, dies at 82". Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  3. ^ "'I believe that a star is born': Hindi film actress Shyama (1935-2017)". Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Aar Paar actor Shyama is dead at 82". 14 November 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Shyama's Interview". Cineplot. 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  6. ^ Desk, India com Entertainment (14 November 2017). "Veteran Actress Shyama Passes Away At The Age Of 82". Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Bada kabrastan: Actress Shyama laid to rest at Bada Kabrastan in Mumbai | Mumbai News - Times of India".
  8. ^ "All you want to know about #FaroukhMistry".
  9. ^ Desk, India com Entertainment (14 November 2017). "Veteran Actress Shyama Passes Away At The Age Of 82". Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Bada kabrastan: Actress Shyama laid to rest at Bada Kabrastan in Mumbai | Mumbai News - Times of India".

External linksEdit