She ruled the marquee between 1961 and 1988, after which she stepped back from the movies to be full-time wife to super-actor Dilip Kumar. Saira Banu was born in Mussourie and was educated in London, which gave her a sophistication and fluency in English that few heroines of that time had. Her fashion sense, her ‘bold’ onscreen roles and her beauty grabbed attention and made her the idol of millions.
Saira Banu started her career as an actress when she was just 16, with Junglee, opposite heartthrob co-star Shammi Kapoor, who chased her through the snows of Kashmir singing Yahoo, koi mujhe jungle kahe! The pretty girl that she was then matured into a well-reputed actress with films like Jhuk Gaya Aasman, Ayi Milan Ki Bela, April Fool, Aao Pyaar Karen, Shagird and many others. The classic comedy Padosan was a turning point for Saira Banu’s career, pushing her into the top slop in the acting echelon. Victoria No 203, Paise Ki Gudiya, Sagina, Bairaag, Gopi, Jwar Bhata, Nehle Pe Dehla, Hera Pheri , Zameer and more paired her with the big names of the time, from Navin Nischol, Dev Anand, Vinod Khanna, Sunil Dutt, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan et al, and, of course, her husband, Dilip Kumar.
Today she may not be part of the movie world, but her films, her style, her talent and her songs will never be forgotten. SoundboxIndia wishes Saira Banu the very best on her 75th birthday with 7 songs from her vast repertoire….
- Dil vil pyar vyar (Shagird)
- Kashmir ki kali hoon main (Junglee)
- Thoda sa thehro (Victoria No 203)
- Choti si umar mein lag gaya rog (Bairaag)
- Na taj chahiye (Saazish)
- Main chali main chai (Padosan)
- Unse mile nazar (Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan)