Mumbai: The legendary Bollywood star Nanda, who lit the cinema screens in the 1960s and early 70s with her stellar performances in 'Hum Dono', 'Gumnaam' and 'Jab Jab Phool Khile', passed away today following a massive heart attack. Family sources said the 75-year-old actress, who was the niece of legendary filmmaker V Shantaram, died this morning at her Andheri residence.
She has acted in over 70 films, among which eight were with the dashing Shashi Kapoor. Nanda was born on January 8, 1939, to a Marathi-speaking family in Bombay. Nanda's father was actor Master Vinayak, and her mother was Meenaxi.
Nanda lost her father very early in life. By 8 she had started acting in movies. Nanda's paternal uncle and renouned director V. Shantaram gave Nanda her first big break in the successful brother-sister saga 'Toofan Aur Diya' (1956).
Her affair with Manmohan Desai was shortlived as within two years after their engagement on June 18, 1992, Desai died. In late life, she was in touch with her family members and friends like Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Helen and Saira Banu. She had made a rare public appearance with Waheeda Rehman for a screening of Marathi film 'Natarang' in 2010.
Yesteryear actress Saira Banu couldnot believe that her good friend and 'Jab Jab Phool Khile' star Nanda was no more. Veteran actress Nanda passed away this morning following a heart attack at her residence in suburban Andheri.
"It's terrible to hear this sad news. I am devastated. She was a very sweet and loving person. She was homely and family oriented. She was not a party person... This was a common quality between the two of us," Banu told PTI. Though, Banu had not shared screen space with Nanda in any film, she admired her body of work.
"I loved her the most in 'Chhoti Behan', 'Jab Jab Phool Khile'. I admired her work a lot, she was a very talented actress," she said. Banu became friends with Nanda in 1983-84 and since then they have been sharing good bond. "We used to meet once in two-three months... We used to go to each other's place. She loved biryani, shami kabab a lot at our place. Then she cut down on her eating habits and then she, Dilip Sahab and I used to have snacks," Banu said.
"We shared a lovely friendship. We both respected, loved each other. We had a lot of regard for each other. We three used to go on drive as well," she said. Banu spoke to her last Saturday and had gifted her a white outfit, which Nanda loved a lot