Mumbai, March 9: Popular actress of yesteryear Usha Kiran, who mesmerised filmgoers with her versatile portrayals in movies like Patita and Musafir, died of cancer here early on Thursday morning, family sources said. She was 71. Usha Kiran began her acting career on stage with M G Rangnekar’s Marathi play Ashirwad.
In a career spanning over four decades in movies, she acted in over 300 Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati films. Among her memorable films were Nazrana, Daag, Kabuliwala and Bawarchi.
“She was the most conscientious of all actresses,” said 91-year old actor P Jairaj of Usha Kiron, who passed away this morning at Nashik of cancer. Usha Kiron acted in over a hundred films over four decades. She is survived by her son Advait Kher and her daughter, actress Tanvi Azmi.
“We worked together in Parivar, produced by Bimal Roy and directed by Ashit Sen. I also worked with her in Lal Kanwar. More recently, I starred with her in Rinki Bhattacharya’s telefilm Anavrit,” said Jairaj. Dev Anand, who worked with her in three hit films, added that it was tragic that such a fine actress should have died so early.
Born on April 22, 1929, Usha Kiron first came on screen in the Marathi film Kuber, in 1949. Amiya Chakraborty introduced her to Hindi audiences in Gauna, opposite Wasti in 1950. She then starred in JBH Wadia’s Madhosh (1951) opposite Manhar Desai. However, her career picked up with Daag (1952), opposite Dilip Kumar and Patita (1953) opposite Dev Anand.
Her other hit films included Musafir, Aulad, Samaj as well as a dancing role in Udaya Shankar’s Kalpana.
In 1955, Usha Kiron married Dr Manohar Kher, and she halted work till 1961. She returned to cinema in Chambal Ki Kasam in 1980, and starred in Bawarchi, Chupke Chupke and Mili. Her Marathi films include Shikleli Baiko, Jasach Tase, Postatli Mulgi, Dudh Bhakar, Stree Janma Hi Tuzi Kahani and Kanyadaan, for which she bagged the best actress award from the state government. Usha Kiron was also sheriff of Mumbai in 1996-97.
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