Entertainment Gallery On Meena Kumari’s 85th birth anniversary, here’s remembering the tragedy queen Meena Kumari, known as the tragedy queen of Indian cinema, is still regarded as one of the most talented performers that Indian cinema has ever seen. Meena Kumari, known as the tragedy queen of Indian cinema, is still regarded as one of the most talented performers that Indian cinema has ever seen. In a career of 33 years, Meena Kumari was known for her pitch-perfect dialogue delivery, her strong screen presence and ability to portray emotions was considered as unmatched. Meena Kumari became the breadwinner for her family at the tender age of 4. She started working as a child artiste and was popularly known as Baby Meena. Her first lead role came in 1946 with the film Bachchon Ka Khel but it was 1952's Baiju Bawra that turned her into a star. 1962's Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam had her playing the now iconic role of Chhoti Bahu. Meena Kumari's performance in this film is still regarded as one of Hindi cinema's best performances till date. In 1963, three of Meena Kumari's performances were nominated for the Filmfare Best Actress category. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Aarti and Main Chup Rahungi were all nominated but she won the award for Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam. In 1968, Meena Kumari was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis due to excessive alcohol consumption. She visited London and Switzerland for treatment and came back in better condition. Contrary to doctor's advisories, she resumed work within days of her coming back to India. Just three weeks after Pakeezah's release, Meena Kumari was critically ill. She slid into a coma and died on March 31, 1972. Liver cirrhosis was determined to be the cause of her death.