Veteran Bollywood actress Nanda, best known for her stellar performances in films like Hum Dono, Ittefaq and Gumnaam, passed away today following a massive heart attack, family sources said. She breathed her last at about 9.15 am today (March 25).
"It is shocking as she did not have any history of illness," a relative of hers told on condition of anonymity. Her popularity as a child actress made her transition to major roles easier, and she literally grew up on film sets. 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. She came into acting at the age of 8 as her father passed away early in life.
She excelled most often as a supporting star but also found great acceptance and popularity as a lead heroine in later years. Her identification with the title role of Choti Bahen which stuck in real life. She shared screen space with noted actors like Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman, Rajesh Khanna and Shashi Kapoor with whom she starred in eight films.
Very shy and almost introvert, Nanda kept to herself, and did not have any relationship. For Nanda, romance didn't come when it was needed the most; and when it came, a stroke of bad luck never allowed her to make the most of it. Her affair with Manmohan Desai was short lived as within two years after their engagement on June 18, 1992, Desai expired.
"This phase was the shortest and the sweetest phase of my life. In this period I came to know what is love, in fact I learnt the reason to live. Though Manji and I never worked together, we fell in love with each other. 'You are like a goddess and am very fortunate to have you in my life', he had said," Nanda had quoted in an interview earlier.
Her other films such as 'Chhalia' and 'Naya Nasha' did not work. She made a brief return to acting in 1982 as a character actress where she played the onscreen mother of Padmini Kolhapure in Ahista Ahista, Mazdoor and Prem Rog. After that she retired from acting. Nanda's last rites will be performed at 4 pm at the Oshiwari crematorium.