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Lalita Pawar

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Lalita Pawar
Lalita Pawar (1916—1998).jpg Lalita Pawar (1916—1998).jpg
BornAmba Laxman Rao Sagun
(1916-04-18)18 April 1916
Yeola, Nashik, Bombay Presidency, British India
💀Died24 February 1998(1998-02-24) (aged 81)
Pune, Maharashtra, India24 February 1998(1998-02-24) (aged 81)
🏳️ Nationality
Other names
💼 Occupation

💵 Salary :
📆 Years active  1928–1997
👶 Children1
🏅 Awards1959: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in Anari
1961: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award - Acting

Lalita Pawar (18 April 1916 – 24 February 1998)[1] was a prolific Indian actress, who later became famous as a character actress, appearing in over 700 films in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati cinema. She featured in hit films such as Netaji Palkar (1938), made by Bhalji Pendharkar, New Hana Pictures' Sant Damaji, Navyug Chitrapat's Amrit, written by VS Khandekar, and Chhaya Films' Gora Kumbhar. Her other memorable roles were in the films Anari (1959), Shri 420 and Mr & Mrs 55, and the role of Manthara, in Ramanand Sagar's television epic serial Ramayan.[2]


Pawar was born as Amba Laxman Rao Sagun on 18 April 1916, into an orthodox family in Yeola in Nashik.[3] Her father Laxman Rao Shagun was a rich silk and cotton piecegoods merchant.[4] She started her acting career at age nine in the film Raja Harishchandra (1928), and later went on to play lead roles in the silent era and 1940s films, in a career that lasted until the end of her life, spanning seven decades.

She co-produced and acted in a silent film Kailash (1932), and later produced another film Duniya Kya Hai in 1938, a talkie.

Lalita Pawar, playing the lead in film, Himmat-e-Marda (1935).

In 1942, as a part of a scene in the movie Jung-E-Azadi, actor Master Bhagwan was to slap her hard. Being a new actor, he accidentally slapped her very hard, which resulted in facial paralysis and a burst left eye vein. Three years of treatment later, she was left with a defective left eye; thus she had to abandon lead roles, and switch to character roles, which won her much of her fame later in life.[5]

She was known particularly for playing maternal figures, especially wicked matriarchs or mothers-in-law. She also notably played the strict but kind Mrs. L. D'Sa in Anari (1959) with Raj Kapoor. Under Hrishikesh Mukherjee's direction, she gave the performance of a lifetime,[6] for which she received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. And as the tough matriarch who falls in love in Professor (1962), and the devious hunchback Manthara in Ramanand Sagar's television series Ramayan. She was honored by the Government of India as the first lady of Indian cinema in 1961.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Her first marriage was to Ganpatrao Pawar, which went sour after his affair with her younger sister. She later married film producer Rajprakash Gupta, of Ambika studios, Bombay.[8] She died on 24 February 1998 in Aundh, Pune, where she had been staying for a while.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Film Character
1944 Ram Shastri Anandi Bai (wife of Peshava Raghoba Dada)
1950 Dahej Mrs. Biharilal (Suraj's mother)
1951 The Immortal Song Vitabai
1952 Daag (1952 film) Shankar(Dilip Kumar)'s Mother
1952 Parchhain Badi Rani
1955 Shri 420 Ganga Mai
1955 Mr & Mrs 55 Seeta Devi, Anita's Aunt
1957 Nau Do Gyarah
1959 Anari Mrs. L. D'Sa
1959 Sujata Giribala, Buaji/aunt
1960 Jhumroo Jhumroo Mother
1961 Junglee (1961 Film By Subodh Mukherjee) Shekhar's mother
1961 Hum Dono[9] Major's Mother
1961 Sampoorna Ramayana Manthara
1962 Professor Sita Devi Verma
1963 Sehra Angara's mother
1963 Grahasti Harish Khanna's sister
1963 Ghar Basake Dekho Mrs. Shanta Mehra
1966 Phool Aur Patthar Mrs. Jeevan Ram
1966 Khandan Fufi
1967 Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti Shefali's mother
1967 Noor Jehan
1968 Aabroo Mrs. Verma
1969 Meri Bhabhi Gangajali
1970 Anand Matron
1970 Pushpanjali Rani Sahiba
1970 Gopi Lilawati devi
1971 Jwala
1974 Doosri Sita
1976 Aaj Ka Ye Ghar Mrs. Shanti Dinanath
1976 Tapasya Mrs. Varma
1977 Aaina Janki
1979 Manzil Mrs. Chandra (Ajay's mother)
1980 Yaarana (1981 film) mother
1980 Kali Ghata Ambu, House keeper
1980 Phir Wohi Raat Hostel Warden
1980 Sau Din Saas Ke Bhavani Devi (Prakash's mother)
1981 Naseeb (1981 film)[10] Mrs. Gomes
1986 Ghar Sansar Satyanarayan's mother
1987 Watan Ke Rakhwale Radha's Maternal Grandma
1997 Bhai[11]
1989 Bahurani
1988 Pyasi Aatma (1998 film)
1988 Zalzala Shila's mom
1987 Uttar Dakshin


Year Show Role Channel References
1987 Ramayan Manthara DD National


  • 1959: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in Anari (1959)[12]
  • 1961: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award - Acting[13]


  1. "Lalita Pawar". Britannica.com.
  2. "Bollywood's most dangerous mother-in-law, a slap caused eye light". Aaj Tak. 24 February 2018.
  3. "Lalitha, an actress and a gentlewoman". Rediff.com. 26 February 1998. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  4. "Tribute to Laita Pawar". Screen.
  5. "Lalita Pawar – Memories". cineplot.com.
  6. Anari Archived 19 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine Indian Cinema, University of Iowa.
  7. "Lalita Pawar – Memories". cineplot.com.
  8. "Lalita Pawar." Indian Express. 26 February 1998.
  9. Filmography at Upperstall.com.
  10. Naseeb (1981 film) [Wikipedia.org].
  11. Pawar, Lalita. "Lalita Pawar Filmography". Muvi. Archived from the original on 12 April 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2014. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  12. Awards Internet Movie Database.
  13. Sangeet Natak Akademi Award - Acting Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Official listing at Sangeet Natak Akademi Official website.

External links[edit]

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