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Florence Ezekiel Nadira
Nadira in Shree 420 (1955).png Nadira in Shree 420 (1955).png
Nadira in Shree 420 (1955)
Born(1932-12-05)5 December 1932
Baghdad, Iraq
💀Died9 February 2006(2006-02-09) (aged 73)
Mumbai, India9 February 2006(2006-02-09) (aged 73)
🏳️ Nationality
Other names
💼 Occupation
💵 Salary :
📆 Years active  1952–2001

Florence Ezekiel Nadira (5 December 1932 – 9 February 2006), commonly known as Nadira was an Indian actress in Bollywood films. She is best remembered for her performance in films in the 1950s and 1960s such as Aan (1952), Shree 420 (1955), Pakeezah (1972) and Julie (1975), which won her the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.[1]

Early life[edit]

Nadira was in a Baghdadi Jewish family. She is survived by two brothers, one of whom lives in the United States and another in Israel.[2] Nadira was introduced to the film industry by Sardar Akhtar, wife of film director Mehboob Khan, in the film Aan.


Nadira rose to cinematic prominence with the 1952 film Aan, with her role as a Rajput princess. She did a bold scene in the movie.[3] In 1955, she played a rich socialite named Maya in Shree 420. She played pivotal roles in a number of films such as Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai, Hanste Zakhm, Amar Akbar Anthony and Pakeezah. She worked alongside Shammi kapoor in Sipahsalar (1956). She was often cast as a temptress or vamp, and played opposite the chaste heroines then favoured by the Bollywood film industry.

Nadira won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her role as Julie's mother Margaret, 'Maggie', in the 1975 film Julie. During the 1980s and 1990s, she entered a new phase of her career, playing elderly women as a supporting actress. Her last role was in the film Josh (2000). In her longtime career, because of her western attire, her character in most of her memorable movies was Christian or Anglo-Indian. One notable exception can be found in the movie Aan, opposite Dilip Kumar, where she played a Rajput princess. Also, in Shree 420 there was no religious affiliation shown explicitly: her character was named Maya, which is not necessarily a Christian name. In fact, Maya is a quite common name in India, coming from the Sanskrit word for illusion.

She was well paid for her efforts and was one of the first Indian actresses to own a Rolls-Royce.

Personal life[edit]

For the last part of her life, she lived alone in Mumbai, as many of her relatives had moved to Israel, staying for the last three years in her condominium with only a housekeeper.

On 9 February 2006, Nadira died at the age of 73 at the Bhatia Hospital in Tardeo, Mumbai, India, following a prolonged illness.[4]


Acting Filmography
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Zohra Mahal Zohra Mahal
2000 Josh Lady D'costa
1999 Cotton Mary Mattie
1997 Tamanna
1997 Margarita (Zee TV) (TV serial)
1995 Ek Tha Rusty (TV series)
1992 Godfather
1992 Mehbooba
1991 Jhoothi Shaan Ranimaa
1991 Hassan Da Chor
1991 Laila
1988 Maula Baksh
1985 Saagar Miss Joseph
1984 Kim (TV serial) Widow of Kulu
1982 Raaste Pyar Ke
1982 Ashanti School principal
1981 Dahshat Mrs. Vishal
1981 Aas Paas
1980 Chaal Baaz
1980 Swayamvar Durgadevi Bhargav
1979 Duniya Meri Jeb Mein
1979 Bin Phere Hum Tere
1979 Magroor Mrs. Disa
1978 Naukri Lily
1977 Aap Ki Khatir
1977 Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka Heera (Jamundas' wife)
1977 Amar Akbar Anthony Stepmother
1977 Darling Darling
1977 Paapi Old lady hit by Vikram's car
1976 Bhanwar Sharda Devi
1975 Dharmatma
1975 Julie Margaret 'Maggie' (Julie's Mom)
1975 Kahte Hain Mujhko Raja
1975 Mere Sartaj
1974 Faslah
1974 Ishq Ishq Ishq
1974 Woh Main Nahin
1973 Ek Nari Do Roop
1973 Hanste Zakhm
1973 Pyaar Ka Rishta
1972 Ek Nazar Aminabai
1972 Raja Jani
1971 Kahin Aar Kahin Paar
1972 Anokha Daan
1972 Pakeezah Madame Gauhar Jaan
1971 Bombay Talkie Anjana Devi
1970 Chetna Nirmala
1970 Ishq Par Zor Nahin
1970 Safar Mrs. Kapoor (Shekhar's mom)
1969 The Guru Courtesan
1969 Insaaf Ka Mandir
1969 Jahan Pyar Mile
1969 Talash Flirtatious lady in red sari
1968 Kahin Din Kahin Raat Mrs.Indrani
1968 Sapnon Ka Saudagar Ranjana's mother
1963 Meri Surat Teri Ankhen
1965 Chhoti Chhoti Baatein
1960 Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai Mrs. Kusum Sushil Verma
1960 Kala Bazar Herself
1958 Police
1956 Geliebte Corinna
1956 Pocket Maar
1956 Samundari Daku
1956 Sipahsalar
1956 Shree 420 Maya
1955 Jalan
1955 Raftar
1954 Dak Babu
1954 Waris Kanta
1953 Nagma
1952 Aan Princess Rajshree


  1. awards IMDb
  2. "Jewish Stars of Bollywood", Haaretz, 14 April 2013.
  3. "The Week". Week.manoramaonline.com. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  4. "Front Page : Actress Nadira passes away". The Hindu. 2006-02-10. Retrieved 2012-07-10.

External links[edit]

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