On Meena Kumari’s 85th birth anniversary, Google on Wednesday dedicated a special doodle to ‘The Tragedy Queen’ featuring her in a red sari. Meena Kumari was known for her impeccable performances in classics like Pakeezah, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai and Mere Apne. She was born on August 1, 1933, to Ali Bux and Iqbal Begum, and passed away at the age of 38 on March 31, 1972. During a career spanning 33 years, she starred in about 92 films.
Meena Kumari was known as the tragedy queen. Her real name was Mahjabeen Bano. She started her career as a child artist in 1939 and was named as Baby Meena by director Vijay Bhatt. The name stuck with her as she later became Meena Kumari once she started doing lead roles.
Meena Kumari won four Filmfare Awards in the Best Actress category. She was the recipient of the inaugural Filmfare Awards (1954) Best Actress Award for Baiju Bawra and had a consecutive win in the second Filmfare Awards (1955) for Parineeta. Kumari made history at the 10th Filmfare (1963), by receiving all of the nominations for Best Actress and won for her performance in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. In the 13th Filmfare (1966), Kumari won her last Best Actress Filmfare award for Kaajal.
It is said that Meena Kumari was an alcoholic which eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Meena Kumari was a patient of chronic insomnia and was on sleeping pills for a long time. In 1968, she was diagnosed with cirrhosis of liver. The medical advice was that Kumari needed a more advanced cure for the treatment. She received treatments in London and Switzerland in June 1968. Three weeks after the release of Pakeezah, Meena Kumari became seriously ill. On 28 March 1972, she was admitted to St Elizabeth’s Nursing Home. She went into coma two days later and died shortly afterward on 31 March 1972.