8 names.

Guru Dutt

Considered to be a man ahead of his time, Guru Dutt was one of the greatest icons of commercial Indian cinema. Although he made less than fifty films, they are believed to be the best to come from Bollywood's Golden Age, known both for their ability to reach out to the common man and for their artistic and lyrical content, and they went on to become trend-setters that have influenced Bollywood ever since. But for all his genius, there was a shroud of tragedy that overshadowed his career and life.

Dutt was born in Mysore on July ninth, 1925, the eldest son of a headmaster and a housewife who was a part-time writer. He did not have a good childhood: he had to deal with a strained relationship between his parents, hostility from his mother's family, and the death of a close relative. He received his early education in Calcutta, and in 1941, he joined the Uday Shankar India Culture Center, where he received basic training in the performing arts under dance maestro Uday Shankar. Afterward, in 1944, he had a short stint as a telephone operator.

Dutt entered the Indian film industry in 1944, working as a choreographer in Prabhat Studios. There, he became friends with Dev Anand (whom he met when they worked on the film Hum Ek Hain) and Rehman. These early friendships helped ease his way into Bollywood. After Prabhat went under in 1947, Dutt moved to Mumbai, where he worked with the leading directors of the time: Amiya Chakrabarty in Girls' School and Gyan Mukherjee in Sangram.

He got his big break when Dev Anand invited him to direct a film in his newly formed company Navketan Films. Dutt made his directorial debut with Baazi, which starred Dev Anand. The film was an urban crime thriller that paid homage to classic film noir. However, it also carried its own elements that ensured it was not a remake of a Hollywood film: notably, songs were used to further the story's narrative, and close-up shots were used frequently. The film was a success and became a trend-setter for future crime films. On the personal front, Dutt met his wife, playback singer Geeta Dutt (née Roy), during the song-recording sessions of Baazi, and they married May twenty-sixth, 1953.

Dutt's next releases were Jaal and Baaz. Dutt made his acting debut in the latter film, which he also directed. But while they were average successes, he finally tasted success with Aar-Paar, another crime thriller, but with a far more polished story and look. Then came Mr. & Mrs. '55, a frothy romantic comedy focusing on women's' rights; and C.I.D., yet another crime thriller in which Waheeda Rehman made her debut.

His next films, Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool, are regarded as his best work. Pyaasa was his masterpiece, about a poet trying to achieve success in a hypocritical, uncaring world. It was a box-office hit and is ranked as his greatest film ever. In contrast, Kaagaz Ke Phool was a miserable flop at the box office: the semiautobiographical story of a tragic love affair set against the backdrop of the film industry was deemed too morbid for the audience to swallow and went right over audience's heads. Although in later years the film received critical acclaim for its cinematography and has gained a cult following, Dutt, who had put his soul into the film, was devastated over its failure and never directed another film.

Although he had sworn off directing, Dutt continued to produce and act in films, notably the period dramas Chaudhvin Ka Chand and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. The latter film, interestingly, is controversial because it is debated whether Dutt had ghost-directed the film. Dutt's personal life had become complicated: he had gotten romantically involved with his protégé Waheeda Rehman and his wife Geeta Dutt had separated from him as a result. Rehman too had distanced herself from him. Also, Dutt, an ambitious person, felt he had achieved too much too soon professionally - there was nothing better to be achieved, and this caused a vacuum in his life. Unable to cope with all the trauma and emptiness, he took to heavy drinking.

On October tenth, 1964, Dutt was found dead in his bed. The cause of death was deemed a combination of alcohol and sleeping pills, although a debate still lingers over whether his death was by accident or a successful suicide attempt. Geeta Dutt suffered a nervous break-down as a result of his death and also took to alcohol, eventually drinking herself to death, dying in 1972 as a result of cirrhosis of the liver.

His death was an irreplacable loss to Indian cinema. And it was a tragic twist of fate that his films, most of which were discounted in his life-time, would be regarded as cult classics after his death. Guru Dutt would always be known, even if posthumously, as the Guru of Bollywood's Golden Age and one of the world's most important international auteurs.

Waheeda Rehman

Waheeda was born in a Tamil and Urdu-speaking family in Chengalpattu-Tamil Nadu, India. Her father was the District Magistrate which led him to be posted in several places. Tragedy visited her in 1948 when her dad passed away. Her mom passed away in 1955.

A year after her dad's death she appeared in a Telegu movie 'Rojulu Marayi'. Her role was as an dancing child artiste. She is proficient in Bharat Natyam. It was here that she was spotted by noted Bollywood actor and film-maker, Guru Dutt, who gave her a lead role in C.I.D. She went on to appear in 5 Guru Dutt classics - Pyaasa, 12 O'Clock, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Chaudhvin Ka Chand. Her pairing with Devanand was very popular and they had 5 blockbusters - C.I.D., Solva Saal, Kala Bazar, Baat Ek Raat Ki and Guide and 2 critically acclaimed but box office flops - Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and Prem Pujari. She has acted as a child artiste, a leading lady, then switched to character appearances. She has procured the Best Film Actress Award in 1965 for her role in 'Guide', and then again in 1968 for 'Neel Kamal'.

She had co-starred with Kamaljit Singh in 'Shagun', and later married him on April 27, 1974, and moved to his farmhouse in Bangalore. She subsequently gave birth to a son, Sohail, and then to a daughter, Kashvi. She being not happy with roles offered to her declined offers after 1991. When Kamaljit became ill, she and the family re-located to 'Sahil', located near Bandra Bandstand, Bombay. Kamaljit passed away on November 21, 2000. Sohail has achieved his M.B.A. and is working in a Private Limited Company, while Kashvi is a Jewelery Designer.After her husband's death she appeared in 7 films from 2002.

She is very friendly with former actress Nanda and her other close friends include Asha Parekh, Sharmila Tagore, Nimmi, Shyama.


Shakila's was born as Badshah Begum on January 1, 1935 in the Middle East. Her younger sisters are Noorjahan (nicknamed Noor) and Nasreen. Their ancestors belonged to the royal families of Afghanistan and Iran. Their paternal grandparents and mother were killed during family feuds over the throne. Their father and his sister Feroza Begum brought the children to Mumbai, India. Shakila and her sisters faced tough times, since their father died soon after. Her aunt, who was engaged to marry a prince, lost him in an accident, and she decided to remain unmarried and raise her three nieces. Her aunt was fond of movies and took the girls to showings. Their family friends with Kardar and Mehboob Khan. In fact, it was 'Kardar' who offered her the chance to act in Dastaan (1949). She took the name Shakila and made her debut as a child artiste in the film, which starred Suraiya. She quickly acted in another film with Suraiya titled Duniya (1949). After working in some routine films in secondary roles including Gumasta (1951), Sindbad the Sailor (1952), Rajrani Damyanti (1952), Aagosh (1953), Shahenshah (1953), Raj Mahal (1953), Armaan (1953), people finally noticed her in Guru Dutt's Aar-Paar (1954). In Aar-Paar, she played the other woman in Guru Dutt's life, the cabaret dancer, who is disdained by society and is a complex and embittered person. Aar-Paar was a superhit film and its best songs were picturized on Shakila. Her sister Noor also acted in Aar-Paar (1954) and later married famous comedian Johnny Walker and quit films, as did Nasreen, who became a housewife.

Dutt was impressed with Shakila's performance to repeat her in Raj Khosla's C.I.D. (1956), but she was eclipsed by Dutt's protégé Waheeda Rehman who made her debut in that film. Shakila's aunt was managing her career and she didn't want Shakila to be typecast in fantasy films, so she quoted a large sum of Rs. 10000 for Alibaba and Forty Thieves (1954) thinking it would dissuade the producer from casting her, but he agreed and she acted in the film. It became a hit. As a consequence, Shakila was reduced to B-grade mythological and fantasy films and she earned the title "Arbi Chehra" (Arabian Princess) from the film fraternity. She acted in Lalpari (1954), Veer Rajputani (1955), Roop Kumari (1956), Agra Road (1957), Al-Hilal (1958) etc. She created some stir in 1957, when her film opposite Kishore Kumar - Begunah was banned after 10 days of its release. The film was a carbon copy of Hollywood's Knock on Wood (1954) starring Danny Kaye and the producers of that film went to court and won the case to stop the further screening of this film. As a consequence, all the negatives of this film were destroyed. In 1958, she starred opposite Sunil Dutt in suspense/thriller Post Box. 999. In the latter part of her career, Shakti Samanta cast her in China Town (1962) opposite Shammi Kapoor, and the songs became a rage.

During the course of her fourteen-year career, she appeared in more than 50 films with well-known actors and directors. After that, she quit the industry and got married to an Afghan man who was the Consulate General in India. She had a daughter with him and went to live abroad. In 1991, she suffered a terrible blow when her daughter Meenaz jumped to her death. Putting the tragedy behind her, she moved back to Mumbai and stayed close to her sisters and friends. She declined all film and television serial offers and refused to make a comeback, since she wanted fans to remember her as a young, beautiful heroine.

Geeta Dutt

Geeta Dutt was born in Faridpur District in East Bengal in 1930. Music Director Hanuman Prasad gave her chance to sing two lines in the film Bhakt Prahlad (1946). Her major assignment came the following year, 1947, with Do Bhai. From 1947-1949 Geeta Duttt was number playback singer in Mumbai. Initially Geeta was a singer well known for bhajans and weepy, weepy sad songs. But in 1951 after the release of a film, Baazi revealed a new facet. During the recording of the song she met Guru Dutt and later in 1953 they got married. However in 1957 they had some problems. Due to marriage problems she was not readily available for rehearsals and found solace in drink. She suffered a nervous breakdown but resumed singing again. But her drinking problems were not over and she died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1972.


Rehman Khan was born in Lahore, British India on June 23, 1923 in a Pathan family believed to be the descendants of Afghanistan's King Amanuallah. His family subsequently re-located to Jabalpur where he attended the Robinson College. After completing college he joined the Indian Air Force as a Pilot.

In 1944 he opted out of the Indian Air Force and started working at Prabhat Studios, Bombay, as a 3rd Assistant to Bollywood Director, Vikram Bedekar, who was then filming 'Lakharani'. On the sets of 'Chand' the crew were unable to find anyone who could tie a Pathani Turban, Rehman resolved this problem, and was given a small two lined dialog role in the film.

His first major role was in 'Hum Ek Hain' with Dev Anand during 1946, and then as legendary Emperor Shahjahan in 'Shahjahan' in the same year. He ended up starring in over 70 movies, in character roles, mostly debonair and aristocratic, often as a villain. Some of his more memorable films included 'Pyaasa', 'Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam', 'Waqt', 'Dil Diya Dard Liya', and 'Chaudvi Ka Chand'. He was a close friend of Film-maker/Actor, Guru Dutt.

His acting career was cut short during 1977 when he suffered three massive heart attacks, which he barely survived, only to be inflicted by throat cancer - which led to the loss of his voice, and ultimately took his life during 1979.

Rehman is still remembered by his fans, and his movies continue to be popular even today on various Hindi language channels.

Bela Bose

Bela Bose was a prolific dancer and actress in Hindi films during the 1960's. She had no background in films and wasn't a stage-struck girl when she entered films. She was a schoolgirl who started her career as a group dancer in films to help support her family after her father's death. She picked up more films after she finished her schooling. Most of her roles were as glamorous dancers. Her first role was in "Sautela Bhai" (1962) opposite Guru Dutt at the age of 17. She honed her acting skills performing in Bengali plays. Her career consisted of more than 150 films, and her peak period was between 1961-66.

Some of her best roles were in Bimal Roy's Bandini, F.C.Mehra's Professor and Amrapali, Atmaram's Shikar, Umang, Yeh Gulistan Hamara, Dil Aur Mohabbat, Zindagi Aur Maut and Wahan Ke Log. Later, she became a character actress and enjoyed her biggest success playing the villainous sister-in-law in the blockbuster "Jai Santoshi Maa" (1975). Her real-life husband Ashish Kumar was the leading man in the film. She married him in 1967 and gradually eased out of films after giving birth to two children-a daughter and a son. Of all her films, her favorite roles were as Jeetendra's foster sister in "Jeene Ki Raah" (1969), followed by another film "More Man Mitwa."

Sahir Ludhianvi

A colossus among film lyricists, Sahir Ludhianvi was slightly different from his contemporaries. A man unable to praise Khuda (God), Husn (beauty) and/or Jaam (wine), his pen was at its best pouring out bitter but sensitive lyrics over the declining values of society, the senselessness of war and politics, and the domination of materialism over love. Whenever he wrote any love songs, they were tinged with sorrow, due to the realization that there were other, starker concepts more important than love. He could be called the underdog's bard; close to his heart were the soldier gone to fight someone's war, the woman forced to sell her body, the family living on the street and other victims of society.

Born in March 8 1921 as Abdul Hayee, Sahir was the only son of a zamindar. The separation of his parents and the event of partition caused him to shuttle between India and Pakistan...and also brought him face to face with the struggles of life. He made a living as a journalist and editor in Pakistan, but an arrest warrant from the Pakistani government of the day after publishing some unflattering articles caused him to flee to Bombay in 1949, where he began to write film songs.

Sahir made his debut in film lyrics with Naujawan (1951). His first major break came the same year when he wrote the lyrics for S.D. Burman's music in Baazi (1951). The movie, directed by Guru Dutt, and its music was a success and together S.D. Burman and Sahir went on to create some of their work in Jaal (1952), House Number 44 (1955), Munimji (1955) and the immortal classic Pyaasa (1957). And although they parted ways after Pyaasa (), Sahir was now a stalwart in Bollywood and during the 1960s and 1970s he wrote outstanding lyrics for films like Hum Dono (1961) and Taj Mahal (1963). However, he mostly composed lyrics for the Chopra brothers, before and after they separated, and some of his best work was in Kabhi Kabhie (1979), which went on to break all records.

He died in 1980 of a heart attack, in the midst of a card game. It was ironically appropriate; while the poet's heart bled for others, he never paid enough attention to his own life, and had a card-player nonchalance about life and death. He will be remembered along with Kaifi Azmi, as the poet who brought Urdu literature to Indian motion pictures.

Shaan Memon

Shaan Memon was born in Ahmedabad, India to Nartan Rajpriya, a lecturer of Geography and Geomatics and Ibrahim Memon, a fashion designer, businessman and visiting faculty in well known design institutes in India.

Since Childhood he was interested in music and storytelling. And he considered Gulzar, K. Asif, Guru Dutt, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis and Martin Scorsese his idols.

Did his Bachelors degree in Film & Video Design from MIT Institute of Design, Pune, India. Also got his MFA in Motion Pictures & Television from Academy of Art University, San Francisco, USA

Started making films in 2006. He has worked on different styles and genres of films such as narratives, documentaries, corporate videos, music videos & infomercials being total of more than 40 films. Won a couple of national & state level awards too.

Also he has given many solo and band performances as a vocalist and guitarist. A few famous places he has performed are Natrani, Cafe Unplugged, Rifle Club and Lions Club of Karnavati. Loves to play Folk, Sufi, Country, Thrash Metal and Old Rock & Roll style of music.

8 names.