Wednesday, February 16, 2011

India Post releases stamps on six legendary actresses

A set of six stamps on six legendary actresses of Indian cinema has been released at the world philatelic exhibition.

The actresses who have been honoured are Meena Kumari, Nutan, Kanan Devi, Devika Rani, Leela Naidu and Savitri Devi. The stamps were released by Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Gurudas Kamat here Sunday evening.

India Post had earlier honoured actors Madhubala, Nargis, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor, singers K.L. Saigal, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Hemant Kumar and Begum Akhtar, and directors Dadasaheb Phalke, Satyajit Ray and Bimal Roy.

 Legendary heroines of yesteryears Asha Parekh and Vyjayanthimala Bali graced the occasion and remembered the actresses and work culture of those days.
The minister also released a coffee table book ‘Pigeon to Post' by Steve Borgia on Indian postal history on this occasion.



Devika Rani was the star and late manager of Bombay Talkies, from where she dominated the first decade of the Indian sound film and set the standard for the post 1950 Hindi film heroine.

Daughter of Col. Choudhury, surgeon of Madras, and grandniece of Tagore, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Royal Academy of Music (London) and also held a degree in architecture and was a successful designer of Paisley textiles. She married Himanshu Rai in 1929.

Her first film produced by Rai and directed by Osten, was as costume designer (and probably as extra) for “Prapanch Pash”(1929). In Germany where the film was edited, Rani was able to see Fritzlang, G.W.Pabst and Sternberg at work and assisted Marlene DIetrich on the set of ‘Deblau Engel’ (1930).

 Kanan Devi

Kanan Devi Depicted on the Indian Stamp was an actress and singer, She started with the name Kananbala. Debuting as a child actress in Joydev, she worked under contract with Radha Films where she acted in Jyotish Bannerjee Films. P.C. Barua was unable to obtain her for his role of Paro in ‘Devdas’ (1935) but she played the lead in his next film, Mukti, which made her a star and launched her long association with New Theatres.

 Meena Kumari 

Meena Kumari Depicted on the Indian Stamp Featured In The Indian Stamp was born in Bombay, one of the daughters of the Parsee theatre actor, singer and music teacher Ali Bux and dancer Iqbal Begum, Having hit upon hard time and living near the Rooptara Studios, Ali Bux sought to get his three daughters into films.
Her main persona was constructed through movies like Kamal Amrohi’s ‘Daera’, Bimal Roy’s ‘Yahudi’ and Guru Dutt’s ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’, culminating in her most famous film, ‘Pakeezah’.

She married Amrohi, who directed some of her best work. The couple eventually completed the film they jointly conceived, ‘Pakeezah’, in 1971 just before her death.


Nutan Depicted On The Indian Stamp was introduced to films by her mother, Shobhana Samarth, in Hamari Beti. Her screen image was moulded by Bimal Roy (Sujata, Bandini) and by those who continued in the Roy tradition: Hrishikesh Mukherjee (Anari), Bimal Dutt (Kasturi) and Sudhendu Roy (Saudagar).


Savithri portrayed on the Indian Stamp  was Tamil actress and director, born in Chirravuru, Guntur District, AP into a wealthy family. She learnt music and dance under Sista Purnayya Sastry and gave some public performances as a child in Vijayawada.

 Leelu Naidu

Leelu Naidu Seen on the Indian Stamp was an actress who starred in small number of Hindi and English films, including ‘The Householder’, Merchant Ivory Productions’ first film. Selected Femina Miss India in 1954, she was featured in the Vogue along with Maharani Gayatri Devi in the list of ‘world’s Ten Most Beautiful Women and is remembered for her classical beauty and subtle acting style

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