Lalita Pawar is an Indian character actress who appeared in over 700 films in Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati cinema. She holds a Guinness world record for the longest acting career spanning over 70 years. Let us remember her on the occasion of her birthday.
Lalita Pawar was born Amba Laxman Rao Sagun on 18 April 1916, into an orthodox family in Nashik. 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.
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. She was known particularly for playing maternal figures, especially wicked matriarchs or mothers-in-law.
In the movie ‘Anari’ (1959) she received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. She was honored by the Government of India as the first lady of Indian cinema in 1961. She died on 24 February 1998.