Saira Banu

Saira Banu
Saira Banu grace the Kresha Bajaj's store launch (7).jpg
Banu in 2018
Born (1944-08-23) 23 August 1944 (age 76)
Other namesSaira Bano
Years active1961–1976
Notable work
(m. 1966; died 2021)

Saira Banu (born 23 August 1944), also known as Saira Bano, is an Indian film actress who prominently works in Bollywood. She is one of the most popular actresses in Indian film history.[1] Banu was the third highest paid actress in Hindi Cinema from 1963 to 1969 and the fourth highest paid actress from 1971 to 1976. She was married to actor Dilip Kumar.


Banu was 16 years old in 1960 when she started work for her debut in Hindi films.[2] She said in a programme that she had basic talent and little dancing experience. Her peers all were classically trained, which was why she was not put in the top league. Banu started taking Kathak and Bharata Natyam lessons with success, and trained herself professionally. Soon she became a dancer, and her films featured more of her dancing.

Banu made her acting debut opposite Shammi Kapoor in the 1961 film Junglee, for which she earned her first Filmfare nomination as Best Actress.[citation needed] The famous song from this movie "Yaahoo!! Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe" sung by Mohammed Rafi was a big success. Junglee was written by Aghajani Kashmeri (aka Kashmiri and Agha Jani), who also coached her in Urdu dialogue delivery, given his background in Urdu literature and poetry from Lucknow. Junglee was the beginning of her career as a successful actress.[citation needed] Her image was that of a romantic heroine and she acted in many love stories. She did one more film opposite her first hero Shammi Kapoor, Bluff Master, directed by Manmohan Desai. Some of her successful films during this time include Jhuk Gaya Aasman and Aayi Milan Ki Bela, with Rajendra Kumar, and April Fool, with Biswajeet, Aao Pyaar Karen and Shagird with Joy Mukherjee. Banu also did Pyar Mohabbat with Dev Anand.[citation needed]

Aman (1967), opposite Rajendra Kumar, was her first release after her marriage. She acted in three films with Manoj Kumar, Shaadi, Purab Aur Paschim and Balidan. Cult film Padosan, in 1968, opposite Sunil Dutt, catapulted her to the top league and she continued to play the heroine for several years after that.[citation needed] Victoria No. 203 with Navin Nischol is her biggest hit. She acted in three films with her husband: Gopi. Sagina and Bairaag. Only Gopi was successful at the box office. She acted in six with Dharmendra: Jwar Bhata, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Resham Ki Dori, Pocket Maar, International Crook and Chaitali.[citation needed]

In an interview, she quoted that she regretted missing the chance of working with Rajesh Khanna. She quoted: "I was supposed to work with him in Choti Bahu (1971), but I could not because I was ill. I shot with him for two days and found that he was very charming, humble and a shy person."[3] She was paired with Vinod Khanna in Aarop and Amitabh Bachchan in Zameer and Hera Pheri. Nehle Pe Dehla with Sunil Dutt in 1976 was her last successful film. With a slew of flops like Daaman Aur Aag, Mounto and Koi Jeeta Koi Haara, and films such as Faisla, Mera Vachan Geeta Ki Kasam and Aarambh on hold, she drew the curtains on her career as a heroine.

She has earned three Filmfare nominations for Best Actress: Shagird (1967), Diwana (1968), and Sagina (1974). She appeared in a cameo opposite her husband in Duniya (1984), wherein the song "Teri meri zindagi" became very popular. Faisla which was eventually released in 1988 and is officially her last film

Personal life

Banu married actor Dilip Kumar on October 11, 1966.[4][5] Banu was 22 and Kumar 44 years old at the time of marriage.[6] The couple have no children. Kumar revealed in his 2014 memoir Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow that Banu became pregnant in 1972 but developed high blood pressure in her eighth month of pregnancy, and the doctors could not save the baby, which had been strangulated by the umbilical cord. After that, the couple decided against having children, believing that it was God's will.[7]


Year Film Character Additional Notes
1961 Junglee Rajkumari Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actress
1962 Shaadi Gauri
1963 Bluffmaster Seema
1964 Ayee Milan Ki Bela Barkha
April Fool Rita Christiana
Aao Pyaar Karen Shalini
Door Ki Awaz Bela / Jyoti
1966 Saaz Aur Awaaz Geeta
Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai Princess Sarita
Pyar Mohabbat Rita Singh
1967 Shagird Poonam Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actress
Diwana Kamini Gupta Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actress
Aman Meloda
1968 Padosan Bindu
Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan Priya Khanna
1969 Aadmi Aur Insaan Meena Khanna
1970 Gopi Seema
Purab Aur Paschim Preeti
1971 Balidaan Sheela
1972 Victoria No. 203 Rekha
1973 Jwar Bhata Gayatri
Daaman Aur Aag Rita
1974 Resham Ki Dori Anupama
International Crook Seema
Sagina Lalita Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actress
Pocketmaar Asha Rai
Aarop Aruna
Paise Ki Gudiya Madhavi
1975 Zameer Sunita Singh
Saazish Sunita
Chaitali Chaitali
Aakhri Daao Reena
Mounto Meena
1976 Bairaag Tara
Hera Pheri Kiran Singh
Koi Jeeta Koi Haara
Nehle Pe Dehla
1977 Mera Vachan Geeta Ki Kasam Champa Delayed Film
1978 Kaala Aadmi Delayed Film
1980 Lahu Pukarega Delayed Film
Desh Drohi Delayed Film
1984 Duniya Mrs. Sumitra Kumar Cameo Appearance song "Teri meri zindagi"  
1988 Faisla Radha Delayed Film


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rana Siddiqui Zaman (12 August 2010). "Arts / Cinema : My First Break: Saira Banu". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Rajesh Khanna was very shy person: Saira Banu – Times of India". The Times of India.
  4. ^ Devinder Bir Kaur (7 July 2002). "Dilip Kumar saw a psychoanalyst after acting as Devdas". The Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Dilip Kumar turns 84". IBN Live. 11 December 2006. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Age no bar for these Bollywood couples". Times of India.
  7. ^ Kumar, Dilip (2014). Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow. Hay House India. ISBN 9789381398968.

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