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Bina Rai  picture, image, poster
Bina Rai

Date of birth : 1963-07-04
Date of death : 2009-12-06
Birthplace : Mumbai, India
Nationality : Indian
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-07-11

Bina Rai was a leading actress primarily of the black and white era of Hindi cinema. She is most known for her roles in classics such as Anarkali (1953), Taj Mahal (1963), and won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film, Ghunghat (1960).

Bina Rai was the year student of Arts in the Isabella Theodore College of Lucknow in 1950, when she came across an advertisement of a talent contest. On an impulse, she applied. And to her surprise, she got a call from the sponsors. Although Bina had been an active participant in college dramatics, a film career was not on the cards. Nevertheless she went lo Bombay, participated in the contest and bagged the Rs. 25,000/- prize money, as well as a leading role in Kishore Sahu's 'Kali Ghata' (1951), which became her film debut, and also featured Kishore Sahu in the lead role.

In the 1950s she married actor Prem Nath, whose sister Krishna was married to the actor-director Raj Kapoor, was part of the Kapoor family. They had acted together in some films, the first movie in which he was paired with Bina Rai was Aurat (1953), a Bollywood version of the tragic Biblical tale of Samson and Delilah (1949). The film was not a hit, but Bina Rai and Prem Nath fell in love with each other. They married and soon set up their own production unit, known as P.N. Films. Their first film from P.N. Films was Shagufa (1954) and they had pinned high hopes on it, but audiences rejected it. Neither Bina Rai's elfin charm nor Prem Nath's sensitive portrayal of the role of a doctor could save 'Shagufa' from being a flop. And the films that followed 'Shagufa', 'Prisoner of Golconda', 'Samunder' and 'Watan' disappeared almost as soon as they hit the theater screens. Thus the Prem Nath-Bina Rai pairing never clicked on the screen.

However, her films with leading man Pradeep Kumar remain her best-remembered performances, where she played the title role in Anarkali (1953), Taj Mahal (1963 film) and Ghunghat (1960 film) for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.

In the 1970s, her son Prem Krishen became an actor and had one big hit Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Man Bhaye (1977), but couldn't sustain the momentum so he turned producer, with the Cinevista banner, which went on produce TV series such as Kathasagar, Gul Gulshan Gulfam and Junoon. He launched his daughter Akanksha Malhotra as an actress in 2002 in his home production, claiming that she reminds him so much of his mother Bina Rai.

Bina Rai stopped acting in films many years ago, claiming that women of a certain age don't get good roles. She also talks fondly of her husband Prem Nath who had died on 3 November 1992. In 2002, their son, Kailash (Monty) Nath released a tribute album, to his father on the occasion of his 10th death anniversary and 76th birth anniversary, titled Amar Premnath, released by Saregama . His grandson, Siddharth Malhotra directed the successful TV series on doctors, Sanjivani (2004).

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