Nadira (actress)

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Nadira in Shree 420 (1955).png
Nadira in Shree 420 (1955)
Florence Ezekiel

(1932-12-05)5 December 1932
Died9 February 2006(2006-02-09) (aged 73)
Years active1952 2001
Awards Filmfare Award in 1976

Florence Ezekiel (5 December 1932 9 February 2006), known by her stage name Nadira, was an Indian actress who worked in Hindi films. She appeared in films from the 1950s and 1960s, including Aan (1952), Shree 420 (1955), Pakeezah (1972) and Julie (1975), which won her the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. [1] [2]


Early life

Nadira was born as to Florence Ezekiel in a Baghdadi Jewish family. [1] Her family migrated from Baghdad to Bombay in search of business opportunities when she was an infant. [3] She has two brothers, one of whom lives in the United States and another in Israel. [4] She remained unmarried. [3]


Ezekiel adopted the screen name Nadira and first appeared in the 1943 Hindi film Mauj when she was 12. [3]

Nadira's first major opportunity came from Sardar Akhtar, wife of film director Mehboob Khan, in the film Aan (1952). [2] [5] Nadira rose to cinematic prominence with Aan, with her role as a Rajput princess. She did a bold scene in the film. [1] In 1955, she played a rich socialite named Maya in Shree 420 . [1] [2] She played pivotal roles in a number of films such as Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai , Hanste Zakhm , Amar Akbar Anthony and Pakeezah . She worked alongside Shammi kapoor in Sipahsalar (1956). She was often cast as a temptress or vamp, and played opposite the chaste heroines then favoured by the Bollywood film industry. [2]

Nadira won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her role as Julie's mother Margaret, 'Maggie', in the 1975 film Julie . [2] During the 1980s and 1990s, she entered a new phase of her career, playing elderly women as a supporting actress. Her last role was in the film Josh (2000). In her longtime career, because of her western attire, her character in most of her memorable movies was Christian or Anglo-Indian. One notable exception can be found in the movie Aan , opposite Dilip Kumar, where she played a Rajput princess. Also, in Shree 420 there was no religious affiliation shown explicitly: her character was named Maya, which is not necessarily a Christian name. In fact, Maya is a quite common name in India, coming from the Sanskrit word for illusion.

She was well paid for her efforts and was one of the first Indian actresses to own a Rolls-Royce. [2]

Personal life

For the last part of her life, she lived alone in Mumbai, as many of her relatives had moved to Israel, staying for the last three years in her condominium with only a housekeeper named Shobha. She had suffered a cardiac arrest on 24 January 2006 and was admitted to the hospital in a semi-comatose state. She had multiple health problems including tubercular meningitis, alcoholic liver disorder and paralysis. [2] [5]

On 9 February 2006, Nadira died at the age of 73 at the Bhatia Hospital in Tardeo, Mumbai, India, following a prolonged illness. [1] [2] Among the survivors were one brother that lived in the United States and another brother that lived in Israel. [5]


2001Zohra MahalZohra Mahal
2000 Josh [5] Lady D'costa
1999 Cotton Mary [2] Mattie
1997 Tamanna [2] [5] Nazneen Begum
1992 Godfather
1991 Jhoothi Shaan Ranimaa
1991Hassan Da Chor
1988Maula Baksh
1985 Saagar [2] [5] Miss Joseph
1984Kim (TV serial)Widow of Kulu
1982Raaste Pyar Ke
1982AshantiSchool principal
1981 Dahshat Mrs. Vishal
1981Aas Paas
1980Chaal Baaz [2]
1980SwayamvarDurgadevi Bhargav
1979Duniya Meri Jeb Mein
1979Bin Phere Hum Tere
1979MagroorMrs. Disa
1977Aap Ki Khatir
1977Aashiq Hoon Baharon KaHeera (Jamundas' wife)
1977 Amar Akbar Anthony
1977Darling Darling
1977PaapiOld lady hit by Vikram's car
1976BhanwarSharda Devi
1975 Julie [2] [5] Margaret 'Maggie' (Julie's Mom)Won – Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award
1975Kahte Hain Mujhko Raja
1975Mere Sartaj
1974Ishq Ishq Ishq
1974Woh Main Nahin
1973Ek Nari Do Roop
1973 Hanste Zakhm
1973Pyaar Ka Rishta
1972Ek NazarAminabai
1972Raja Jani
1971Kahin Aar Kahin Paar
1972 Anokha Daan
1972 Pakeezah [2] [5] Madame Gauhar Jaan
1970 Bombay Talkie Anjana Devi
1970 Ishq Par Zor Nahin Mrs. Doraiswamy
1970 Safar Mrs. Kapoor (Shekhar's mom)
1969The GuruCourtesan
1969Insaaf Ka Mandir
1969Jahan Pyar Mile
1969TalashFlirtatious lady in red sari
1968Kahin Din Kahin RaatMrs.Indrani
1968Sapnon Ka SaudagarRanjana's mother
1963Meri Surat Teri Ankhen
1965 Chhoti Chhoti Baatein Shanta
1960 Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai [2] Mrs. Kusum Sushil Verma
1960Kala BazarHerself
1958 Police
1956Geliebte Corinna
1956Pocket Maar
1956Samundari Daku
1956 Shree 420 [1] [2] [5] Maya
1954Dak Babu
1952 Aan [1] [5] Princess Rajshree
1997 Margarita Nacha
1995 Ek Tha Rusty (Season 1) Ms. Mackenzie

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Nadira, Who Played the Vamp in Bollywood, Is Dead". The New York Times. Agence France-Presse. 10 February 2006. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 "Veteran actress Nadira passes away". MidDay,com website. 31 January 2006. Archived from the original on 20 February 2006. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 Singh, Kuldip (2 April 2009). "Nadira". The Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  4. "Jewish Stars of Bollywood" Haaretz (newspaper), Published 14 April 2013, Retrieved 8 January 2021
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Priyanka Jain (16 January 2006). "Nadira: A woman ahead of her time". website. Retrieved 9 January 2021.