Tun Tun

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Tun Tun (Uma Devi Khatri)
Uma Devi

(1923-07-11)11 July 1923
Died24 November 2003(2003-11-24) (aged 80)
Mumbai, India
Years active1946–1990

Tun Tun [1] (11 July 1923 – 24 November 2003) [2] was the screen name of Indian playback singer and actress-comedian, Uma Devi Khatri, who was called "Hindi cinema's first-ever comedienne". [3]


Early life

Uma Devi was born in a small village near Amroha District of Uttar Pradesh, India in 1923. Her parents and brother were murdered for land arrogate. Just before two days of her demise she had been interviewed by film critique and historian Shishir Krishn Sharma. She said : "I don’t remember who my parents were and how they looked, I would be two to two and half years when they passed away, I had a brother eight or nine years old whose name was Hari, I just remembered that we were living in a village named Alipur. One day brother was killed and left for maid servant to relatives in exchange for two times meal, that time I was four or five years old".

Uma Devi’s childhood was marked by poverty. She later met Akhtar Abbas Kazi, an Excise Duty Inspector, who helped and inspired her. At the time of the India-Pakistan partition, Kazi Sahib moved to Lahore, Pakistan. She was fed up of the circumstances of the time and she moved to Mumbai to pursue singing in movies. Kazi Sahib also eventually moved to Mumbai, where they got married in 1947.


She arrived in Bombay (Mumbai) at the age of 23, having run away from home, and knocked on composer Naushad Ali's door. She told him that she could sing and that she would throw herself in the ocean if he didn't give her a chance. He auditioned her, and hired her on the spot. She made her debut as a solo playback singer in Nazir's Wamiq Azra (1946). [4] [5] She soon signed a contract with the producer-director A.R. Kardar, who used Naushad as music director, and went on make a place for herself amidst music stalwarts like Noor Jehan, Rajkumari, Khursheed Bano and Zohrabai Ambalewali.

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Noor Jehan (Urdu: نُورجہاں ‎),, also known by her honorific title Malika-e-Tarannum, the queen of melody), was a Pakistani playback singer and actress who worked first in British India and then in Pakistan. Her career spanned more than six decades (1930s–1990s). She was renowned as one of the greatest and most influential singers of all time especially throughout South Asia and was given the honorific title of Malika-e-Tarannum in Pakistan. She had a command of Hindustani classical music as well as other music genres.

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In 1947, she had huge hits with "Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon Dil-e-Beqarar Ka", "Yeh Kaun Chala Meri Aankhon Mein Sama Kar" and "Aaj Machi Hai Dhoom Jhoom Khushi Se Jhoom", which she sang for actress Munawar Sultana in A.R. Kardar's Dard (1947), again under the music direction of Naushad, she also sang a duet; "Betaab Hai Dil Dard-e-Mohabat Ke Asar Se", with Suraiya. [6] In fact, a gentleman from Delhi was so enamoured by her song "Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon", that he stayed with her in Bombay. They got married, and the couple had two daughters and two sons; her husband, whom she called Mohan, died in 1992. [7]

Dard (Pain) is a 1947 Bollywood drama film directed by Abdul Rashid Kardar. The film was produced by Kardar Productions. It was a surprise "musical hit" at the box office as it had an ordinary star cast. Suraiya played the second lead, with Munawwar Sultana as the main heroine. The film was Suraiya's first "big hit", becoming a popular singing star following the success of the film. The hero of the film was Kardar's brother Nusrat (Kardar), who shifted to Pakistan following Partition in 1947, where he acted in a few films.

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The success of Dard meant that she next received Mehboob Khan's Anokhi Ada (1948), which again had two hit numbers, "Kahe Jiya Dole" and "Dil Ko Lagake Humne Kuch Bhi Na Paya". This brought her into the league of highly rated playback singers. [5] She reached her peak as a vocalist in director S.S. Vasan's Chandralekha (1948) made by Gemini Studios, Chennai. Her seven songs, which include hits such as "Saanjh Ki Bela" remain her most accomplished work in her singing career, though signing for the film also meant a breach of contract with producer-director Kardar, which led to her dwindling fortunes in the industry.

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Moreover, in the following years, owing to her older style of singing and limited vocal range, she found it difficult to compete with the rising singing stars Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Eventually Naushad suggested that she take up acting, because she had a very bubbly personality and wonderful comic timing. She was inspired and awestruck by Dilip Kumar and had a wish, maintaining it stubbornly that in her first film, she would act alongside him. Knowing about this crazy love for Dilip Kumar, Naushad asked Dilip Kumar, who was his friend, to cast her in one of his films, and she appeared in Babul (1950) with him, which had Nargis as the lead actress; it is he who renamed her "Tun Tun" to suit her comic persona, [3] the name stayed with her, and a comedic legend was born.

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She went on to act in Guru Dutt's classics such as Aar Paar (1954), Mr. & Mrs. '55 (1955) and Pyaasa (1957). [8] In the 1960s and 1970s, she was a permanent comic relief in numerous Bollywood films; a few years down the line, she most notably starred with Amitabh Bachchan in Namak Halaal (1982), a Prakash Mehra blockbuster. [4]

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In her career spanning five decades, she acted in about 198 films in Hindi/Urdu and other languages like Punjabi etc., pairing with top comedy actors of her times such as Bhagwan Dada, Agha, Sunder, Mukri, Dhumal, Johnny Walker and Keshto Mukherjee. [9] She was last seen in Hindi films in Kasam Dhande Ki (1990).

Owing to her popularity, the name Tun Tun has become synonymous with fat women in India.

Partial filmography

1990 Kasam Dhande Ki Prema
1989 Shehzaade Hitler's Brideuncredited
1988 Ek Aadmi
1987 Deewana Tere Naam Ka
1986 Khel Mohabbat Ka House Maid
1985 Lover Boy Phoolmati
1985 Ghar Dwaar
1985 Salma Lady Singer – "Mumtaz's marriage"
1984 Shorgul
1984 Kamla
1984 Raja Aur Rana Havaldar's wifeas Tuntun
1984 Unchi Uraan
1983 Coolie Mother of 7 babies
1983 Haadsa Ladies Health Club Member
1983 Painter Babu Koyal
1982 Heeron Ka Chor
1982 Disco Dancer Brideuncredited
1982 Meharbaani
1982 Haathkadi
1982 Apradhi Kaun? Nurse
1982 Maine Jeena Seekh Liya Miss Tun Tun
1982 Namak Halaal Female guest with a dog
1982 Samraat Woman aboard shipuncredited
1982 Yeh To Kamaal Ho Gaya
1981 Sannata
1981 Biwi-O-Biwi Mrs. Singh's friend – Faints at swimming pooluncredited
1981 Saajan Ki Saheli Maria
1980 Andhera
1980 Qurbani Fat woman in car
1980 Gori Dian Jhanjran Bulbul's mother
1980 Saajan Mere Main Saajan Ki
1980 Yari Dushmani
1979 Baton Baton Mein Imaginary Nancy's mother
1979 Sarkari Mehmaan Bank employee
1979 Lok Parlok Sundari
1978 Dil Aur Deewar Madame
1978 Phandebaaz
1978 Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se Fat lady in the theatre
1978 Nasbandi Tonica
1978 Ankh Ka Tara
1978 Heeralal Pannalal
1978 Premi Gangaram
1978 Satyam Shivam Sundaram Fat Lady
1977 Pandit Aur Pathan Champakali
1977 Aap Ki Khatir Dancer/Singer
1977 Kabita
1977 Tyaag
1977 Agar... If Champakali (Agarwal housemaid)
1977 Amaanat Referee
1977 Chacha Bhatija Kesto's bride
1977 Do Sholay Guest Appearance
1977 Gayatri Mahima
1977 Paapi Laila
1977 Taxi Taxie Mother of 9 children
1977 Aafat
1976 Hera Pheri Mrs. Dhaniram
1976 Nagin Maid
1976 Aap Beati Customer at Lord's Shoes
1976 Bhagwan Samaye Sansar Mein (as Tuntun)
1976 Bundal Baaz Rajaram's customer
1976 Rangila Ratan
1975 Aag Aur Toofan as Tuntun
1975 Dhoti Lota Aur Chowpatty Film heroine's motheras Tun-Tun
1975 Stree Purush
1974 Amir Garib Governess
1974 Naya Din Nai Raat Mental Patient
1974 Dil Diwana
1974 Hamrahi
1974 Maa Bahen Aur Biwi
1974 My Friend
1974 Sacha Mera Roop Hai
1974 Shaitaan Meena Advani
1974 Thokar Mukhti's wife
1973 Kuchhe Dhaage Ramaswanti Bharose
1973 Bandhe Haath Kavita
1973 Heera
1973 Jalte Badan Chameli
1973 Naag Mere Saathi
1972 Gomti Ke Kinare Petrol Pump owner's wife
1972 Lalkar (The Challenge)Danko
1972 Aankhon Aankhon Mein Mrs. Pereira
1972 Apradh Mrs. Fernandes
1972 Be-Imaan
1972 Bindiya Aur Bandook
1972 Chori Chori
1972 Dil Daulat Duniya Baby's Mother
1972 Ek Hasina Do Diwane Phool Kumari
1972 Garam Masala Queen Khatoria
1972 Mele Mitran De Punjabi
1972 Mome Ki Gudiya Daisy's mother
1972 Sabse Bada Sukh
1972 Samadhi Kalavati
1971 Hungama Jagdeep's Mother
1971 Upaasna
1971 Ek Paheli Lily
1971 Hulchul Philomena D'Costa
1971 Johar Mehmood in Hong Kong Sonia's Aunt
1971 Preet Ki Dori
1971 Shri Krishna Leela Rasili's Chachi
1971 Tulsi Vivah Senapati's mother-in-law
1971 Woh Din Yaad Karo
1970 Heer Raanjha Allah Rakhi
1970 The Train Guest Appearance
1970 Aansoo Aur Muskan Bhagwanti
1970 Ehsan Mrs. Chaturmukh
1970 Geet Champavati 'Champa'
1970 Himmat Tiger's mother
1970 Pehchan Ganga's prospective bride
1970 Rootha Na Karo Neeta's maidservantas Tuntun
1970 Sharafat Champakalias Tuntun
1969 Do Raaste Swimming pool attendant
1969 Anjaana Mrs. Kapoor (Cooper)
1969 Anmol Moti
1969 Badi Didi
1969 Shart Lady at the Massage Parlour
1969 Talash Kamini
1968 Duniya Chabeeliuncredited
1968 Aabroo Whisky Rani
1968 Abhilasha Fat Ladysong "Yaaron Hamara Kya"
1968 Baharon Ki Manzil Glory D'Silva
1968 Dil Aur Mohabbat
1968 Har Har Gange
1968 Kanyadaan Bansi's mother-in-law
1968 Kismat
1968 Parivar Sitaram's employee
1968 Sadhu Aur Shaitaan Sundari
1968 Suhaag Raat Titli Banu
1967 Pind Di Kuri Punjabi
1967 Aag Phoolmati
1967 Badrinath Yatra Maid at brothel
1967 C.I.D. 909 Julie Fernandes D'Silva Ghobewali
1967 Dil Ne Pukara Kamla
1967 Duniya Nachegi
1967 Gunahon Ka Devta
1967 Hare Kanch Ki Chooriyan Julie's Motheras Tuntun
1967 Upkar Lakhpati's Wifeas Tuntun
1966 Aakhri Khat
1966 Afsana
1966 Dil Diya Dard Liya Mrs. Murlidhar
1966 Dillagi
1966 Kunwari
1966 Ladka Ladki Rajkumari Nirmala Devi
1966 Phool Aur Patthar Mrs. Alopinath (Guddki)as Tuntun
1966 Sagaai Anarkali
1966 Tarzan Aur Jadui Chirag
1966 Thakur Jarnail Singh
1965 Johar-Mehmood in Goa Simmi's Cellmate
1965 Ek Sapera Ek Lutera Bindu
1965 Jab Jab Phool Khile MaryGuest Appearance
1965 Kaajal Amba
1965 Lutera
1965 Maharaja Vikram
1965 Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain Babyas Tuntun
1965SaheliMother of 5 children
1964Cha Cha ChaMohan's Mother
1964Aaya ToofanMaha Dasi
1964Darasingh: IronmanRangili's mother
1964 Ganga Ki Lahren Maid
1964Kashmir Ki KaliRama Devi
1964Khufia Mahal
1964 Mr. X in Bombay Kamini
1963 Bluff Master Lajwanti
1963 Ek Dil Sao Afsane Wedding Guest
1963Ek RaazChampakali
1963 Gehra Daag Sundarias Tuntun
1963Jab Se Tumhe Dekha HaiKitty's servant
1963Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya
1963Naag RaniChand's friend (uncredited)
1963Phool Bane AngaareKamla's sister-in-law
1963 Shikari
1963Ustadon Ke UstadHostess of Qawwali contest
1962 China Town Mahakali
1962 Half Ticket Real Munna's Mother
1962 Jhoola Mother
1962 Professor Phool Rani
1962 Son of India Gopal's foster mother
1962 Ummeed
1962Vallah Kya Baat Hai
1961 Chaudhvin Ka Chand Naseebanas Uma Devi
1961 Gunga Jumna Bhajiwaliuncredited
1961PassportWoman who offers shelter to Reeta & Shekhar
1961ShamaVee Aapa
1960 Bombai Ka Babu
1960 Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai Haseena
1960 Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere Moti's Mother
1960 Ek Phool Char Kaante Jamnabai
1960 Jaali Note Mrs. Malikuncredited
1960 Kohinoor
1959Bank Manager
1959Black CatMrs. Ramanlaluncredited
1959Chacha Zindabad
1959Jungle King
1959 Kaagaz Ke Phool Telephone Operator
1959Kavi KalidasKali's step-mom
1959 Qaidi No. 911
1959 Ujala
195812 O'ClockKumari Natesh Sundarias Uma Devi
1958Aakhri DaoMuthuswami's Daughter
1958Aji Bas Shukriya
1958 Lajwanti Tun Tununcredited
1958CriminalLajwanti 'Lajo'
1958 Phir Subah Hogi Ram's Landlorduncredited
1958 Solva Saal Aspiring actress/Singer
1957 Pyaasa Pushplata
1957Captain Kishore
1957Do Roti
1957Mirza Sahiban
1957Ram Lakshman
1956 C.I.D. Complainant in police stationas Uma Devi
1956Fifty Fifty
1956 Jagte Raho Sati's motheruncredited
1956 Pocketmaar Shukal's prospective mother-in-lawuncredited
1956 Raj Hath
1956 Kismet Ka Khel as Uma Devi
1955 Shree 420 Maya's neighbouras Uma Devi
1955Hatimtai Ki Beti
1955Marine DriveJohny's wife (as Uma Devi)
1955MilapMrs. Akhrodwala
1955 Mr. & Mrs. '55 Lily D'Silvaas Uma Devi
1955Pehli JhalakDancer (song "Achchi Surat Huwi")
1955 Uran Khatola Hira's girlfriendas Tuntun
1954 Aar-Paar Rustom's mother
1954Gul Baharas Uma Devi
1953BaazA masseuse
1951 Deedar Rai' s maidservantas Uma Devi
1950 Babul


She died on 23 November 2003 in Andheri, Mumbai, [10] after a prolonged illness at the age of 80 and is survived by her four children and four grandchildren.

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  1. ...THE DEATH OF ACTRESS TUN TUN Press Release, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, 25 November 2003.
  2. Pandya, Haresh (8 January 2004). "Obituary: Tun Tun". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  3. 1 2 "Hindi cinema's first-ever comedienne". The Tribune. 7 December 2003. Archived from the original on 22 December 2003.
  4. 1 2 Obituary: Uma Devi The Independent (London), 17 December 2003.
  5. 1 2 Obituary – Tun Tun The Guardian, 8 January 2004.
  6. "Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon" on YouTube
  7. Tun Tun (Uma Devi)—a tribute Archived 28 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Tribune, 13 December 2003.
  8. Unfair fun The Tribune, 27 August 2006.
  9. Tun Tun on IMDb
  10. Tun Tun www.lifeinlegacy.com.