The actor Shakila died in Mumbai on September 20 at the age of 82. She worked with several popular actors of her time, including Guru Dutt, Shammi Kapoor, Kishore Kumar and Sunil Dutt, and was most famous for her appearances in Aar Paar (1954), CID (1956) and Hatim Tai (1956). Shakila also featured in several popular Hindi songs, such as Baar Baar Dekho from China Town (1962), Neend Na Mujhko Aaye from Post Box. No. 999 (1958), and Ae Mere Dil Hai Nadaan from Tower House (1962).
Born as Badshah Begum on January 1, 1935, Shakila was introduced to cinema by her aunt, who went on to manage the acting careers of Shakila and her sisters Noor, and Nasreen. Shakila’s early appearances include Dastaan (1950), Sindbad the Sailor (1952), Rajrani Damyanti (1952), Aagosh (1953), Shahenshah (1953), Raj Mahal (1953) and Armaan (1953).
Shakila gained recognition and acclaim with her performance as a disillusioned cabaret dancer in Guru Dutt’s Aar Paar (1954), which helped her bag the lead role in Raj Khosla’s CID two years later. Although Shakila’s luminous face and charming screen presence were appreciated in CID, she was largely eclipsed by Waheeda Rehman, who played a supporting role in the film.
Shakila then went on to act in numerous fantasy action productions, including Homi Wadia’s Alibaba Aur Chaalis Chor (1954), Lalpari (1954), Roop Kumari (1956), Hatim Tai (1956) and Al-Hilal (1958). Her last screen appearance as a lead actress was Ustadon Ke Ustad (1963), in which she starred with Pradeep Kumar.
After appearing in more than 50 films in a career that spanned 14 years, Shakila married in 1963 and moved to the United Kingdom. She later made brief appearances in a few films, such as Hum Intezaar Karenge (1989) and Rajdrohi (1993), and returned to Mumbai after her marriage ended.