Monday, November 18, 2013


Zubeida was a versatile acting talent who was  stunningly beautiful and  the lead actress of India's first talkie 'Alam Ara'.
Zubeida was the superstar of the silent movie era and  was successful also in the talkie movies later.
Zubeida was born in Surat in 1911 and she was the daughter of Fatima Begum and Nawab of Sachin.This beautiful princess started her  acting career at the age of 12 at Kohinoor Studios and had occasional appearances in some films before becoming the heroine of 'Alam Ara' which was released on March 14, 1931.
Zubaida's sister Sultana was also a popular film star and in the 1922 film 'Veer Abhimanyu' her mother Fatima Begum and Sultana also acted  in it along with Zubida.In the film 'Kalyan Khajina' also she acted along with Sultana.
There were many hit films of Zubeida in silent movie era also.'Kala Chor,Desh Ka Dushman, Devadasi' etc were hits of 1925.Her mother's film 'Bulbul-e-Paristan was super hit movie of 1926.In the year 1927 she had hits like 'Laila Majnu,Sacrifice etc.The film 'Sacrifice' which was based on Rabindranath Tagore's 'Balidaan' which dealt with the theme of animal sacrifice at certain  Kali temples of Bengal became an issue of debate and helped to stop that custom and cruelty to animals.
The first talkie 'Alam Ara' turned to be a  biggest hit which  helped Zubeida to become a highly paid super star.She was one of the few stars of  the silent era  to make the transition to sound movies a success.
Her movements and postures as a courtesan was perfect and the tragic roles as in 'Sacrifice'  were also excellent.She was also immaculate in romantic roles.Her mythological characters like Subhadra,Draupadi etc were impressive.A kissing scene of Zubeida  in Ezra Mir's 'Zarina' in which she portrayed a circus girl, was a subject of debate on censorship.
Zubeida married Maharaja Narisingir Dhanrajgir Gyan Bahadur of Hyderabad State and and she was  converted to Hinduism upon marriage.
Zubeida established Mahalakshmi Cinetone along with Nanubhai Vakil and produced 'Rashik-e-Laila' in 1934 and Gulhan-e-Alam in 1935 which were directed by Nanubhai Vakil and Zubeida acted in lead female roles.She continued to act in films  till 1949.Her last film was 'Nirdosh Abla'.
Zubeida spent her last years in Mumbai at Dhanraj Mahal Palace with her children and grand children.She died in the year 1988.
Selected Filmography
Silent Era
Veer Abhimanyu
Kalyan Khajina
Kaala Naag

Black Thief
Desh Ka Dushman
Indra Sabha
The Divine Punishment
Man and his destiny
Missing Bracelet
Abola Rani
Romantic Prince
Wages of Sin
Land of Pyramids
Wonderful Prince
Eye for an Eye
Talkie Movies
Alam Ara
Meri Jaan
Veer Abhimanyu
Pandav Kaurav
Seva Sadan
Aurat Ki Zindagi
Kiski Pyari

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