Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Leela Desai was a famous Indian actress during 1930's and 40's.She was daughter of Dr.Umedram Lalbhai Desai and Satyabhama Devi, a well known musician of the 1900's.
Leela Desai was born in New York, while her parents were on a lengthy American tour.Her Father  was a Gujarati and her mother was hailed from Bihar.Her father who was a well reputed Doctor of that period died in the year 1930.
Leela Desai  grew up in India.She was an accomplished dancer and was introduced to films by New Theatres of Calcutta.
She got trained from Bhatkhanda Music Institute,Lucknow.This prestigious institute trained several people who all  became popular musicians,artistes,Dancers,Writers etc later on.Some of them are Iftekar,Bina Rai,Swaranlata,Talat Mehmood,Dancer Lachhu Maharaj etc.Artistes from New Theatres of Calcutta like 'Pahadi Sanyal,Leela Desai,Kamalesh Kumari' etc also got training from there.
Leela Desai was gorgeous in her dancing performances  and her acting skill was exceptionally good with her strikingly convincing and expressive eyes and a face which reflected  all emotions easily.
She acted opposite K.L.Saighal in  some films which drew attention from audiences all over India.K.L.Saighal rose to the peak of his popularity with the release of 'Devdas' in 1935 and his other pictures released afterwards were also well received by the audience.
'Didi' was a Bengali  film of 1937 which was directed by Nitin Bose in which K.L.Saighal and Leela Desai were the leading pair.It was a different type of love story.
'Badi Bahen' (37) was a Hindi Film directed by Nitin Bose in which Saighal was her hero.
'President' was also released in 1937 in which K.L.Saighal and Leela Desai acted as the pair.
'Jiban Maran' was a Hindi/Bengali film directed by Nitin Bose  which handled a triangular love story in which Mohan, a radio singer and Kedar, a doctor, both loves Geeta (Leela Desai).K.L.Saighal and Leela Desai were the lead pair in this film also.
'Dushman' was yet another film of Leela Desai and K.L.Saighal pair.

In the film 'Kapal Kundala'(1939) directed by Nitin Bose she acted as 'Kapal Kundala'.Nitin Bose and Phani Majumdar directed it together.Phani Majumdar married Leela Desai's sister Monica Desai.

'Nartaki' was a film  having two versions and in both of them Leela Desai handled heroine role as 'Roop Kumari'.In the Bengali version Bhanu Banerjee was the hero and 'Swamiji's role was handled by Chhabi Biswas.In the H

indi version Najmal Hussain was the hero and Swamiji's role was handled by R.P.Kapoor.The film was directed by Debaki Bose.
'Tamanna' was a Hindi film directed by Phani Majumdar in 1942.
Leela Desai,Krishna Chandra Dey,P.Jairaj,Jagdish Sethi etc acted in it.

'Nagad Narayan' was a Hindi film which was directed by Vishram Bedekar in which Leela Desai,Kusum Deshpande and Pratima Devi acted.

In 1944 she acted in the film 'Kaliyan' along with her sister 'Ramola'.
She was associate producer of the movie  'Kabuliwala' in 1961.

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