Vyjayanthimala Receives Padma Vibhushan Award

Veteran actress Vyjayanthimala was bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.

Vyjayanthimala Receives Padma Vibhushan award - f

"I am proud of every film I did in my short career."

The iconic veteran actress Vyjayanthimala Bali received the 2024 Padma Vibhushan award. It is India’s second-highest civilian honour.

Vyjayanthimala’s name shone brightly within the Indian film industry in the ’50s and ’60s. She began her career in the Tamil Vaazkhai (1949).

She found footing in Bollywood as Chandramukhi in Bimal Roy’s Devdas (1955), which marked her first of many successful collaborations with Dilip Kumar.

Vyjayanthimala and Dilip Kumar went on to work together in several classics including Naya Daur (1957), Madhumati (1958) and Gunga Jumna (1961).

The actress is also known for her films with Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar.

She won the Filmfare awards for ‘Best Actress’ for Sadhana (1958), Gunga Jumna and Sangam (1964).

Vyjayanthimala expressed her joy at winning the award and at being remembered.

She said: “It is always a joy to be remembered and honoured, especially by the government. I thank all those who thought of me.

“I retired from acting when I was only 36. My last film was Gaanwar in 1970. It’s a miracle I am still remembered.

“I am proud of every film I did in my short career.”

Vyjayanthimala also played an integral role in the evolving of the Bollywood heroine. She was one of the first actresses to appear in swimwear onscreen.

In the Sangam chartbuster ‘Main Kaa Karoon Ram,’ she wore tight clothing and dances in her male co-star’s lap which was previously unseen in Bollywood.

The star spoke confidently about the dance number, asserting that she gave it her best.

She explained: “When it was conceived, I was a little apprehensive. Once I decided to go ahead with it, I gave it my best shot.

“Though it was a naughty number, I can proudly say there was not a jot of vulgarity.”

Veteran star Hema Malini took to Instagram to pay tribute to Vyjayanthimala. Underneath a glamorous photo, the Sholay actress wrote:

“Most memorable day of my life. My meeting my role model, the icon Vyjayanthimala along with her lovely family at her Chennai residence yesterday.

“She is so full of life, still so full of dance in her. She talks dance, lives dance and has a glow and aura around her.”

“I was in as much awe as I was many years ago!

“Had a nostalgic discussion about her stint in films and her experiences in the industry.

“One has to learn a lot from her. It was a great moment for me to have been given so much love by this lovely lady – beautiful inside and out!”

Vyjayanthimala Receives Padma Vibhushan award

Dilip Kumar’s wife Saira Banu also celebrated Vyjayanthimala’s honour on Instagram.

Posting a photo with her late husband and her colleague, Saira Banu wrote:

“I am so happy to have received this incredible news that Vyjayanthimala, my beloved Akka, has been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan Award.

“This recognition is more than deserved.

“Her films have been a part of my life ever since I was a little girl.”

“And it’s true to say that her contribution to Indian Cinema has been invaluable for all these years and both Dilip Sahib and Akka have had the maximum number of record-breaking films together.

“Many congratulations to her on this achievement!”

Also a trained dancer, Vyjayanthimala has a staggering body of work.

Manav is a creative writing graduate and a die-hard optimist. His passions include reading, writing and helping others. His motto is: “Never hang on to your sorrows. Always be positive."

Images courtesy of Instagram and Medium.

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