Watch the life story of Nadira on Zee Bollywood’s next episode of Classic Legends

Florence Ezefiel Nadira

Known for her sharp features, mesmerising beauty and incredible screen presence, Nadira was one of the few actresses who had the opportunity to share screen space with most of the top male actors of her time.

“There are a few people whose lives are like an open book and every aspect is known by their fansand hence they become famous. And then there are those whose life is a mystery and hence evokes a sense of curiosity about them. Their life is like a jigsaw puzzle, with some parts missing. Such was the life of Nadira”, says Javed Akhtar introducing the yesteryear actress.

Florence Ezefiel Nadira famously known as Nadira was one of the few actresses who were considered ahead of their time. She starred in more than 60 Bollywood movies and was best known for her portrayal of an attractive female vamp.Reliving the mysterious life and some of her memorable performances, Classic Legends Season 5 will celebrate her life on Zee Bollywood on Saturday 9th February at 8pm.

The Australia-based director and academic Danny Ben-Moshe once said in an interview, “Nadira was not just a great Jewish actress, she was the last in a long line of Jewish female stars in particular, that went all the way back to the earliest days of Indian cinema.”

The Jewish actress made her Bollywood debut under the screen name Nadira in 1943 and rose to fame with the most notable film, Shree 420 in 1955, in which she played a seductive temptress. This role however eventually became her signature role.Nadira’s lasting image is from this film itself, where she holds her cigarette with élan as she dances seductively andwoos her love-interest Raj Kapoor. Her portrayal of the vamp was the perfect “bad girl” foil to establish the “good girl” heroine who the hero would eventually fell for.After that she went on to bag crucial roles in Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai, Hanste Zakhm, Amar Akbar Anthony and Pakeezah to name a few. Her performances not only captivated the audience but also broke the stereotypical notions of women on screen by wearing risqué clothes or representing the vamp character who smokes, drinks and dances.

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