Nutan Samarth was born on June 24, 1936 into a highly educated and cultured family. Her father, Kumarsen Samarth was the deputy publicity officer with Films Division, while her mother, Shobana Samarth, was a leading actress of that era. From a very young age, Nutan showed a keen interest in dance and music. She learnt Kathak and even gave public performances. Nutan’s sister Tanuja is also a famous actress of Hindi Cinema. Nutan started her film career in 1950 while she was still in school. Her mother had just started making the film Humari Beti (1950) and when director K Asif saw Nutan on the mahurat of the film, he immediately offered her a role. Though the the film Hamari Beti was not a big hit, Nutan was noticed and offers started pouring in. She reached her peak in the early 50s with her first hits, Hum Log (1951) and Nagina (1953), and Nutan also won the Miss India title.
In mid 1950s, when her films were flopping, her mother decided to send her to a finishing school — La Chatelainie in Switzerland. While she was still there, producer S Mukherjee gave her an offer for the film, Seema (1955). Her potrayal of a juvenile delinquent in the film earned her massive applause. Her career started looking up once again and soon Nutan became a huge star and the object of her rivals’ envy.
Nutan was a fine actress and was capable of expressing anything with her eyes and face. In Seema (1955) we can see the tempests raging and dying in her eyes as the bhajan ‘Manmohana bade jhoote’. In 1959 she married Lieutenant Commander Rajnish Bahl and eased out of films when her son, Mohnish was born. However, the actress in her couldn’t rest for long and the spotlights once again shone on her after her out standing performance in famous director Bimal Roy‘s award-winning film Bandini (1963). The film had Nutan at her acting best.
In 1960’s and 1970’s Nutan regularly picked up awards for diverse roles in films like Milan (1967), Saraswati Chandra (1968), Saudagar (1973) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). By that time she had become one of the most respected actress in Hindi Cinema. Renowned directors as distinct as Bimal Roy, Manmohan Desai, Raj Khosla and Basu Bhattacharya have named her as their favorite actress.
She maintained her pre-eminence through the 80s and retained her graceful style in the maternal roles that she was now being asked to do. She acted opposite Dilip Kumar for the first time in Subhash Ghai’s Karma (1986) and matched the performance of the great actor frame by frame.
Nutan was not only blessed with a graceful personality and great acting skills, her voice was also quite serene. In the 1960 film Chhabili (1960), Nutan sang ‘Aye Mere Humsafar’. In 1980s she sang Bhajans (devotional songs). Though her dairy farm, her antique laden home, her piloting of her son Mohnish’s career, her bhajan-singing and her search for spirituality took up most of her time in her later years, she, nevertheless, continued to act.
Her health took a turn for worse in 1989. She developed cancer of the liver and left for heavenly abode in 1991 at the age of 54.
Nutan has won 6 Filmfare Awards. Other awards are innumerable. She won more awards than any other actress of Hindi Cinema.
Nutan has won the highest number of Filmfare Awards.
- Outstanding Performance Award for Meri Jung – 1985
- Best Actress Award for Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki – 1978
- Best Actress Award for Milan – 1967
- Best Actress Award for Bandini – 1963
- Best Actress Award for Sujata – 1959
- Best Actress Award for Seema – 1955
Nutan did a large number of films during her cinema career. Following is the filmography og Nutan.
|1950||HAMARI BETI||Nutan’s debut|
|1951||HUM LOG||Nutan, Shyama, Balraj Sahni|
|1951||NAGINA||Nutan, Nasir Khan, Bipin|
|1951||PARBAT||Nutan, with Premnath|
|1951||SHISHAM||Nutan with Nasir Khan|
|1951||NIRMOHI||Nutan, Leela Misra|
|1952||HANGAMA||Nasir Khan, Nutan|
|1953||LAILA MAJNU||Shammi Kapoor, Nutan|
|1954||SHABAB||Nutan, Bharat Bhushan|
|1955||SEEMA||Nutan, Balraj Sahni, Shobha Khote|
|1956||HEER||Nutan, Pradeep Kumar, Lalita Pawar|
|1957||BAARISH||Nutan, Dev Anand|
|1957||PAYING GUEST||Dev Anand, Nutan, Shobha Khote|
|1958||AAKHRI DAAO||Shekhar, Nutan|
|1958||DILLI KA THUG||Kishore Kumar, Nutan|
|1958||SOLVAH SAAL||Dev Anand, Nutan|
|1958||SONE KI CHIDIYA||Nutan, Balraj Sahni, Talat Mehmood|
|1959||ANARI||Raj Kapoor, Nutan, Motilal|
|1959||KANHAIYA||Raj Kapoor, Nutan|
|1959||SUJATA||Sunil Dutt, Nutan|
|1960||BASANT||Shammi Kapoor, Nutan, Pran|
|1960||CHHALLIA||Nutan, Raj Kapoor, Rehman|
|1963||BANDINI||Ashok Kumar, Nutan, Dharmendra|
|1963||DIL HI TO HAI||Raj Kapoor, Nutan, Pran|
|1963||TERE GHAR KE SAMNE||Dev Anand, Nutan, Om Prakash|
|1965||RISHTE NAATE||Nutan, Raj Kumar|
|1966||DIL NE PHIR YAAD KIYA||Nutan, Rehman, Dharmendra|
|1966||DULHAN EK RAAT KI||Nutan, Dharmendra|
|1966||KHANDAN||Nutan, Sunil Dutt, Mumtaz|
|1967||LAAT SAHIB||Nutan, Shammi Kapoor|
|1967||MANZIL||Dev Anand, Nutan, Mehmood|
|1967||MILAN||Sunil Dutt, Nutan|
|1968||SARASWATI CHANDRA||Nutan, Manish, Ramesh Deo|
|1969||BHAI BAHEN||Nutan, Sunil Dutt|
|1970||YAADGAR||Nutan, Manoj Kumar, Pran|
|1972||ANURAAG||Nutan, Debut of Moushumi Chatterjee, Ashok Kumar, Vinod Mehra|
|1973||SAUDAGAR||Amitabh Bachchan, Nutan|
|1978||MAIN TULSI TERE AANGAN|
|Nutan, Asha Parekh, Vinod Khanna|
|1978||SAAJAN BINA SUHAGAN||Rajendra Kumar, Nutan|
|1980||SAANJH KE BELA||Nutan|
|1981||SAAJAN KI SAHELI||Rajendra Kumar, Rekha|
|1983||MAHARAJA||Sanjay Khan, Nutan, Sujit Kumar|
|1983||MERI JUNG||Anil Kapoor, Meenakshi Sheshadri|
|1983||RISHTA KAAGAZ KA||Raj Babbar, Rati Agnihotri, Nutan|
|1985||AAR PAAR||Mithun Chakraborty, Rosina|
|1985||YUDH||Jackie Shroff, Anil Kapoor|
|1986||KARMA||Dilip Kumar, Nutan, Jackie Shroff|
|1986||NAAM||Nutan, Kumar Gaurav, Sunjay Dutt|
|1987||HIFAZAT||Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit|
|1989||GURU||Sridevi, Mithun Chakraborty, Nutan|
|1989||KANOON APNA APNA||Dilip Kumar, Nutan, Sanjay Dutt|
|1994||INSANIYAT||Amitabh Bachchan, Sunny Deol|
Her simplicity of thought, word and deed and her devotion to work in any given situation is still remembered. Nutan could often be short and impatient with a lot of people but her winsome personality always brought them back to the fold. A woman of great ideals, she always maintained a sense of responsibility.
She died of liver cancer seven years ago but the Nutan legend lives on…