Hindi cinema’s first-ever comedienne
Bollywood has given was a number of the memorable reel and real-life characters one of which is the possessor of melodious voice and humorous expressions Uma Devi Khatri aka “Tun Tun”. She’s also the very first comedienne of Hindi cinema. This article Will throw more light on Brook, her personal life, career, family and more.
Family and early life
Tun Tun was born in the Amroha district of present-day Uttar Pradesh on 11 July 1923.
She lost her parents and brother in a very small age of two to two and a half years which she revealed in her last interview taken by Shishir Krishna Sharma. She was left to her uncle as the guardian who was against educating a girl. But her desire to learn and inclination towards music which she used to listen on the radio made her run out of the house in late 1930s to Bombay (now Mumbai) with big dreams in her eyes.
Marriage and children
Along the journey, she met Akhtar Abbas Kazi who’s supportive and inspirational personality fascinated Uma. But Kazi had to move to Lahore, Pakistan because of the India-Pakistan partition. But ultimately he went to Bombay where Uma was pursuing singing and they both got married in the year 1947. She later married a man by the name of Mohan who died in the year 1992.
She has two sons and two daughters one of which is Poonam Khatri actress of a 1967 movie called Taqdeer.
Date of birth
11 July 1923.
Place of birth Near Amroha district, Uttar Pradesh
23 November 2003
Marriage She married Akhtar Abbas Kazi and later Mohan.
Real name Uma Devi Khatri Nickname
Date of birth
11 July 1923.
Place of birth
Near Amroha district, Uttar Pradesh
23 November 2003
She married Akhtar Abbas Kazi and later Mohan.
Uma Devi Khatri
After running away from her house at the age of 23 in order to chase her dreams she came to Bombay ( now Mumbai). There she Crossed paths with famous composer Naushad Ali. They say that Uma pleaded with him for work and threatened him that if he didn’t give her a chance she will jump into the ocean. Amazed by her dedication and will he called her for the audition. Her voice impressed him so much that she got hired on the spot. In Nazir’s Wamiq Azra (1946) she debut as a solo playback singer and after that, there was no looking back. She signed up with producer-director A.R. Kardar and was soon seen alongside big names in the game.
Songs like “Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon Dil-e-Beqarar Ka”, “Yeh Kaun Chala Meri Aankhon Mein Sama Kar” for which she gave voice Munawar Sultana were big hits. They were in A.R. Kardar’s movie Dard (1947). The story goes that a man got so infatuated by the song “Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon Dil-e-Beqarar Ka “ , that he went straight to Bombay, stayed with her, and later they got married. He was called by the name “Mohan”.
Her entry into the league of top-rated singers has been confirmed by songs like “Kahe Jiya Dole” and “Dil Ko Lagake Humne Kuch Bhi Na Paya” from the movie Anokhi Ada (1948).
She signed contracts with director S.S. Vasan for Chandralekha (1948) which caused her relation with producer-director Kardar to suffer. It further brought her shriveling fate.
It was getting harder for her to go toe to toe with stars like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. So , on Naushad’s suggestion she went to try her hand in acting as her comic timing and chirpy nature was apt for it. She was inspired by Dilip Kumar and her first film as an actor was with in Dilip Kumar’s movie
Babul (1950) . Nargis was the lead actress in it. She got her world-famous name “Tun Tun “ on the basis of her bubbly persona. That’s how Indian cinema got its first female comedian.
She was from the Amroha district of Uttar Pradesh which is famous for Aam (mango) and rohu (a type of fish) which certainly defined her roots as she had a sweet voice like mango and she too acted as fish takes to water. After that she worked in Aar Paar (1954) and Pyaasa (1957) both had Guru dutt in lead role. In the 1960s and 70s she was the key ingredient for comedy and a treat to watch in the movies. She even worked with Amitabh Bachchan in the movie Namak Halaal (1982).
She acted in about 198 films which were in Hindi/Urdu and Punjabi etc. with legendary comedy actors like Keshto Mukherjee, Johnny Walker, Sunder, and Bhagwan dada. But the saddest part was her comedy was pivoted to the point that she was fat. It’s an ill practice that is still prevalent today. It’s unfortunate that people are still made fun of because of their size, color, or anything else that makes them different from the mainstream folks.
But her friendly and positive nature was not restricted to movies only but she took her weight as an asset rather than a liability. She once said, “I agree dieting is very essential to maintain it and healthy body. But where is the need for me to be slim and ravishingly beautiful?”
Although it caused her the most important asset a human can have i.e Health.
Tun Tun took her last breath on 23 November 2003 in Andheri, Mumbai at the age of 80 after a prolonged illness. She paved way for other female actresses to make their name in comedy and go places.
Bollywood’s “Whiskey Rani” will always be remembered as the corner stone of Indian comedy.
Q1 What is Tun Tun’s real name ?
Ans. Uma devi khatri
Q2 Where was she born?
Ans Amroha , Uttar Pradesh
Q3 She got married twice ?
Ans Yes ,She married Akhtar Abbas Kazi and later Mohan.
Q4 How many movies she has worked in?
Ans 198 movies
Q5 When did Tun Tun die?
Ans 23 November 2003
Q6 Where did Tun Tun Died?
Q7 Who gave her the name Tun Tun?
Ans Actor Dilip Kumar