Jaddanbai broke new grounds as a personality, who entered cinema during its early stages. She was a multi-faceted personality ; she was an actress, music composer, singer as well as a producer. Renowned actress Nargis is the daughter of Jaddanbai.
Born on 1892, Jaddanbai hails from a Muslim family. After the death of her father at her very young age of 5, Jaddanbai shifted to city and ventured into singing. Initially she struggled, owing to her inadequacy in proper training. Eventually she got herself associated with Bhayya Saheb Ganpat and enrolled herself as his student. Due to the death of Ganpat, Jaddanbai imbibed complete music skills from Ustad Moinuddin Khan. The music of Jaddanbai became famous. Recording Ghazals alongside Columbia Gramaphone Company, she also got herself involved in music gatherings. Various rulers approached her for her music. She also had a stint with several radio stations by singing Ghazals and songs.
The 1933 flick Raja Gopichand was the debut film of Jaddanbai. Here, she enacted the role of a mother. A Lahore based company approached Jaddanbai for this film. Jaddanbai also got associated with a Karachi based venture for the film Insan Ya Shaitan. Sangeet Films is the production venture of Jaddanbai. The 1935 flick, Talashe Haq saw her donning the role of both actor and a music composer. Jaddanbai was instrumental in making Nargis a child artist. Jaddanbai not only acted in the 1936 flick Madam Fashion, she also composed music for it. Jaddanbai was married three times in her life.
At one juncture film production was very pricey and Jaddanbai eventually suffered. Here, then, she stopped the studies of Nargis and made her to act in Mehboob Khan’s 1938 flick Taqdeer. This film emerged successful and the family’s wealth was recovered. Jaddanbai was the pioneer in directing, acting and composing music for Indian films by a woman. She was a woman of determination and persistence during the stages of cultural transition.