The period of 1950s & 60s was the period when film was music and music was film. Those days Hindi cinema had featured some great classical dance sequences which required the dancing abilities of heroines. Though Padmini, Ragini or Vyjayanthimala were known as classical dancers who graced the cinema, then, but one cannot forget the name of Kumkum, who had raised to popularity much before them.
It is quite difficult to maintain grace while being swift in dance, and Kumkum was excellent at that. That is why she could perform the classical dance on the semi-classical song "Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re’’ with
in Kohinoor(1960). Being an expert Kathak dancer, she presented many songs and dance sequence easily which only Helen could perform then. As she was a gifted dancer, she could match her dancing ability to interpret words set to music, and the presentation of meaning through gestures. She was trained in Kathak by the famous Pandit Shambhu Maharaj. She had performed some classical and semi-classical hits on screen.
Much before Kohinoor, she also made her appearance in number of classic films such as CID, Mother India, House No 44 etc. Before Kohinoor could release, it was
who discovered her dancing talent and wanted to picturise a song “Kabhie Aar Kabhi Paar’ (1954) on Kumkum. Later, she was given a small role, even in Pyasa.
Kumkum was an excellent actress too. She also paired with Dharmendra in Lalkar(1972) . She appeared for Geet (1970) with and
. She was a co-star of
too. She acted with even Dharmendra. After her marriage, she left acting totally. She acted in almost 115 films in her career. She also acted in the first ever Bhojpuri film.