Leena Chandavarkar is an Indian actress and also the wife of the late legendary singer
. Born in the Karwar region of Karnataka to a Marathi speaking family, she attended Bassel Mission High School and at the age of 15, participated and finished as a runner up in a “Filmfare Fresh Face” competition, which boosted her dreams of entering the Bollywood industry. Her initial work involved advertisements and modeling projects, where actor
noticed Leena and offered her the chance to star alongside his brother Som Dutt in the 1968 movie “Man Ka Meet” which also featured
. Nargis, Dutt’s wife, helped Leena to improvise her Hindi and also prepped her on ways to belong in the acting industry.
Coming from a conservative family, Leena refused to take up projects which required her to brandish herself in skimpy clothes and also was against off screen photo shoots. Right from the year 1969, she also went on to appear in movies such as Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Hamjoli, Mehboob Ki Mehendi and Dil Ka Raja among many others. She appeared in Dileep Kumar’s Bairaag, which also featured Saira Bano, Helen and
. Her first husband Siddharth Bandodkar, who was also the son of Goa’s first chief minister, passed away in an accidental gunshot wound, which left Leena widowed at the young age of 25.
After a few years, she tied the knot with the legendary Kishore Kumar, a marriage which faced the hesitation of her father because Kumar was 20 years older than her and previously was married thrice before. Later on, the father daughter duo amicably solved their differences, and as time passed, the couple bore a son, Sumeet Kumar. Sadly she was widowed for a second time at the age of 37 when Kishorda passed away. In 2007, she appeared as a guest judge on the reality singing show “K for Kishore”, on Sony Television.