Mala Sinha is a legendary actress of Bollywood fame, having acted in a number of Hindi movies, several Bengali movies and even a Nepali movie as well. Born to ethnic Nepali parents in Calcutta of British India on November 11th 1936, she was named Alda but her name has been changed to suit the Bollywood, the then Bombay Cinema world. (Actually, it was said that she was teased at school with the then famous cooking oil ‘Dalda’, and hence the name change.) All through the 50s, 60s, and the 70s, she has entertained her huge fan base with her beauty and acting talent. She is a Scorpio and is 157 cm (5’2”) tall. Mala Sinha has married her husband Chidambar Prasad Lohani in the year 1968 and they have a daughter born in July 1969 by the name Pratibha Sinha who is also a celebrated Indian actress.
Mala Sinha is famous for the song, ‘Mere Mehboob’, which she sang with ManharUdhas in the 1972 Hindi movie “Lalkar” by Ramanand Sagar, and her character’s name in the movie was ‘UshaChoudhury’. Her proposal to actor
Sanjay Khan at the very sets of the 1966 movie “Dillagi” (directed by S.N. Banerjee but he had his initials as just S) was turned down by the actor himself reportedly because of his then existing engagement with ZarineKatrak, a top model, at that time. This was a much-talked about incident at that time as Mala was the most sought after single woman then. Sanjay Khan went on to marry Zarine in 1955 and Mala went on to marry Chidambar Prasad Lohani in 1968. Chidambar Prasad was an estate owner in Nepal and was her hero in the only Nepali movie (“Maitighar” - the 1966 Nepali classic under B.S.Thapa direction) she has acted for which she had been to Nepal where they fell in love.
She was good in singing and dancing even from an early age, and was an AIR approved singer who has appeared in stages as well, singing in several languages and entertaining the audience, till the late 70s. In Bengali, she has started with the 1952 movie “Roshanara” which was directed by Ardhendu Bose, and the last one yet is the 1977 “Kabita” that was directed by Bharat Shamsher. But even before “Roshanara”, she was a child artist in several Bengali movies, like, “ShriKrishanLeela” and the religious “Jai Vaishno Devi”. In Hindi, she has started with the 1954
Guru Dutt starrer “Suhagan” which was directed by Anant Mane, though some reports suggest that the movie “
Badshah” of the same year, directed by Amiya Chakrabarty, was her first Hindi venture. Her last one yet is the 1994 “ Zid” that was directed by Esmayeel Shroff. Almost throughout her career in the 50s to 70s she remained in top 3 spots and her films made good at the box office.
Notable amongst her more than 100 movies are, Guru Dutt’s “
Pyaasa” of 1957,
Yash Chopra’s “DhoolKaPhool” of 1959, the
Mohan Kumar directed movie “Anpadh” and the B.R Panthulu directed movie “DilTeraDeewana”, both of 1962, the
Sunil Dutt with the great
Ashok Kumar combined starrer, B. R. Chopra’s “Gumrah” of 1963, the
Manoj Kumar starrer Himalay Ki Godmein of 1965, and the Dharmendra starrer of 1968, RamanandSagar’s“ Aankhen”. She had once said in a press interview that in the 60s she was offered two Hollywood movies, as lead heroine, but her father who was looking after her had refused them, pleading excuse and saying that she would not act in such movies where Western levels of intimacy prevailed and which culture was not acceptable to his Daughter of India’s ethics and ways. She was nominated for many awards and has won several of them.
The 1965 and 1966 Best Actress BFJA awards for the movies “JahanAra” directed by
Vinod Kumar, and “Himalaya Ki God Mein” directed by
Vijay Bhatt, respectively, were preceded by nominations for the Filmfare Best Actress Awards for those movies, and also for the Yash Chopra directed 1960 movie, “DhoolKaPhool”, and the T. Prakash Rao directed 1964 movie, “Bahurani”. She has won the 2004 Sikkim Samman Award that was given by the Sikkim government.
The next year, the then Nepal government honored her with a Felicitation. In 2007, she was presented with the “Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Award”, both she and her co-star of 10 films Biswajit being called on to the stage together. Another Lifetime Achievement award, this time it was from “Kelvinator GR8! Women Awards”, initiated by the Kelvinator Company and the GR8! TV Magazine was presented to her in the year 2013. The same year, she gave a press statement that she was rejecting the “DadasahebPhalke Award” due to the invitation card not having her name printed on it. As of 2015, she is living quietly with her ailing mother and daughter at her home in Bandra, Mumbai