Talat Mahmood was a playback singer turned actor of the Indian film industry. He was born on February 24, 1924, in Lucknow, United Provinces, British India. From childhood, he showed an inclination towards music and did not mind sitting all night long to listen to the some of the performances of the classical singers of his vicinity.
However, his family were very conservative and did not support him to pursue his dreams. As a result, he had to leave his family and home. They accepted him a decade later when he gained respect in the industry.
Talat started to assist Pandit S.C.R. Bhat, who was a teacher at Marris College of Music and learned the nitty-gritty of the art from him. When he turned sixteen, he started a job at the All India Radio where he would sing ghazals.
His specialty was his natural silky and soft voice coupled with his detailed knowledge of the music and precise diction. HMV Retail Ltd, an entertainment retailing company, noticed his talent and offered him a chance to record his first song. Gradually, he became a name to reckon not just in Lucknow but in Calcutta as well. In Calcutta, he got several offers to sing Bengali songs. In 1944, he cronned the biggest hit of his career named Tasveer Teri Dil Mera Behela Nah Sake Gi.
It brought him nation-wide fame. Five years after singing the most famous song of its time, he shifted to Bombay to work in the Bollywood. In his time, he was as well-known as Mukesh and Muhammad Rafi. In fact, he is the first Indian citizen who performed in foreign countries too. Most of his concerts aboard would run to packed houses.
He has given performances at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, London, Madison Square Garden, United States of America, and Jean Pierre Complex, West Indies. Besides his melodious voice, he was a good-looking man.
As a result, Talat started to receive acting offers too. He acted in several films like Ek Gaon Ki Kahani, Diwali Ki Raat, Sone ki Chidiya, and much others. However, unlike his singing career, his line of work as an actor isn't as impressive. In his lifetime, he sang nearly eight hundred songs. However, after the advent of the pop songs offers started to dry up.
He married Latika Mullick, an actress, who was a Christian from Bengal on February 20, 1951. After marriage, Talat changed her name to Nasreen. The couple has two children named Khalid and Sabina. He passed away on May 9, 1998, in Mumbai.