Saira Banu

Profession: Actress , Supporting Actress
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Personal Details

  • Also Know as :- Saira Banu
  • Profession:- Actress , Supporting Actress
  • Gender :- female
  • Birthdate:- 23 Aug 1944
  • Status:- Married
  • Debut Year:- 1961
  • Active Years:- Till Today

Physique Details

Family Details

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Saira Banu
Indian Film History
Saira Banu
Indian Film History
Saira Banu
Indian Film History

4 Photos

Matriculation from Elite Boarding Schools, London, United Kingdom.

Saira Banu was on 23rd August 1944 in Mussorie, British India. She was the daughter of Bollywood's top actress of the ‘30s Naseem Banu and Film Producer, Mian Ehsan-ul-Haq. Since her parents were busy in the cinema business hence young Saira was brought up in London at an Elite Boarding Schools. At London, she also learned fashion and led a glamorous life. During her holidays she would visit Mumbai and attend the lavish filmy parties. The glamour, glitz, and dazzle of Bollywood attracted her to films and soon after her Matriculation she returned to Mumbai and joined Bollywood at the young age of 17 years!

Saira Banu idolized Dilip Kumar as her husband from the age of 12 years

 Saira Banu was just 12 years old when she first saw Dilip Kumar in ‘real' life at a filmy party thrown by Mumbai Monarch Mehboob Khan. Little Saira Banu had accompanied her mother Naseem Banu. She became a center of attraction as she looked very beautiful like a pretty Barbie doll. Even, Dilip Kumar, who was 34 years old, was so bowled over by little Saira's beauty that he picked her up in his arms at kissed her cheeks. Interestingly, while Dilip Kumar considered her like his daughter, little Saira began dreaming of being Mrs. Dilip Kumar and went crazy. After her first meeting, she painted her house with photos of Dilip Kumar and began seeking ways to meet Mr. Dilip Kumar but Dilip Kumar maintained distance due to the age gap!

Dilip Kumar married Saira Banu at the intervene of Naseem Banu

After Dilip Kumar had a rough relation with Madhubala during the making of Mughal-e-Azam, Dilip Kumar was disappointed and went into trauma. It was during the same time, Saira Banu insisted Dilip Kumar to cast her as his heroine in films but Dilip Kumar turned down her pleas. This angered Saira and in resentment, she started having an affair with actor Rajendra Kumar, who was already married. Saira's mother Naseem Banu was deeply hurt by Saira's illicit affair with Rajendra Kumar hence she approached Dilip Kumar and urged Dilip Kumar to tie the nuptial knot. Dilip Kumar agreed on the insistence of his sisters. Thus on 11 October 1966, the duo married. Initially, media made a speculation of a failed marriage but it's been 54 years and the couple is living a happy married life!!

Saira Banu started her career with a hat-trick of hit films

Call it destiny or sheer luck, Saira Banu hit stardom with her debut film Junglee (1961). Since the film was in color it captured Saira Banu's ravishing beauty brilliantly on the silver screen. Her bewitching chemistry with chocolate hero Shammi Kapoor in the scenic beauty of Kashmir added with super hit songs like Yahoo…. Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe…… made the cine buffs crazy and Junglee was a huge hit. What is commendable is that Saira Banu even won the prestigious ‘Nomination’ for Filmfare Award Best Actress.

The success of Junglee was followed with three consecutive musical hit film Bluff Master (1963) opposite Shammi Kapoor; Ayee Milan Ki Bela (1964) opposite Rajendra Kumar and April Fool (1964) opposite another chocolate hero Biswajeet.

Saira Banu introduced the trend for Fashion

Being a daughter of film actress and brought-up in London Saira Banu was very glamorous and had a sense for fashion. Interestingly, her mother Naseem Bano after quitting as an actress became the consume designer for Saira Banu and designed exquisite saris and classy jewelry pieces that became trendy. Blessed with eternal beauty Saira looked elegant and classy in both Indian as well as western wear and set a trend of fashion for Bollywood actress.

Saira Banu is regarded as one of the First Sex Bombshell of Bollywood

Besides being a fashion icon Saira Banu was one of the few actresses in Bollywood who ‘Dared to Bare’! She was one of the First few heroines regarded as Sex Bombshell who daringly wore the ‘Swimsuit’. She can be seen flaunting her curvaceous figure and shapely legs in a sensational swimsuit in the hit song Aa gale lag ja ….(April Fool). Saira Banu also did many songs picturized in the bathroom like Unse Mili Nazar ….(Jhukh Gaya Aasman) song. In this song she can be seen in the bathtub with bubbles all over her body. Saira surprised the audience in the film Victoria No 203. She did a seductive song Thoda sa Thehro……draped a towel. Similarly in the film Nehle Pe Dehla she stunned the audience with her stunning seductive outfits. Of course her super hot and sexy European Blonde look in the film Purab Aur Paschim can never be forgotten.

Saira Banu made an amazing pair with handsome Rajendra Kumar

Saira Banu made an amazing pair with handsome Rajendra Kumar. Their first film Ayee Milan Ki Bela celebrated Golden Jubilee. This opened doors for the duo signing many films like Aman, Jhuk Gaya Aasman and K Asif's incomplete film Sasta Khoon Mehnga Paani. The Jodi was jolted after Saira's mother smell a relationship brewing between the two and got Saira married to Dilip Kumar.

Saira Banu had a fruitful career in the '60s

In the '60s Saira Banu had a fruitful career and she gave several hit films. Since the '60s was the Golden Era of Bollywood she appeared mostly in musical hit films with chocolate heroes like Shagird (Joy Mukherjee), Padosan (Sunil Dutt), Aadmi Aur Insaan (Feroz Khan/ Dharmendra)

Saira Banu worked with the Superstar Trio of the ’60s !

Just as the Khan Trio –Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir Khan rule today, likewise in the 60s' Bollywood was ruled by the Superstar Trio - Dilip Kumar –Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor. Fortunately, Saira Banu had the opportunity to work with the trio. She worked first with Dev Anand in Pyar Mohabbat (1966); with Raj Kapoor in Diwana (1967) and with Dilip Kumar after she got married to him. She did three films with Dilip Kumar. The films are Gopi (1970), Sagina (1974), Bairaag (1976). In the '80s when Dilip Kumar made a comeback, the couple did the film Duniya (1984).

Saira Banu was good at comedy

Though indeed, Saira Banu's talent was never exploited but whenever good film directors tapped her histrionics she did justice to her roles. For instance, she was good at comedy and did an excellent performance in the light-hearted comedy film Shagird. Her perfect timing for comedy with a great comedian I S Johar saw her bagging a Best Actress nomination at Filmfare awards. Again Mehmood's  Padosan (1968). Padosan, Saira played a fantastic role opposite a versatile comedian like Mehmood. 


Purab Aur Paschim remains a silver lining in Saira Banu's Career

Though it is true that Saira Banu gave multiple hit films in the '60s and had a lucrative career but the bitter truth is that as an actress she had not much to offer. All her films were just song and dance but after marriage, she got her career's most power-packed role in the film Purab Aur Paschim (1971).  

In the film, she played Preeti, a gorgeous European Blonde who has her roots in India but is brought up in London. Thus she is deprived of Indian values. She lives a western lifestyle. She wears tight revealing outfits; smokes and drinks in public. Since Saira Banu was born brought-up in London hence she was the perfect choice for the role. Hence filmmaker Manoj Kumar offered the role to Saira Banu. Fortunately, Dilip Kumar had no hesitation and he nodded. Rest is history.

Salute to Manoj Kumar who shot the film so aesthetically that Saira Banu never looks cheap or look vulgar in those revealing dresses. Saira delivered a power-house performance which was even appreciated by Dilip Kumar. The film is relevant even today and Saira Banu as the ‘Firang' in Purab Aur Paschim shall remain immortalized on Indian screen forever.

Saira Banu Regrets not working with Rajesh Khanna

Saira Banu had the advantage of working with every top star of Bollywood Dilip Kumar (Gopi), Dev Anand (Pyar Mohabbat), Raj Kapoor ( Diwana), Rajendra Kumar (Ayee Milan Ki Bela), Amitabh Bachchan (Hera Pheri). With Dharmendra, she made a great rapport and did a string of films in the '70s like Jwar Bhata, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Resham Ki Dori, Pocket Maar, International Crook and Chaitali.

However, her only regret was she could not work with the superstar of the 70's Rajesh Khan. She had signed Choti Bahu (1971) with Rajesh Khanna and even shot for 2 days but due to illness, she had to opt-out from the film.

Saira Banu quit Bollywood in the mid-'70s

In the mid-'70s Saira Banu gave some hit films like Jwar Bhata, Nehle Pe Dehla, Hera Pheri but most of her films were flops like Pocketmar,  Paise Ki Gudiya,  Daaman Aur Aag, Mounto, Kala Aadmi, Zameer and Koi Jeeta Koi Haara, etc

Her last film was Faisla which was completed in 1976 but released in 1988. Other films that got delayed released in the '80s included Faisla (1988), Desh Drohi (1980), etc. In the early 80's she did a cameo opposite her husband Dilip Kumar in Yash Johar’s film Duniya (1984). The song from the film "Teri meri Zindagi" became very popular.

Today, Saira Banu is 75 years old and is leading a retired and contented life in the company of her husband Dilip Kumar who is hale and healthy at 96 years.

# Released Date Type Credited As Movie
1 01 Jan 1988 Film Actress Faisla
2 18 Sep 1984 Film Supporting Actress Duniya
3 01 Jan 1980 Film Actress Desh Drohee
4 01 Jan 1980 Film Actress Lahoo Pukarega
5 01 Jan 1978 Film Actress Kaala Aadmi
6 01 Jan 1977 Film Actress Mera Vachan Geeta Ki Qasam
7 15 Oct 1976 Film Actress Bairaag
8 01 Oct 1976 Film Actress Hera Pheri
9 01 Jan 1976 Film Actress Koi Jeeta Koi Haara
10 01 Jan 1976 Film Actress Nehle Pe Dehla