Usha Kiran

  Hindi,Marathi Film     Main Lead, Supporting Actor, Story Writer    22 Apr 1929

Golden era star Usha Kiran; today better recognized as actress Tanvi Azmi’s mother!!!

It’s an irony that despite acting opposite top stars of Bollywood like Dilip Kumar (Daag), Dev Anand (Patita ), Raj Kapoor (Nazrana ), Rajendra Kumar (Ghera Daag) and post marriage with Rajesh Khanna (Bawarchi), Amitabh Bachchan (Mili), Dharmendra (Chupke Chpke) the legendary actress Usha Kiran is today a forgotten actress!!

This is the tragic tale of Bollywood. Further what is most aching is that once when Usha Kiran ruled Bollywood, her daughter was called Usha Kiran’s daughter but when the same daughter became a popular actress ‘Tanvi Azmi ’, today the world recognizes Usha Kiran as Tanvi Azmi ’s mother!!! 
Born on 22 April 1929
Screen Name/ Original Name Usha Kiran
Parents Balkrishna Vishnu Marathe (Father) / Radha (Mother)
Siblings Five sisters.
Spouse Dr.Manohar Kher
Children Advait Kher (Ex-Model)

Tanvi Azmi (Actress)
Early Life Became an actress on father’s insistence 

Usually actors run away from home to become film stars but in case of Usha Kiran the story is different.

In an interview she said, “I was not interested in acting. Like a simple girl I wanted to study, marry and live a settled life but my father, Balkrishna Vishnu Marathe, was a man of vision. He gave me training in Kathak dancing and saw a bright future in films for me. I salute my father because though he had five daughters he educated them all and placed them into respectable profession.”
Personal Life Usha Kiran had a short affair with Amiya Chakraborty

During the making of the film Patita, Usha Kiran fell in love with filmmaker Amiya Chakraborty.

The two shared equal emotions and jelled well but Amiya Chakraborty was married hence when his wife came to know about the affair, Usha Kiran took a backseat.

Later she got married to Dr.Manohar Kher, who was Dean of Sion hospital, Mumbai. In Kher, Usha Kiran found an understanding husband because prior to marriage Usha Kiran told him all about her past affair but Dr Kher ignored it and married.

The duo tied nuptial knot in 1954 and a great married life.
Career Despite repeated failures Usha Kiran continued

Usha Kiran made her debut in acting in a Marathi play by M. G. Rangnekar's Ashirwad. She won success in theate and d got more offers in plays.

However her father was not happy as he wanted her to become an actress of repute. In this obsession he even quit his job and began devoting his time in hunting good films for her daughter.

He succeeded in seeking Usha few good Marathi films but unfortunately the films failed. Nevertheless her father did not lose hope, he even produced a film for his daughter in Marathi but yet again the film flopped.

With repeated failures Usha Kiran decided to quit but not her father and finally he succeeded when dance legend Uday Shanker offered Usha Kirann a role in his film!

Spotted by the acclaimed classical dancer Uday Shankar

Uday Shanker is an internationally acclaimed Indian classical dancer who in the 30-40’s created a rage by his brilliant fusion of western dancing techniques to Indian.

To give his art form more popularity Uday Shanker produced and directed a Hindi film Kalpana (1948). The film was also written and acted by Uday Shanker.

Prior to the beginning of the film Uday Shanker happened to watch a stage show in Mumbai and was totally bowled over by the amazing dance performance of a new girl. Her name was Uday Shanker.

Uday Shanker offered her first film Kalpana, in this film she had a small yet impressive role.

Filmmaker Amiya Chakraborty’s explores Usha Kiran’s histrionic

When everything was going astray suddenly a ray of light came into Usha Kiran’s lifeless life. She met filmmaker Amiya Chakraborty who was making a film called Gauna and was looking for a competent actress.

He made Usha Kiran a heroine with Gauna but the film flopped. Amiya Chakraborty was not disappointed as the film fetched Usha critical acclaim.

Amiya Chakraborty repeated her in his next film giving a tougher role of mother. Usha Kiran recalled, “I was just 22 years when Amiya Chakraborty offered me a role to be mother of actress Shashikala, who was of my age but I did the role as I needed desperate money for my sister’s marriage.”

Once again the film bombed but Usha won accolades for her performance and this led Amiya Chakraborty to repeat her in his third film Daag (1953) opposite Dilip Kumar!

Usha Kiran’s big step to stardom began with Dilip Kumar’s Daag

Usha Kiran finally tasted success with her film Daag in which she played an important second lead role opposite Dilip Kumar. The film also had Nimmi and was a huge hit.

The super hit song Lage jab se naina lage… was picturised on Usha Kiran.

The movie not only opened doors for Usha Kiran in Bollywood but she was flooded with films in regional cinema, particularly in Gujarati and Marathi films.

Usha Kiran gets her first solo heroine film Patita opposite Dev Anand

Overwhelmed by the huge success of Daag filmmaker Amiya Chakraborty elevated Usha Kiran’s position from second lead to lead heroine in his next flim Patita (1953) opposite superstar Dev Anand.

The highlight of the film was that it was a women centric film and gave ample exposure for Usha Kiran to exploit her histrionics.

The movie had super hit songs like Kisine Apana Bana Ke Mujhko….; Mitti Se Khelte Ho Bar-Bar Kisliye picturised on Usha Kiran. Other hits songs were like Yaad Kiya Dil Ne Kahan Ho Tum..; Andhe Jahan Ke Andhe Raste, Jaayein To Jaayein Kahan…."Hain Sab Se Madhur Woh Geet Jinhein Hum Dard Ke Sur Mein Gaate Hain…

The movie was golden Jubilee hit and made Usha Kiran a star!

Usha Kiran becomes a top star of 50’s

After Patita became Golden Jubilee hit Usha Kiran  became top star of the fifties and worked with top stars of the 50’s like Musafir with Dilip Kumar, Nazrana with Raj Kapoor, Dushman and Baadbaan with Dev Anand, Kabuliwaala, Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere with Balraj Sahni, Dhobhi Doctor and Adhikar with Kishore Kumar.

There were also many others with Ashok Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, etc. Simultaneously all her bilingual films were doing well. Usha Kiran used to do two shifts a day, which was not so common and only A-Grade actors did!!!

Usha Kiran made her comeback after marriage

After marriage Usha Kiran quit films for some time but in the 70’s Filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee cajoled her to make a comeback in his family drama Bawarchi staring superstar Rajesh Khanna.

The movie was hit and Usha Kiran was flooded with offers but she declined them and did only quality films like Chupke Chupke, Mili etc.
Awards Filmfare Best Supporting actress award for film Baadbaan (1954)

Maharashtra Government's award for best actress in Marathi film Kanyadaan
Other works She had the honor of being the Sheriff of Mumbai in 1997.
Milestones Usha Kiran was immortalized in Indian Cinema in the film Patita

Though Patita is the movie that really immortalized Usha Kiran in the annals of Indian Film Industry but few are aware that Usha Kiran also holds the distinction of winning a Filmfare award in the film Baadbaan (1954).

In this film she worked opposite Meena Kumari and interestingly won the Best Supporting Actress Filmfare award.


She died on 9 March 2000 at the age of 70.