Divya Kapoorwrote on Aug 20 2008 6:14PM
Vera Singh, now known as Priya Rajvansh, was an Indian film actress who acted in a few movies from 1964 to 1986. Her father was on a UN assignment and she mostly stayed abroad before coming to India in the early 1960's. She is known to be the only Indian actress who has been trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, UK.
Chetan Anand introduced Priya in his film Haqeeqat (1964), also starring Balraj Sahni and Dharmendra. The movie became a big hit and is considered one of the best films based on war. Priya’s second film was Heer Ranjha (1970), with Raaj Kumar and Prithviraj Kapoor. It was a critically acclaimed film and did fair business as well. She then did another war movie, Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973) with Raaj Kumar and Balraj Sahni, which again did quite well. Though Priya did only Chetan’s films, she still managed to create a niche for herself among the audience. In 1973, Priya acted alongside Navin Nischol in Hanste Zakhm. The movie was a big success. She then appeared in Saheb Bahadur (1977) alongside Dev Anand, which was a flop. The movie was a remake of Chetan Anand’s earlier film Afsar (1950). Kudrat (1983), starring Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini besides Priya, was a flop. Priya’s last film was Haathon Ki Lakeeren (1986), also starring Sanjeev Kumar and Jackie Shroff, which again didn’t do well.
Chetan Anand had just separated from his wife, during the filming of Haqeeqat. Priya was quite younger and very beautiful and the two grew close to each other. She therefore, starred only in Chetan Anand films. Chetan and Priya had a personal relationship. After Chetan's death, in 1997, she inherited a part of his property along with his sons from his first marriage. Priya was murdered on March 27, 2000 in her home in Juhu, Mumbai, India. Police charged Chetan's sons, Ketan Anand and Vivek Anand, along with their employees Mala Choudhary and Ashok Chinnaswamy, with her murder. Their motive was proven to be rights to her inheritance of Chetan's property. The four accused were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in July 2002.