Neetal wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Born on August 23, 1944, Saira Banu is daughter of Naseem Banu, is a well-known actress of the 1960s and 1970s and the grand daughter of a courtesan Chamiyan Bai, also known as Shamshad Begum (not to be confused with the famous playback singer of the yesteryears Shamshad Begum Waheed Khan). Saira had spent a significant part of her childhood in London, and went to a finishing school. She is also the wife of actor Dilip Kumar.
Saira Banu made her acting debut opposite Shammi Kapoor in the 1961 hit film Junglee. Junglee also instantly made her a successful actress throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Ever since her marriage to Dilip Kumar in 1966, Saira looked for dramatically challenging roles. Her valiant attempts to establish a reputation as an actress after Gopi, Sagina and Bairaag (all with Dilip Kumar) and films like Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Chaitali met with limited success. In 1976, Saira chose to end her film career. Subsequently she has weathered a storm in her marriage in 1980 which was quickly resolved. She then appeared in a cameo opposite her husband in Duniya (1984); and became a successful television producer. She made her last film appearance in the 1988 film Faisla (1988). She earned her first Filmfare nomination as Best Actress through Jungle. She did earn three additional Filmfare nominations as Best Actress for Shagird (1967), Diwana (1968), and Sagina (1974).