Rohit wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Vyjanthimala Bali was born in a Tamil-speaking family in Chennai, India, on August 13, 1936. At the age of 4, she got the rare chance of performing a dance before the Pope. At the age of 15, while in her final year at school, she was signed-up by family friend, M.V. Raman, for a role in a Tamil film 'Vazhkai'. This movie was successful at the box office and was re-made in Hindi during 1951 and released as 'Bahaar'.
Her career spanned from 1949 through to 1989. She has received a total of five awards for her performances in 'Devdas', 'Sadhna', 'Ganga Jamuna', and 'Sangam', as well as a lifetime achievement award during 1995. Vyjayanthimala got her initial Hindi movie roles in Ladki and Nagin (1954). Hemant Kumar's music and her dance accompanying the song, Man Dole, Mera tan dole, in Nagin made the movie an enormous success, and the movie's success helped Vyjayanthimala break out of B grade movies. Bimal Roy cast her as Chandramukhi opposite Dilip Kumar in the critically acclaimed Devdas. She subsequently starred in four successful films opposite Dilip Kumar: Madhumati, Ganga Jamuna, Leader, and Naya Daur. The first two of those four roles earned her Filmfare Best Actress Awards. She also received a Filmfare nomination as Best Actress for portraying in Sadhana a tawaif (a courtesan) who eventually got rehabilitated in the society. She costarred with Raj Kapoor in Sangam which earned her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. Vyjayanthimala starred in the 1966 historical epic, Amrapali, which was based on the life of the legendary Buddhist courtesan Amrapali. The movie was not a commercial success, and the commercial failure much disappointed her as she considered it the magnum opus of her career. She co-starred with Dev Anand in Jewel Thief, with Rajendra Kumar in Suraj, with Shammi Kapoor in Prince, and with Kishore Kumar in his inane yet zany comedies, including the blockbuster New Delhi.
After the passing of her husband, she now resides in Chennai, with her son, who is an aspiring actor in his own right, and has removed herself completely from Bollywood, in particular, and movies in general, though she could have easily continued on for another decade. In 2007, she published her autobiography titled "Bonding," where she revealed that she didn't have an affair with Raj Kapoor, her leading man and director from "Sangam" (1964).