Veena was a famous character actress. She was born as Tajour Sultana on July 4, 1926 in Quetta, Balochistan (present day Pakistan). She made her debut in Punjabi film made in Lahore – Gawandhi (1942) – opposite Shyam. The film was a hit and one of its popular songs is Pagdi sambhal jatta.
She shifted to the film capital of India – Bombay and started to play supporting roles in many films. Mehboob Khan’s Najma (1943), Humayun (1945) and K. Asif’s Phool (1945) are notable. She acted as a heroine in Afsana (1951) opposite Ashok Kumar. She acted in many films in supporting roles including Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959). In Kaagaz Ke Phool, she was snobbish upper-class wife of Guru Dutt looking down on his work in the film industry. In the latter part of her career, her most memorable role was as Meena Kumar’s sister and aunt (Meena Kumari in double role) in Pakeezah (1971). She retired in 1983 after the release of Razia Sultan (1983) in which she played Empress Shah Turkhan. She died in Bombay in 2004 after 21 years of retirement when she was 78 years old after suffering from a protracted illness.
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