Meena Kumari (August 1, 1932 – March 31, 1972), born Mahjabeen Begum, was an Indian movie actress and poet.
Kumari is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema. During a career spanning 30 years from her childhood to her death, she starred in more than ninety films, many of which have achieved classic and cult status today. She is regarded as one of the greatest Hindi movie actresses of all time.
Kumari gained a reputation for playing grief-stricken and tragic roles, and her performances have been praised and reminisced throughout the years. Like one of her best-known roles, Chhoti Bahu, in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), Kumari became addicted to alcohol. Her life and prosperous career were marred by heavy drinking, troubled relationships, an ensuing deteriorating health, and her death from liver cirrhosis in 1972. Kumari is often cited by media and literary sources as “The Tragedy Queen”, both for her frequent portrayal of sorrowful and dramatic roles in her films and her real-life story.