Veteran actor Mumtaz recently took to Instagram to express her gratitude towards late legendary comedian Mehmood. Mumtaz began her journey in the film industry at the age of 11 with the 1958 film Sone Ki Chidiya. After doing small roles as a teenager, she started featuring opposite wrestler-actor Dara Singh in lead roles. However, after some time, she faced the challenge of being typecast as a action film heroine. Determined to break free from this pigeonholing, she found a saviour in Mehmood. The comic legend showed her reels to Dilip Kumar, who readily agreed to star with her in the film Ram Aur Shyam (1967), resurrecting her career.
During a recent meeting with Mehmood’s family, Mumtaz recounted the incident that transformed her career. She shared, “I just want to say that Mehmood ji had a big hand in my success. Had he not recommended my name to Dilip Kumar… He took my reels to the star and showed them to him. He said, ‘There is this new girl and you must work with her… you have a double role in the film.’ So, Dilip Kumar was like, ‘She is a beautiful, nice, and tall girl. Theek hai, mai kaam kar lunga (Fine, I will work with her).’”
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The actor added, “Had he not said all this to Dilip Kumar, then it would not have been possible for me…it would not have been in my destiny to work with a person like Dilip Kumar. How many people in this world are ready to do something for anyone, and go out of their way to do so?” Thanking Mehmood’s family, she said, “I just wanted to tell this to you guys. This is Mehmood’s family and it is because of him that I could work with Dilip Kumar.”
In the 1970s, Mumtaz’s on-screen pairing with actor Rajesh Khanna captivated fans, further taking her career to new heights.
Mumtaz was in talks to star in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Heeramandi. Unfortunately, the collaboration did not come to fruition.