Born as Fatima Rashid, Nargis undoubtedly was one of the talented actresses of Hindi cinema. Her film name, Nargis, is the name of a flower, Narcissus. She began acting when she was a child with the movie Talash-E-Haq however she became a full time actress with Tamanna in 1942.
Her mother, Jaddanbai , a classical singer and a courtesan, got her familiarized with the film industry so that she also doesn’t end up as a courtesan.
She acted along side Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor in many movies which were successful commercially. Andaz, Awaara, Deedar and Barsaat were a few of their best movies. During her career, which spanned from the 1940s to the 1960s, her most acclaimed film was Mother India. This film won her the trophy of best actress at the Filmfare Awards. Her enactment as Radha in the film is regarded as one of her amazing performances. She got introduced to Sunil Dutt, her colleague in this film, who later got married to her, had saved her from a fire accident.
Soon after getting married, Nargis quit acting. They had 3 kids; Sanjay Dutt, Priya Dutt and Namratha.
Nargis was honored with the Urvashy Award, the highest honor given to a movie actress in the Indian film industry. She is the also the recipient of Padma Shri, Karlovy Award and the National Film Award. It was for the first time that an actress of Bollywood got the celebrated Padma Shri.
Together with her life partner Sunil Dutt, Nargis established the Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe. This group, with several well-known actresses and actors, performed at the border to entertain the soldiers.
Her troupe was one of the first groups that performed at Dhaka, past the Indo-Pakistani combat. She was also elected to Rajya Sabha. But, she had to leave before the end of her term in Rajya Sabha because she succumbed to pancreatic cancer.
Another well-known quality of Nargis, apart from acting, was her dedication towards social work. She was the first supporter of The Spastics Society of India, where she put effort to help spastic kids. She was always remembered by her family members. It was evident from the unoccupied seat left at the premiere of Sanjay Dutt’s first movie, Rocky. In her memory, the Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Foundation was established.