Let me go first in brief before we talk about SHELCON – UNTOLD STORY OF BOLLYWOOD. Did u know, The very first short film of Indian Cinema was “Birth of a Pea plant” Directed by Lumerie brothers in 1896.
Dadasaheb Phalke was watching a Pea plant growing and so he took some 50 pix at every stage while plant was growing. Then they merged the picture and played and movie played. Dadasaheb was happy as Cinema is made. But to know more about it he went to London school to study. There he was offered to make films for them, But Dadasaheb told , “I will make film for my India only” and so came and made the first silent 20 min Film Raja harishchandra , which released on 5th May 1913.
Now Raja harshchandra had only male actors playing female roles too, as that time hardly they would get actors. so decided time to to give Female actor to industry. after long struggle for while he made “Mohini Bahamasur” , which created an artistic feel.
Then Salochana , who was first queen actress of Silent film era in early 1920s was Jewish ancestry, hailing from the community of Baghdadi Jews in India . Her real name was Ruby Myers. Ruby Myers was born in 1907 in Pune. Chubby, petite and brown-eyed, the self-named Sulochana was among the early Eurasian female stars of Indian Cinema.
She was working as a telephone operator when she was approached by Mohan Bhavnani of Kohinoor Film Company to work in films. Though excited by the offer, she turned him down as acting was regarded as quite a dubious profession for women those days. However Bhavnani persisted with his offer and she finally agreed, despite having no knowledge of acting whatsoever. She became a star under Bhavnani’s direction at Kohinoor before moving on to the Imperial Film Company where she became the highest paid movie star in the country.
Among her popular films were Typist Girl (1926), Balidaan (1927) and Wildcat of Bombay (1927) where she essayed eight roles including a gardener, a policeman, a Hyderabadi gentleman, a street urchin, a banana seller and a European blonde.
Three romantic super hits in 1928 – 29 with director R.S. Chaudhari – Madhuri (1928), Anarkali (1928) and Indira B.A. (1929) saw her at her peak of fame in the silent film era. In fact so widespread was her fame that when a short film on Mahatma Gandhi inaugurating a khadi exhibition was shown, alongside it was added a hugely popular dance of Sulochana’s from Madhuri, synchronised with sound effects.
With the coming of sound, Sulochana suddenly found a lull in her career, as it now required an actor to be proficient in Hindustani. Taking a year off to learn the language, she made a grand comeback with the talkie version of Madhuri (1932).
The next actress in the era of Silent films was lovely Rose , where she pulled everyone with with nayi kahani.
Further talkie versions of Salochana ‘s silent hits followed and with Indira (now an) M.A. (1934), Anarkali (1935) and Bombay ki Billi (1936). Sulochana was back with a bang. She was drawing a salary of Rs 5000 per month, she had the sleekest of cars (Chevrolet 1935) and one of the biggest heroes of the silent era, D. Billimoria, as her lover with whom she worked exclusively between 1933 and 1939. They were an extremely popular pair – his John Barrymore-style opposite her Oriental ‘Queen of Romance’ image.
However, she still had the power to excite controversy. In 1947, Morarji Desai banned the Dilip Kumar – Noor Jehan starrer, Jugnu, because it showed such a morally reprehensible act as an aging fellow professor falling for Sulochana’s vintage charms.
Promila was first MISS INDIA of 1947 , and met Muslim actor Hasan ali , screen name Kumar. Kumar was leading man of his times.
Also , Rose would dance at TAJ and every sat after party was at her home. Rose was only jewish star who knew to party and was eye of party.
In late 1940 s , salchana role changed as she became old. So Salochana turned Producer and produced Bare hawab sahab , where lost huge money. Later she continued to play granny roles unlike in Julie and may more.
Then Time for the first RK Heroine , as by that time RK STUDIOS in Chembur was established. And lovely NADIRA was introduced.