Profession – Actress, Singer, Music Director
Most Active/Popular Decades – 1930s – 1960s
Nationality – Pakistani
Religion – Muslim
Ethnicity – N/A
Date of Birth – N/A
Date of Death – 1972
Debut Film – Maya Jaal (1933)
Last Film – Pehla Pyar (1947). Pehla Pyar was her last film in India before she migrated to Pakistan and resumed her career there.
Significant others in the Film Industry – N/A
Miscellaneous Info – Singing star Bibbo was the first female music director of Indian films. Read more Here
Amongst the most graceful character actresses of the Indo-Pak film industry, Bibbo must rank as one of the topmost ones. At her peak, she was a stunning heroine, and the only film actress of the region whose dresses and shoes were studded with diamonds and expensive stones and she flaunted her wealth sometimes in an ostentatious display.
Bibbo’s real name was Ishrat Sultana, and she belonged to the Ishratabad Chawari Bazar area of Delhi, where her mother, a famous singer and courtesan, Hafeezan Bai, used to hold count. Bibbo was blessed with an even more enhanced beauty and made people her diwana. When her films started coming to the theatre regularly, she became a rage. Her beauty was fully on display in Sair-e-Parrastan, which also had Master Nisar in the lead. Other films include Vasu Data, Gharib Parvar, Man Mohan, Jagirdar, Dynamite, Gramophone Singer, Pyar Kee Maar, Shaan-e-Khuda and Sagar Ka Sher. In many of these films she did very well. But this lovely sweetheart got entranced by a handsome lead, Khalil Sardar, and they got married. After this intense love affair, they went off to Lahore. In celebration of this wedding, they made a film, Qazzaq Kee Larki, but it flopped. Very soon, romance dissipated and the wedding broke up. She returned to Bombay. Barey Nawab Sahab, Naseeb and Pehli Nazar were her other powerful films.
Bibbo had hobbies like the men of the time. She was a very witty person, and in fact her remarks even stunned the men with their hard-hitting repartee. She lived like a princess and was obsessed with collecting handkerchiefs. She was always present at the best horse races and knew the names of most of the horses in Bombay. In later days, after Partition, her first films in Pakistan were Duppata and Gulnar. She proved to be a fine character actress in Pakistan and worked in films like Shararey, Nazrana, Mandi, Qatil, Kanwari Bewa, Zaher-e-Ishq, Salma, Ghalib and Fanoos. In Fanoos, you can see her working diligently to establish a perfect relationship with another master of the big screen, Azad. Fanoos was all about a well bred family, which was living for a long time on the hills, and the son of this pair, Salman Peerzada is entranced with a female from a haunted house, played by Komal. It was a charming performance by both Bibbo and Azad. But, the film flopped due to some vital technical flaws in the film.
Similarly, in Ghalib, she played a vital role, and drew praise from the best of the critics. Bibbo used to wear robes mostly due to her obesity and physical form. She delivered her dialogues perfectly and her pronunciation was so perfect that the young girls who joined the industry would ask her how to deliver the lines. In Zehr-e-Ishq, in 1958, she got the Nigar award for the best character actress.
It is said that Bibbo was married to Shahnawaz Bhutto, and used to visit Bhutto in the last days, traveling in a rickshaw. But all this could have been because of her links with the Nawab of Junagadh, whose Secretary of State was Shahnawaz Bhutto. Bibbo died in 1972 – Zulqarnain Shahid (The Weekly MAG Pakistan)
Filmographies might not be 100% accurate or complete because of various reasons including artistes with similar names