Mumtaz Shanti was a very popular movie star of the 40’s and her film Kismet (1943) is regarded as one of the biggest hits of Hindi cinema. Mumtaz started her career in the early thirties in Lahore, by working in a local theatre. She got a break in Lahore’s Mangti and was lured to Bombay. With the success of Basant (1942) and Kismet (1943) (in which she played a lame girl opposite Ashok Kumar) Mumtaz Shanti became one of the top actresses of Bombay Talkies. She also played the female lead in Ghar ki Izzat (1948) as the suffering wife of Dilip Kumar. Like many actresses of her time, her acting style was very theatrical.
In the mid-fifties, she migrated to Pakistan along with her famous writer-director husband Wali-Saheb. Wali, who started his career as a writer in the early thirties in Lahore, used to write songs and stories for others before getting his first assignment as a director. Of the few films he directed in Bombay including Dekho-ji, Heer Ranjha and Putli, only the last caught the public’s attention. In Pakistan, while Mumtaz Shanti retired to become a housewife, Wali made Guddi Gudda in 1956 and later Lukan Mutti and Sohni Kumaran, but none clicked at the box-office. He died of heart failure in 1977. Their son Zafar Iqbal is a noted maker of documentaries, who worked as a producer in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan.
Mumtaz Shanti died unknown and unsung in Pakistan around 1993/1994.