Real Name – Sheila Kewal Ramani
Profession – Actress (Heroine / Vamp)
Active Years – 1950s – 1960s
Nationality – Indian
Religion – Hindu
Ethnicity – Sindhi
Date of Birth – April 2nd, 1932 (Karachi, Present day Pakistan).
Date of Death – July 15th, 2015.
Debut Film – Badnaam (1952)
Last Film – Maa Beta (1962)
Significant others in the Film Industry – N/A
Miscellaneous Info – Sheila Ramani, a forgotten name today, but most of us still remember her in Navketan’s Taxi Driver (1954) where she was cast as Anglo-Indian club Dancer – Sylvie. Sheila, selected as “Miss Mussoorie 1948” and adjudged “Miss Simla 1950” made her debut as Champa, the femme fatale of “Badnam”, and revealed herself as a danseuse of charm in “Anand Math”. She was born in Sindh, and one of the few Sindhi actresses besides Sadhana who made it big in Bollywood. She was mostly seen as upper class mod girl in the 50s, a role she enacted to perfection all through that swinging era in films like V. Shantaram’s Teen Batti Char Raaste (1953), Sheikh Mukhtar’s Mangu (1954), Meenar (1954), Railway Platform (1955), and Funtoosh (1956).
Her Uncle Sheikh Latif alias Lachchu was a famous Pakistani producer who produced films like Pattan (1955), Khizan Kai Baad (1955), Darbar-e-Habib (1956) etc. Sheila visited Karachi – Pakistan on the request of her Uncle, to play the lead in Pakistani film Anokhi (1956). The film was based on Hollywood’s “Fabulous Senorita”. “Gari ko chalana babu, zara halkey halkey halkey, zara dil ka jaam na chalkey” sung by Zubeda Khanum was the popular song from the film which did modest to good business in Pakistan. The movie’s great music was composed jointly by Timir Baran (a bengali who came from India for this purporse) and Hassan Latif. Sheila went back to India and remained as a middle-of-the-range performer in Bombay films. In the later part of her career, she was reduced to obscure films with titles that sounded like Jungle King (1959), and The Return of Superman (1960 – one of the last films composed by Anil Biswas).
Sheila was very fond of sports especially football and swimming. Ballroom dancing was a virtual addiction for her and she used to go out for dancing as often as she could. Sheila was 5 feet four inches tall, and was so fastidious that any dress she would wear won’t be repeated for six months to come at least.
Her favorite Hindi film of her career was Taxi Driver (1954). Sheila was also the leading lady of India’s first Sindhi film after partition – Abana (1958).
Filmographies might not be 100% accurate or complete because of various reasons including artistes with similar names
Sheila Ramani – Photo Gallery
Click on each picture to enlarge it and read the details.
Related Youtube Video
Lata Mangeshkar singing for Sheila Ramani in Taxi Driver (1954), music by S.D. Burman.