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Sheila Ramani – Profile & Filmography

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Sheila Ramani

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 FilmBadnaam (1952)

Last FilmMaa 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.

10 Comments

  1. My mother, Sheila Ramani Cowasji married a Parsi, Jall Cowasji and lived in Mumbai, New York, Colombo and Australia. She now lives in our ancestral home in Mhow (MP).
    DOB 2-3-1932

    • Greetings from Boston, USA. I have been meaning to write an article on your mother and wanted to get in touch with you. Our family used to live in Rock Court, Karachi in the 1950s and she was our neighbor. I was a justa few years old then. The building was owned by Hotu Khemchand. My tel # is 1-978-621-8030. Will wait to hear from you. Please let me have your email. I am also on FaceBook.

    • on my next visit to India i wish for her kind Darshan so kindly let me know what need to do. she is adorable for me when i was a child. thanks pravin

  2. I just reviewed my mothers profile on your website and you could make a few corrections.
    Dob is wrong. April 2, 1932.
    She never moved to the USA.
    She lived in mumbai with my father Jall Cowasji (President of Bombay Dying) till 1981.
    They moved to Khartoum for 3 years then to Sri Lanka for 3 years.
    After her husbands death (1984) she migrated to Australia on her own in the late 80’s and lived in Sydney and Surfers Paradise until health problems required her to return to India in the new millennium.
    Mother is old and frail and has been bed ridden for last few years.
    She lives in my Fathers ancestral home in Mhow. MP
    She acted in around 15 hindi and Sindhi movies.
    Favourite movie: Taxi driver
    Please send us the link to her page after you update.
    Regards

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