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Vijayalakshmi – Profile & Filmography

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Real Name – Kamla Verma,

Profession – Actress

Active Years – 1940s – 1970s

Nationality – Indian

Religion – Hindu

Ethnicity

Date of Birth

Date of Death

Debut Film

Last Film

Significant others in the Film Industry

Profile

The doctor’s daughter wanted to become a lawyer.

“I love to argue, and talking is my favorite pastime,” said Vijaylakshmi in that beautifully-modulated voice of hers, which along with her sad, expressive eyes is her greatest asset.

Born Kamla Verma, in a tiny, unpublicized town called Nagina, in Uttar Pradesh, the twenty five year old Vijayalakshmi left her birthplace when only five months old.

She did her schooling in Mussoorie, where she was a boarder, her parents’ home being in Kotah. The war scare made her parents recall her while she was doing her Junior Cambridge, and she eventually matriculated from Delhi.

Both her parents being doctors (her father an eminent surgeon), Vijayalakshmi naturally drifted to the study of science in college at Agra, although she admits to being indifferent where the medical profession was concerned.

After the Inter-Science examination, she was found to be under age for entrance to the medical college. So she did a third-year course in science and during this period was “discovered” for films.

Urge to Act

At the time when she had expressed a wish to take up law, her father had objected to it on the ground that it was too venturesome a profession for a girl.

“Little did he, or anyone else, imagine that I would someday be entering a much more daring profession!” said Vijayalakshmi.

She had never even dreamt of joining the films, but the urge to act was within her and it found its outlet in college drams and debates.

In 1947, while still at college, Vijayalakshmi was offered a contract by a film company. Taken with the idea of becoming a film star, she told her parents about it.

Her father objected strongly (he still hasn’t reconciled himself to his daughter’s choice of profession), but her other stood by the little girl.

“My mother has a habit of giving in to me on most occasions,” said Vijayalakshmi with a grateful smile. “And it was she who signed the contract on my behalf, because I was still under age.”

Her Big Break

Vijayalakshmi came to Bombay, with a contract to work exclusively for the film company which had engaged her. Unfortunately, the film was never completed. But while she was in Bombay, Kamal Amrohi spotted her talent and invited her to work in “Mahal” which he was making for Bombay Talkies.

Then she went back to her home in Kotah, later to come back with her aunt to settle in Bombay – her mother being unable to accompany her because of her medical practice.

“Mahal”, in which she played “the other woman”, was a great success and Vijayalakshmi went on to make good in other films: “Shadi Ki Raat” “Sagai”, “Bhola Shankar”, “Murliwala”, “Gohar”, “Bahu Beti”, “Bawre Nain”, “Gunah” and Raj Kapoor’s “Aah”.

She considers her performance in “Bahu Beti” her best so far. “It was a highly emotional role, and I feel I am best suited to such roles because my eyes always have a sad expression in them,” she said.

The trouble with film stars is that they are always in danger of becoming typed in certain kinds of roles. I have found that being educated can be quite a handicap to an actress. If you’re educated, producers take it for granted that you’re sophisticated. And, if you are sophisticated, they feel you must be made to play the vamp!”

Vijayalakshmi is quite prepared and willing to play all kinds of roles, but she has a preference for tragedy or an outright light musical comedy. That is why she liked her roles in “Gohar” and “Bahu Beti”.

“My role in ‘Mahal’ was good, too, but I was inexperienced and raw at the time and I sometimes wish I could do it all over again,” she said.

“Good Girl” Roles

Vijayalakshmi doesn’t really mind playing “the other woman,” but it is her contention that really good seductive roles are not forthcoming in Indian films. Besides, she feels that critics and audiences alike have liked her more in her “good girl” roles.

In “Aah” she once again played “the other woman.” “But that is because I have a great regard for Raj Kapoor,” she adds.

Listing her other preferences, Vijayalakshmi says that Nargis and Geeta Bali are her favorite stars, while she considers Ashok Kumar to be an outstanding actor. She has worked with both Ashok and Raj Kapoor and would like some day to be co-starred with Dilip Kumar.

“But don’t get me wrong,” she hastens to explain. “I would like to work with as many actors as possible and gain all the experience I can.”

She thinks Bimal Roy and Mahesh Kaul are the best directors and hopes one day to work under them. “Raj, of course, is highly talented and any actress would profit greatly by working with him,” she said.

Frank and outspoken, Vijayalakshmi is of the opinion that the Film Industry is no place for a girl to be entirely on her own, especially in matters of business. Now that her mother has retired and has joined her in Bombay, she consults her mother about her contracts.

Confessing to being temperamental and erratically moody, the lovely Vijayalakshmi says, “I love talking and can hold forth for hours on any subject, but there are times when I just clamp up and nobody can get a word out of me. It is so with my reading. There are times when I read heavy literature for months on end. Then suddenly I switch over to ‘cheap’ stuff and penny novels.”

She likes to cook, but admits that cooking palls on her when it comes as a responsibility.

Recently, Vijayalakshmi entered into matrimony – with unfortunate results. Speaking frankly about her hasty marriage and her divorce, she said with head held high, “I am not ashamed of it.”

And it seems to be with her a case of “once bitten, twice shy,” for Vijayalakshmi says she won’t soon think of marriage again.

Keen on Career

“I have no intention of getting married, either now or in the near future,” she declared with determination. This lovely, charming and very intelligent star is concentrating fiercely on her career.

In a couple of years or so, she hopes to produce her own films.

“I have, as an artist, seen so many things,” is what she says about her plans. “I feel that, as a producer, I may be able to avoid the pitfalls so obvious to me
.
“I do not say that my films will be greater than any made, but at least I shall make every attempt to do things in a proper way.” (This interview was conducted in February 1955, contributed by Sudarshan Talwar).

Filmography

Filmographies might not be 100% accurate or complete because of various reasons including artistes with similar names

Title
Year
Country
Producer
Director
More Info
Mahal
1949
India
Bombay Talkies
Kamal Amrohi
Baware Nain
1950
India
Ambitious Pictures
Kidar Sharma
Click
Sargam
1950
India
Filmistan
Santoshi
Shadi Ki Raat
1950
India
Prakash
Yashwant Pethkar
Bhola Shankar
1951
India
Famous Pictures
Vishram Bedekar
Deepak
1951
India
Ram Ganguli Production
Chandrashekhar
Murliwala
1951
India
Madhuwani Chitra
Vasant Painter
Sagai
1951
India
Varma Films
H. S. Rawail
Bahu Beti
1952
India
Kesar Films
S. L. Dheer
Aah
1953
India
R. K. Films
Raja Nawathe
Click
Farmaish
1953
India
Majestic Films Company
B. K. Sagar
Click
Gauhar
1953
India
All India Pictures
F. H. Hassan
Click
Gunah
1953
India
Ambitious Pictures
Kidar Sharma
Click
Gawaiya
1954
India
R. B. Production
H. P. Sharma
Rishta
1954
India
Rajasthan Production
Aslam
Suhagan
1954
India
Alhad Chitra
Anant Mane
Toofan
1954
India
Starlight Pictures
Ram Prakash
Chirag-E-Chin
1955
India
Kala Kendra
C. M. Trivedi, G. P. Pawar
Garm Coat
1955
India
Cine Co-operative
Amar Kumar
Insaniyat
1955
India
Gemini Pictures
S. S. Vasan
Marine Drive
1955
India
Sippy Films
G. P. Sippy
Click
Tatar Ka chor
1955
India
M. P. Production
Majnu
Indra Leela
1956
India
Nirmal Pictures
Rajendra Sharma
Mr. Lambu
1956
India
Sheikh Mukhtar
N. A. Ansari
Click
Zindagi
1956
India
Kesar Films
C. L. Dheer
Bade Sarkar
1957
India
Filmistan
Kishore Sahu
Coffee House
1957
India
Nitie Art Production
Hari Walia
Miss Bombay
1957
India
N. C. Films
Kedar Kapoor
Mughal-E-Azam
1960
India
Sterling Investment Corporation
K. Asif
Click
Gharana
1961
India
Gemini Combines
S. S. Vasan
Shola Aur Shabnam
1961
India
Parijat Pictures
Ramesh Saigal
Jab Se Tumhe Dekha Hai
1963
India
Amar Chhaya
Kedar Kapoor
Aap Ki Parchhaiyan
1964
India
Emkay Production
Mohan Kumar
Shabnam
1964
India
Super Pictures
Aspi Irani
Amar Jyoti
1965
India
Bombay Movies
Raman B. Desai
Faisla
1965
India
Jugal Production
Jugal Kishore
Alibaba & 40 Thieves
1966
India
Basant Pictures
Homi Wadia
Badal
1966
India
Super Pictures
Aspi Irani
Husn Aur Ishq
1966
India
Dimple Films
Naresh Kumar
Bhakta Pralhad
1967
India
Veerapan & Co.
Narayan Murthy
Nasihat
1967
India
Deedar Movies
Om Patwar
Jwala
1971
India
M. V. Raman
M. V. Raman
Pakeezah
1971
India
Kamal Amrohi
Kamal Amrohi
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