14 October, 2021

Ramayan's Manthara, Lalita Pawar's Life

From a life changing accident to her sister becoming her 'sautan', here is everything about 'Ramayan's Manthara', Lalita Pawar's life!

By Shreya Sharma

Lalita Pawar's early life

Lalita Pawar was born on April 18, 1916, in a silk business family. Earlier, her name was Amba Laxman Rao, which was later changed to Lalita. She was always fascinated with acting.

Started acting at the age of 9

A director was impressed by her screen presence, and ended up casting her in his next film. She was only 9 and her first film was 'Raja Harishchandra'.

A Life changing accident

In 1942, during the shooting of her film, 'Jung-E-Azadi', for a sequence, her co-star, Bhagwan Dada had to slap her and things had fallen off the place then, changing her life forever.

Unfortunately, the actor had slapped Lalita so hard that her ear had started bleeding as a nerve near her eye had burst. She was rushed to the hospital and wrong treatment had worsen her case.

The right side of Lalita's body was paralysed and she had gone through the treatment for almost 3 years. Her career as a leading lady had come to an abrupt end as her left eye was permanently damaged.

Second Innings of her career

At the mere age of 25, Lalita had taken every opportunity after her accident and treatment, and had started acting as a supporting character, making a strong comeback.

During her second innings of acting, Lalita was offered the roles of a strict mother-in-law and of the likes, thus creating a villainous image of her.

Called accident a blessing in disguise

While she was dejected playing mother to the actors of her age, she had also called her accident a blessing as it had allowed her to play various kind of roles.

Ramayan's Manthara

Her villanious 'avatar' and performing character roles to perfection had led her to the role of 'Manthara' in Ramanand Sagar’s 'Ramayan', and it is still a benchmark character.

Lalita's younger sister became her 'sautan'

While she had started getting a grip on her profession, her personal life was slipping out of her hands. She had faced betrayal in her personal life by her younger sister.

Lalita's married life

In the mid-1930s, Lalita had tied the knot with filmmaker, Ganpatrao Pawar. She had also worked in his films. Later, she had got to know about his extra-marital affair.

Lalita's husband was having an affair with her younger sister. This had ended their married life. Later, she got married to another filmmaker, Raj Kumar Gupta, and together they have a son, Jai Pawar.

Lalita Pawar's second husband

In a 1998 interview, she had talked about her second marriage, and had said, "My husband has always been a romantic person. Our togetherness hasn’t changed him a bit.”

Lalita Pawar's mouth cancer

After her second marriage, she was diagnosed with mouth cancer and had shifted to Pune. She had believed that she was suffering because of the negative characters, she had portrayed.

Lalita Pawar's death

On February 24, 1998, Lalita had breathed her last at her Pune bungalow. She was alone. Her son had called her and when no one had picked, he had rushed. She had breathed her last 3 days before.

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