Shyama 2


Born Khurshid Akthar in Lahore, Punjab state (now part of Pakistan) on June 7, 1935 (some sources list June 12), Shyama got her start as a member of the chorus in a qawwali scene in the 1945 film Zeenat. Her entry into films was unbeknownst to her father who had been away on business, and he was not pleased with his young daughter’s career choice; however the girl’s mother and sister convinced dad to let her give it a try.

Billed as Baby Khurshid she began appearing in small roles in films like Beete Din (1947), Parwana (1947), and Jalsa (1948), eventually changing her name to Shyama.

At the suggestion of actress Begum Para, I.S. Johar took a chance and cast Shyama as the heroine of his film Shrimatiji (1952) which set her on course for important roles, in films big and small. She starred in several highly-regarded pictures including Aar-Paar (1954), Do Behnen (1959), Baap Bete (1959), and Barsaat Ki Raat, but she was seen more often in B-grade pictures like Tartar Ka Chor (1955), Haha Hihi Hoo Hoo (1955), Hill Station (1957), Bus Conductor (1959), Trunk Call (1960), and Police Detective (1960) opposite leading men like Mahipal, Prem Nath, Kishore Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, and Sudesh Kumar. She also played lead opposite comedian Johnny Walker in several of his pictures including Johnny Walker (1957), Duniya Rang Rangili (1957), Mr. Qartoon M.A. (1958), Khota Paisa (1958) and Mr. John (1959). In  the Arabian Nights film Gul Sanobar she was top billed with future super-star Shammi Kapoor, and she made appearances in other fantasy films including Sheikh Chilli (1956), Chhoo Mantar (1956), Lal-e-Yaman (1956), and Suraj Aur Chanda (1973) as well as thrillers like Lal Bangla (1966) and Milan (1967)


Trunk Call photos used for Shyama bio

Shyama with Abhi Bhattacharya in the noir thriller TRUNK CALL (1960)


Shyama married cinematographer Fali Mistry in 1953 and they had three children, two sons and a daughter. She considered Rehman to be her favorite co-star and counted actresses Nanda, Shashikala, Waheeda Rehman, Nadira, Shakila, and Nirupa Roy among those she was closest to in the industry. Her husband passed away in 1979 and Shyama, after taking some time off, returned to acting in the 1980s permanently retiring from the screen after 1989’s Hathyar. She passed away on November 14, 2017 due to a lung infection.



Shyama with one of her favorite co-stars, Rehman.


Gul – Sanobar (1953)

Gul Sanobar



Basant Pictures/Super Pictures (1953)

Director: Aspi

Music: Bulo C. Rani

Special Effects: Babubhai Mistry

Cast: Shyama, Shammi Kapoor, Agha, Habib, Rajni, Jilloobai, P. Kailash, Jagdish Kamal, Nagpal, Bazid Khan, Nazir Kashmiri, Agha Shapoor, Alka, Ruhi.

Plot: To win the hand of a beautiful princess , each suitor must go on a magical adventure to solve the riddle “What Gul did to Sanobar.” If the riddle is solved, the suitor can marry the princess, but if he fails, he must die.

Prince Badar (Shammi Kapoor) takes the challenge and reaches the kingdom of Sanobar. There he searches for a mysterious woman whose tears turn to priceless pearls and whose laughter emits magic flowers. But when he finds her she is being tortured and kept a captive.


Gul Sanobar photo


Khoon Ki Pyasi


KHOON KI PYASI (The Thirstiness of the Killer)

Namah Shivay Productions (1990)

Director: K. Chandra

Producer: Singh and Company

Music: Vijay Batalvi

Action: Raheem Bhai

Special Effects: Dhayabahi Patel

Cast: Javed Khan, Sree Pradha, Seema Vaz, Shiva, Firoz Irani, Dinesh Kaushik, Rita Bhaduri, Rajnibala, Prabha Mishra, Mahesh Kamal, Jr. Mehmood, Arun Mathur, Baban, Peter Leo, Mahaveer Rana, Ramesh Goel, Kaushal Kapoor, Manju Shir, Madhu Choudhary, Meena Chakravati.

Plot: Thakur, A cruel land owner causes the ruin of a village family, whose lone survivor, Kamala, seeks justice…. however, she finds herself powerless against the land owners political influence. Kamala manages to enlist the aid of an old woman who frightens the Thakur enough so that he and his family flee the village.

Twenty years later, Thakur’s grown son, Kishan, returns to the family mansion, along with his cousins and their girlfriends. The cousins concoct a plan to kill Kishan so that they can inherit the land, and they intend to blame his death on supernatural forces.

Kishan meets Radha, the daughter of the mansion’s caretaker, and the two fall in love. But Radha has learned that Kishan’s life is in danger and insists that he leave the area or risk death.



Magic Carpet 22



Unique Pictures (1964)

Director: Babubhai

Producer: A.M. Bhanji

Music: Ram Prasad

Action: Master Kishore

Special Effects: Babubhai

Cast: Azad, Chitra, Bhagwan, Bela Bose, Dalpat, Kesri, Bimla Kashmiri, B.M. Vyas, Arun, Maqbool, Radheshyam, Arvind Kumar, Mehroo Bai, Bakshi, Master Kishore, Kalla, Rafiq, Mohammad Sandow, Dawood, Amir, Moosa, Julian, Khalil, Rehman, Salim, Zippy.

Plot: King Mehmood, having survived an attack on his life by none other than Kamal, his army captain, takes on the disguise of an astrologer and befriends a young swordsman named Naseer (Azad).

Naseer is in love with a gypsy, Banafsha (Chitra), who Kamal also has his eye on, and who Naseer manages to save from the captain’s evil grasp.

With Kamal’s plots foiled, he turns to the wizard Azar for help. Azar has at his disposal a magic carpet and two horrible giants along with a few monsters which guard a statue that keeps the wizard’s powers safe. Kamal coerces Azar to do his bidding which includes capturing Banafsha and turning both King Mehmood and Naseer into stone.

Banafsha is now faced with a dilemma…refuse Kamal’s desire to make her part of his harem, or succumb to his will and save the life of Mehmood and Naseer.





Paristan 1957

PARISTAN (alternate title: GULVAKAVALI)

Sharad Productions (1957)

Director: Dhirubhai Desai

Producer: Sharad Desai

Music: S.N. Tripathi

Cast:  Shakila, Ranjan, Chandrashekhar, Roopmala, Lalita Pawar, Jeevankala, Manorama, Jankidas, P. Kailash, Indira, Agha.

Plot: Zain-ul-Maluk, the ruler of Sharikstan, has lost his eyesight. His three sons, by his second wife, pledge to fetch a magical flower that will bring his sight back.

Zain-ul-Maluk’s other son, Taj (Ranjan), by his imprisoned first wife (jailed due to the jealousy of the second wife) also sets out in search of the flower, but is hindered by his step-brothers who consider Taj an enemy.

Taj manages to make his way to Paristan, the land of the fairies, where he wins the heart of the fairy queen, Bakavali (Shakila), thus getting him one step closer to obtaining the magic flower.


Junglee Raja poster


JUNGLEE RAJA (Wild Prince)

M.K. Films (1963)

Director/Producer: Vishwanath

Music: Robin Bannerjee

Action; Master Sattar

Cast: Azad, Madhu, Samson, Heera Swant, Habib, Baburaje, Lakshmi, Parshuram, Neela, Abdul Satar, Elephant Meenakshi

A forest ranger and his wife are blessed with twin boys which they name Kumar and Jai. But their joy is short lived when an animal carries Jai off into the jungle. Each year, on the anniversary of the twins’ births, and with great hope, the ranger hires a search party to look for his lost son.

One day, many years later, the ranger receives word that Jai (Azad) has been spotted, so he sets off for the jungle with Kumar (also played by Azad) and a search party.


Junglee Raja photo 1

Azad and Madhu in JUNGLEE TARZAN


Included in the search party is D’Souza, who has always been a bad influence on Kumar and who now is trying to convince the young man to kill his brother Jai, so that he alone will inherit his father’s property. Also along on the journey is Madhu (Madhu), the daughter of the ranger’s best friend.  Kumar falls in love with Madhu, but when Jai is located, Madhu falls for him instead.

Enter an evil sorcerer named Saamri who causes all sorts of problems, and who also wants to make Madhu his own.


Tarzan and Circus poster



Sargam Chitra (1965)

Director: Shiv Kumar

Producer: S.J. Rajdeo

Music: Husnlal Bhagatram

Cast: Azad, Chitra, Rajen Kapoor, Mohan Sherry, Jeevankala, Kammo, Sunder, Lou Anderegg, Christine Keller.

Plot: The tranquil life of jungle king Tarzan (Azad) is turned topsy-turvy when he encounters Malti (Chitra) a lovely circus performer; Nandan, a ring master who has lost his only son; Bimla, a love-hungry circus owner; and Keshav (Mohan Sherry), the wicked circus manager whose goal is to gain Bimla’s wealth and possess Malti’s youth.


Tarzan and Circus copy