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Leena Chandrawarkar has many firsts to her credit

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Karnataka, while giving only one actor of prominence to the Hindi film industry, has been benevolent enough to provide female actors of eminence for quite a long time. The initiation was begun by Leena Chandrawarkar, when she was discovered by Sunil Dutt, and on her birthday she must be having a sense of satisfaction that Aishwarya Rai, Sneha Ullal and Deepika Padukone are keeping the flag fly high with aplomb.

By being discovered by Sunil Dutt, Leena stands in the illustrious category of peers like Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna etc., who owe their success in the industry to Sunil Dutt. Leena, when she made the debut opposite Som Dutt, the younger brother of Sunil Dutt, graduated to be a leading lady in quite a lot of films and worked with the literally all the major film stars of the time like Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Dilip Kumar etc. When she left the industry, after falling in love with Kishore Kumar she still had a career left with her.

While the mantle of bubbly actress is now identified with Preity Zinta, it was Leena who was the first actress who brought effervescence on to the screen with her performances and this effervescence was also visible even in the sad roles that she enacted in the film like MAHBOOB KI MEHNDI.

It was probably this reason that when Dilip Kumar made BAIRAAG he picked up Leena to match it up with the spark of Saira Banu. She was also probably the first female lead who sang sports based song, DHAL GAYA DIN HO GAYI.., for HUMJOLI along with Jeetendra. This was the song where badminton was being played, and it might appear out of the sync that sports like Badminton could be reduced to such slow pace, but it was the zest of Jeetendra and Leena that made it possible, even though it was a rain song.

Leena is credited with many firsts to her credit. She was probably the first female actor who had started the trend of giving the voice over in the interludes of the songs, which she did with BAIRAAG in the song ' SARE SHEHAR MEIN APSA KOI NAHIN… however her best effort in this direction was in the song, GUM KA BAHANA…with Kishore Kumar in MANCHALI. This was the time during which she had started falling in love with him, and so there is a natural energy and vivacity in the song the icing of the cake being the crooning in the interludes by Leena. It was probably her latent singing ability that fostered subsequently when she sang songs along with her son Sumit Kumar and the foster son Amit Kumar.

She was also among the first who along with Mumtaaz glamorized the sari by starting the tradition of wearing it as low as possible and the era of low attires for the female actors could be credited to her. She was also the actress who popularized the wearing of Shararas as attire for Hindi film female stars. While the age and the loss of Kishore Kumar may have somewhat dimmed the effervescence the spark and vivacity was still evident when she made one of her public appearances on the eve of launch of the career of her son Sumit Kumar.

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