Kumkum was discovered by Guru Dutt. Guru Dutt was to picturise the song "Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar Laaga Teere Nazar" for his movie Aar Paar (1954). The famous song "Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan" from C.I.D was picturized on her. She showed her dancing talents in the film Kohinoor (1960) with Dilip Kumar. "Madhuban Mein Radhika Nache Re" and "Haye Jaadugar Qaatil, Haazir Hai Mera Dil", sung by Asha Bhosle (1956), sung by Geeta Dutt was picturized on her.
She was paired opposite Kishore Kumar in many films. The songs like "Khoobsurat Haseena" from Mr. X in Bombay, "Sultana Sultana" from Shreeman Funtoosh and "Machalti Hui" from Ganga Ki Lahren, which were picturized on the pair Kishore-Kumkum.
Kumkum(born on 22nd April 1934) born Zaibunnissa, is from Bihar. Her father was Nabab of Hussainabad and belonged to a highly reputed family. She paired with many film heroes of her era and was popular in roles alongside Kishore Kumar. She was the heroine of Dharmendra's debut film"Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere" She was also paired alongside Shammi Kapoor in a side role in Mem Saheb (1956) and also in lead opposite Shammi Kapoor in Char Dil Char Raahein (1959).
She has been a favorite choice for writer-director Ramanand Sagar. Ramanand Sagar decided to cast Kumkum as Dharmendra's sister in Ankhen, a super hit film of 1968. In 1970, for Geet, Kumkum was Ramanand Sagar's choice for a small role. But in Lalkar (1972), she was paired with Dharmendra, while Rajendra Kumar was paired with Mala Sinha. Kumkum was paired with Kiran Kumar in Jalte Badan (1973), produced, directed and written by Ramanand Sagar. She was paired opposite Vinod Khanna in Dhamkee in 1973 and the duet song "Chand Kya Hai Roop Ka Darpan" became hugely popular. She was paired opposite Pran in the comedy film Ek Kuwara Ek Kuwari, directed by Prakash Mehra, which was a blockbuster.
She acted in nearly 115 films in her career.Some of her best known for her roles in Mother India (1957), Naya Daur (1957), Ujala (1959), Kali Topi Lal Rumal (1959), Kohinoor (1960), Son Of India (1962), Ganga Ki Lahren (1964), Shreeman Funtoosh (1965), Ek Sapera Ek Lutera (1965), Raja Aur Runk (1968), Ankhen (1968), Geet (1970) and Lalkar (1972).
Kumkum also acted in Bhojpuri films. Her first film in Bhojpuri cinema was Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo (1963). She left films after her marriage and shifted to Saudi Arab.