Shyama (7 June 1935 – 14 November 2017) was one of the busiest actresses of the 50s and 60s. She appeared in as many as 80 films, mostly in leading roles. In 1963, she had as many as 18 releases and in 1964 she had 17 releases.
Shyama started her career from the bottom of the ladder but soon worked with the Top Heroes Of Golden Era with Dev Anand in Sazaa 1951, Tarana(1951) with Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor in Sharda and with Guru Dutt in Aar Paar.
Many memorable songs were picturized on her, An early song where Shyama first made an impact is the second version of the main love duet, ‘Tu Mera Chand Main Teri Chandni’, from A.R. Kardar’s Dillagi (1949) starring Suraiya and Shyam.
There was magic whenever Geeta Dutt lent her voice for Shyama. This vibrant singer and exuberant actress complemented each other perfectly through several films be it Shrimatiji, Aar Paar, Musafir Khana (1955), or Chhoo Mantar (1956). But if one song truly stood out in their collaboration, it has to be the beautiful ditty from Bhai Bhai composed by Madan Mohan, Ae Dil Mujhe Bata De.
She acted a serious character in Bimal Roy’s Maa with equal ease. Came Shart, another acting triumph of hers. Since then she played all sorts of roles in all sorts of pictures. Her notable films include Chandan, Sharda, Mirza Sahiban, Aar Paar, etc. She topped her acting triumphs by her memorable double role in Do Behnen. Her work in Sharda brought her the 1959 Filmfare award for the best supporting role.
In later years, her memorable roles came in films of Rajesh Khanna such as Masterji and 'Ajanabee (1974 film) and others such as Sawan Bhadon and Dil Diya Dard Liya.
In her long career, she played the lead, second lead, and vamp roles in around 147 films. The last film she did was the Sanjay Dutt starrer Hathyar.
She was married to cinematographer Fali Mistry in 1953. The couple had three children, two sons, Faroukh and Rohinton, and a daughter Shirin. Fali Mistry died in 1979, thereafter she continued to stay in Mumbai.
Shyama died on 14 November 2017 due to a lung infection at the age of 82. She is buried at Badakabarastan, Marine Lines.She was given Dada Saheb Phalke Award.