Before Heeramandi Actresses Who Played the Role of Tawaifs

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Vyjayanthimala - Devdas (1955)

The iconic actor starred as Chandramukhi, the courtesan with a heart of gold, opposite Dilip Kumar in this interpretation of Devdas directed by Bimal Roy.

Hema Malini - Sharafat (1970)

Malini played a tawaif in search of her father in this romantic drama directed by Asit Sen.

Meena Kumari - Pakeezah (1972)

Kumari featured in a double role in this massive Kamal Amrohi undertaking, playing a mother and her daughter, both tawaifs who fall in love with men from a different social station.

Rekha - Umrao Jaan (1981)

In the Muzaffar Ali film, Rekha delivered a towering performance as a poet-courtesan, winning a National Award.

Madhuri Dixit - Devdas (2002)

Dixit took over the mantle of Chandramukhi from Vyjayanthimala, giving Chandramukhi a new spin in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's opulent interpretation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel.

Rani Mukerji - Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005)

Mukerji played a tawaif who is rescued from the savagery of British officers by the protagonist of the film, who she then falls in love with.

Kiara Advani - Kalank (2019)

Advani cameoed as a tawaif in the making in Abhishek Varman's Partition drama.

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