Tun Tun

Other names of Tun Tun: Uma Devi Khatri
Birthday: 11-07-1923
Date of death: 24-11-2003
Star sign: Leo

Tun Tun is one of the greatest funny woman comedians in Indian screen. She represents some of the best comedy scenes which are some of the funniest and most popular comics of her time. Her screen presence itself had made millions of fans laugh. Hence, Tun Tun is a stand-up comic actress who is widely popular and whose scene association with many actors made her famous. Tun Tun’s original name was Uma Devi who was born in Uttar Pradesh on July 11, 1923.

She had run away from home and reached Mumbai to get a break in playback singing. She even succeeded in becoming a playback singer in Mumbai. She met music composer Naushad Aliand even threatened the composer that she would commit suicide if Naushad had not given her chance to sing. Thus, Naushad auditioned her, and she made her debut as a solo playback singer in ‘Wamiq Azra’ (1946). Soon she bagged a contract for A R Kardar’s productions and became a notable singer amongst like Noor Jehan, ‘ Rajkumari’, ‘ Khursheed’ and others.

She sang many famous songs such as Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon Dil-e-beqarar ka", "Yeh Kaun Chala Meri Aankhon Mein Sama Kar" etc. But soon when Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle appeared as playback singers, her singing style lost values and music composer Naushad suggested that she takes up acting seriously as Tun Tun had a bubbly personality and wonderful comic timing. It was then when Dilip Kumar saw her in sets of ‘Babul’ (1950), he gave her screen name Tun-Tun.

Later, she kept the name given by Dilip Kumar as her screen name and became familiar with audiences by screen name. She acted in all Guru Dutt’s films and later acted in the movies of Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra too. She also acted in films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, ‘ Gulzar’ and Basu Chatterjee too. She made fantastic screen pair with Keshto Mukherjee, Bhagwan Dada, ‘ Agha’, Johnny Walker, Mehmood Ali.

She established herself as an original comedian actor who could bring 100 of different expression in her face with a mischievous smile. This plump Indian actress was always original in her acting and has acted over 100 films in her long career. She passed away on November 24, 2003, in Mumbai.

Another Version of this Bio…

Having the screen name as Tun Tun, Uma Devi was the first playback singer and comedian of Hindi Cinema. She was born in an orthodox and conservative family and faced the tragic death of her parents soon. Later she was raised by her brother and uncle. She was born on 11 July in 1923 in Uttar Pradesh.

She took a bold step at the age of 13 and ran away from her home to Mumbai and knocked at the door of composer Naushad Ali. She challenged him saying that if he did not like her singing she would throw herself into the ocean. She was hired and she made her debut as a singer in Nazir’s ‘Wamiq Azra’. Soon she signed a contract with A K Nadar and aspired to make her place in big names of the industry. The songs she sang for Munawar Sultana were a grand hit. The song ‘Betaab hai dil’ with ‘ Suraiya’ was a big hit.This went to this extent that a gentleman from Delhi loved her song, ‘Afsana likh rahi hu’ so much that he got married to her, and they had kids. She also got Mehboob Khan’s ‘Anokhi Adaa’ which was again a success. She reached the peak when she was the vocalist at Gemini Studios, Chennai. Her seven songs which include hits like, "Saanjh ki bela", remain her most accomplished work in her singing career though signing the film also meant a breach of contract with producer-director Kardar which led to her dwindling fortunes in the industry.

Gradually with time, she found it difficult to cope up with the upcoming singing talent in the society like Lata Mangeshkar. She was advised to take up acting due to her polychrome persona. She was in the film ‘Babul’, where Nargis Dutt was the lead actress. Prakash Mehra’s ‘Namak Halaal’ had her which was one of her remarkable films. She acted in 500+ films with big stars. Her journey of acting ended in 1990 with ‘Kasam Dhande Ki’. One interesting fact is that because of her name Tun Tun, fat women are now associated with this name.

Another Version of this Bio…

The famous ‘Tun Tun’, Uma Devi Khatri is a comedic legend of the Indian film industry. She is even a playback singer and an actress. She was born on 11th July 1923 in a North Indian family in a small village near Mathura, UP. She lost her parents in her teenage years and was thus raised by her brother and uncle. The loss of her parents was the worst time of her life, but that made her very strong and bold woman who was confident enough to pursue her dream. She was a brilliant singer and positive about her talent. At the age of 13, she ran away from her house and directly knocked composer Naushad Ali’s door in Mumbai and asked him to listen to her song or else she will jump in the ocean.

She was lucky enough that Naushad was convinced by her talent and gave her work as a singer. Her debut as a playback singer was in Nazir’s ‘Wamiq Azra’ in 1946 gave her acknowledgment. She later signed a contract with producer- director A R Kardar and was placed among the singing queens of those times like Noora Jehan who was given the title of Malika-e-Tarannum and the melodious playback singer, Rajkumari. Her songs, ‘Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon Dil-E-Beqarar Ka’ and ‘Aaj Machi Hai Dhoom Jhoom Khushi Se Jhoom’ were major hits in 1947. Her song so enchanted a Pakistani boy living in Delhi that he stayed with her in Mumbai and got married to her. Uma Devi called him Mohan. They had two daughters.

With the emergence of the singing sensations of that time, Lata Mangeshkar, and Asha Bhosle, it became difficult for her to compete with the nightingale. So Naushad Ali suggested her to take up acting and after that she was cast in Dilip Kumar’s ‘Babul’ and a comedic legend was born. Her screen name ‘Tun Tun’ was given by Dilip Kumar. She spent five decades of her career as a comedienne and acted in 198 films including Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi as well.

As a comedian, she was paired with all-time famous comedians, Johnny Walker and Bhagwan Dada. She was last seen in ‘Kasam Dhande Ki’ in 1990. Her bubbly and chubby figure added to her character as a comedienne. It is sad that the present generation will not be able to enjoy her performance as she died on 24th November 2003, due to prolonged illness. She made a remark for herself in the industry, and people respect her and still miss her amazing performances in movies.

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