Laxmi Chhaya

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Laxmi Chhaya
Laxmi Chhaya in Teesri Manzil.jpg
Chhaya in Teesri Manzil (1966)
Born(1948-01-07)7 January 1948
Died9 May 2004(2004-05-09) (aged 56)
  • Actress
  • dancer
  • teacher
Years active1958–1986

Laxmi Chhaya (7 January 1948 – 9 May 2004) was an Indian actress, dancer and teacher. She was known for her distinctive character roles and guest appearances in Hindi cinema. Her performance in the film Gumnaam (1965) where she appeared as a dancer in the track "Jaan Pehechan Ho" shot her to international recognition. She went on to star in over 100 films, which include Teesri Manzil (1966), Duniya (1968), Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke (1969), Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971), and Raaste Kaa Patthar (1972); she was active from 1958 to 1987. In 2004, she died from cancer at the age of 56.


Chayya in Kailash Pati (1962)

Chhaya began acting with an uncredited appearance as one of the school girls in Talaq (1958). In 1962, Chhaya starred in the film Naughty Boy as Bela, her first role that wasn't a cameo.

In 1965, she appeared as a masked dancer in Gumnaam, performing in the song Jaan Pehechan Ho. Her performance gained a cult following across India and America; it has been regarded as her signature work.[1] IndiaTimes Group states: "The enthusiastic dance by Laxmi Chhaya and Herman Benjamin is not something today’s actors will be able to pull off with the same ease and grace."[1]

In 1966, Chhaya starred as Meena in the film Teesri Manzil.[2] Starring alongside Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh, the film was praised for its songs, as well as its story and ensemble.[3] In 1967, Chhaya had made guest appearances in many critically acclaimed films, particularly Ram Aur Shyam, Baharon Ke Sapne, Upkar, and Raat Aur Din. In 1968, she starred in Duniya as Laxmi, a role named after her.

In 1969, Chhaya next starred as Rita in the film Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke (1969), where she starred in a supporting role once again with Asha Parekh. The movie was a commercial success.[4] In the same year, she also starred in the film Pyar Ka Mausam (1969).

In 1971, Chhaya starred as Munnibai, a young girl who works undercover for a dacoit, in Mera Gaon Mera Desh, her first role as part of the main cast.[5] The film was a major and critical success at the time, and is considered to be one of Chhaya's best performances.[6]

In 1972, she starred with Amitabh Bachchan in Raaste Kaa Patthar, where she was part of the main cast, and received praise for her dancing in the song "Main Sharaab Bechti Hoon".[6] She starred in the films Do Chor and Bindiya Aur Bandook in the same year.

Following these roles, Chhaya made more guest appearances in films such as Do Phool (1973), Sharafat Chod Di Maine (1976), Haiwan (1977), and she also had a guest role in Dhoti Lota Aur Chowpatty (1975), which was known for its extensive cast list. She had a starring role in Paijjecha Vida (1979), which was a box-office flop.

After a series of commercially unsuccessful films, in 1987, she retired the film industry after a guest appearance in the film Parakh. In the years prior to her death, Chhaya went on to open her own dance school, where she taught dancing to indigent children.


On 9 May 2004, Chhaya died of cancer in Mumbai at the age of 56.[7][8] Tributes have been published and created in recognition of Chhaya's work in the film industry.[6][9]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b "A 60s Mohammed Rafi Song That You've Never Heard, But Has A Cult Following in the West". 24 December 2017. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Teesri Manzil | Indian Cinema". Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  3. ^ "India Times Top 25 Must-See Bollywood Films on Lists of Bests". 5 September 2012. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Worth Their Weight in Gold! - Box Office India : India's premier film trade magazine". 15 September 2017. Archived from the original on 15 September 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  5. ^ Scroll Staff. "When Dharmendra saved a village from dacoits before 'Sholay'". Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Pandya, Sonal. "5 unforgettable songs filmed on Laxmi Chhaya". Cinestaan. Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  7. ^ Listener's Bulletin No. 125, September 2004, p 4.
  8. ^ Laxmi Chhaya & Dilawar Khan 4 June 2004[dead link]
  9. ^ "My ten favorite Laxmi Chhaya songs". MemsaabStory. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.

External links[edit]