Saira Banu (born August 23, 1944) is the daughter of Naseem Banu, a
well-known actress of the 1930's and 1940's and the granddaughter of
the famous playback singer of the yesteryears Shamshad Begum. She is
also the wife of actor Dilip Kumar.
Saira Banu was born in India
in 1944. She made her screen debut in the 1961 film Junglee, which
marked the beginning of color in Hindi films. Though Saira had spent a
significant part of her childhood in London, and went to a finishing
school, she fit the role of a rustic.
Ever since her marriage,
Saira looked for dramatically challenging roles. Her valiant attempts
to establish a reputation as an actress after Gopi, Sagina and Bairaag
(all with Dilip Kumar) and films like Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Chaitali
met with limited success. In 1976, Saira chose to end her film career.
Subsequently she has weathered a storm in her marriage, appeared in a
cameo opposite her husband in Duniya (1984); and become a successful
In 1966, 22-year-old Saira married
44-year-old Dilip Kumar and despite apprehensions from the media,
theirs has been one of the longest lasting marriages in Bollywood