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17 January


Maharashtra, India

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Leela Mishra


Leela Mishra (1 January 1908[1] – 17 January 1988) was an Indian actress. She worked as a character actor in over 200 Hindi films for five decades, and is best remembered for playing stock characters such as aunts (Chachi or Mausi). She is best known for her role of "mausi" in the blockbuster Sholay (1975), Dil Se Mile Dil (1978), Baton Baton Mein (1979), Rajesh Khanna films such as Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein, Aanchal, Mehbooba, Amar Prem and Rajshri Productions hits such as Geet Gaata Chal (1975), Nadiya Ke Paar (1982) and Abodh (1984).[2][3][4] Her career's best performance was in Naani Maa in 1981, for which she received the Best Actress award at the age of 73.


Leela Mishra was married to Ram Prasad Mishra, who was a character artist, then worked in silent films. She got married at the very young age of 12. By the time she was 17, she had two daughters. She hailed from Jais, Raebareli, and she and her husband were from zamindar (landowners) families.


Leela Mishra was discovered by a man called Mama Shinde, who was working for Dadasaheb Phalke's Nasik Cinetone. He persuaded her husband to make her work in films. During those days there was a severe scarcity of women actors in films; this was evident in the paychecks that the Mishras received when they went to Nasik for the shooting. While Ram Prasad Mishra was hired on a salary of Rs. 150 per month, Leela Mishra was offered Rs. 500 per month. However, as they fared poorly in front of the camera, their contracts were canceled.


Early on in her career, she acted in films such as the musical hit Anmol Ghadi (1946), Raj Kapoor's Awaara (1951), and Nargis-Balraj Sahni starter Lajwanti (1958), which was nominated for the Palme d'Or for Best Film at 1959 Cannes Film Festival.


She acted in the first Bhojpuri film, Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo (1962), which also starred Kumkum, Helen, and Nazir Hussain.

Her roles varied from mothers, and benign or evil aunts, to comic roles.


She died of a heart attack in Bombay on 17 January 1988 at the age of 80


Sholay as Mausie


Saudagar as Badi Bhi


Milan as Nani