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The first female superstar in India was a telephone operator who didn’t speak Hindi, was paid more than heroes later on, and got banned for

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<p>Many actresses have been referred to be India’s first female superstar. While some advocate for Vyjanthimala, others believe Sridevi should take this throne. Some, who place a greater value on the heroines of the past, endorse Naseem Banu and Devika Rani. However, there is one actress whose fame is almost as ancient as talking pictures in India; she was a major celebrity in her own right and before them all. And she did all of this without ever having learned Hindi or Urdu.</p>
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<p>The first real female superstar in Bollywood history is said to have been Ruby Myers, a Jewish actress who was born in British India. Under the screen name Sulochana, Myers made her debut as the first Eurasian actress in Indian movie history. During her adolescent years in the 1920s, Myers was employed as a telephone operator in Calcutta when she received a call from Mohan Bhavnani of Kohinoor Film Company, offering her a role in a movie. Bhavani refused the invitation at first, but she persevered, and eventually Myers accepted, making her screen debut in Cinema Queen in 1926. She was nineteen.</p>
<p>She rose to prominence in Indian film during the next several years with successes such Typist Girl, Balidaan, Madhuri, Anarkali, and Bombay Ki Billi. She was considered a superstar in the late 1920s and early 1930s, when her renown peaked.</p>
<p>Sulochana was not fluent in Hindi or Urdu, the languages spoken by the majority of Indians, but she was generally fluent in English and Yiddish. Luckily for her, silent films were popular in India when she started her profession. She thereby rose to fame in spite of her disability. Sulochana first encountered this obstacle in 1931, when Alam Ara brought talkies to India. After taking a year out to study Hindustani, she came back with blockbusters like Anarkali and Madhuri. According to reports, she was making more than Rs 60,000 a year in the 1930s, which at the time was the highest salary of any performer in India, male or female.</p>
<p>Sulochana acted as a female lead in several films until the 1940s, despite the fact that many of her releases had lost their appeal. The last of her well-known motion pictures, Jugnu, was released in 1947. The movie depicted an aging professor succumbing to Sulochana’s allure. The movie was outlawed by Bombay State Home Minister Morarji Desai because many politicians of the time considered it to be “morally repugnant.” In the 1950s, Sulochana transitioned to supporting parts and kept performing in movies until the late 1970s. At the age of 75, she passed away at her Mumbai apartment in 1983.</p>


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