Lalita Pawar's Tragic Life: One Slap Ruined Her Career, Husband's Marriage With Her Sister, More

A look into the life of iconic Bollywood actress, Lalita Pawar, who is still remembered for her iconic portrayal of 'Manthara' in 'Ramayan'. Here's everything you need to know about her tragic life!


By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:


Lalita Pawar's Tragic Life: One Slap Ruined Her Career, Husband's Marriage With Her Sister, More

Lalita Pawar is one of the few actresses in the history of Indian cinema, who owned the word 'versatility'. The legendary actress was born back on April 18, 1916, and in her 81 years of life span, she worked in a series of film industries across India. From Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati cinema, Lalita has appeared in over 700 films throughout her entire film career, which speaks volumes about her versatility as an actress. However, there's no denying in saying that Lalita is best remembered for portraying the character of 'Manthara' in Ramanand Sagar's television show, Ramayan.

Lalita Pawar made her acting debut in Hindi cinema with the first full-length Indian feature film, Raja Harishchandra

Lalita Pawar was born into a rich family in Nashik's Yeola as his father, Laxman Rao Sagun was a silk and cotton piecegoods merchant. Not everyone is aware of the fact that at the time of her birth, she was given the name, Amba Laxman Rao, by her parents. However, when she entered into the film business, she changed it to Lalita Pawar. Right from an early age, she was interested in acting and films.

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Lalita Pawar Life Story

As a result, one day, she went to a film studio and asked the director to photograph her so that she could fulfil her dream of seeing her on the big screen. While Lalita Pawar was just enjoying herself, the director noticed her screen presence and thought of casting her in a film. Things escalated quickly, as Lalita, who just wanted to see herself on the screen to fulfil her dream, got a film offer in her hands. It was a dream come true moment for Lalita, and at the age of 9, she made her acting debut in Hindi cinema with the film, Raja Harishchandra, which D. Sarpotdar directed.

When Bhagwan Dada slapped Lalita Pawar so hard, she suffered facial paralysis

Lalita Pawar Life Story

At the time, when Lalita Pawar started getting a lot of attention from renowned film producers in the Hindi film industry, she suffered an injury in 1942. At the age of 14, she was working in the film, Jung-E-Azadi, alongside renowned actor, Bhagwan Dada, when she suffered a major injury. While shooting a film's sequence, Bhagwan had to slap Lalita as per the script. Unfortunately, he mistakingly slapped her so hard that her left ear started bleeding.

Lalita Pawar Life Story

The young actress was immediately admitted to the hospital, where the wrong treatment by doctors worsened Lalita's injury. Once, in an old interview with Cineplot, Lalita opened up about the same and said:

"My career as a leading lady came to an abrupt end, due to an un­fortunate incident during the shooting of Jung-E-Azadi. As per the scene, Master Bhagwan had to deliver a slap on my face and when he did so, it was so hard that I suffered facial paralysis as a result. My left eye was permanently damaged."

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Lalita Pawar Life Story

The severe injury ended Lalita Pawar's chances of continuing her journey as a lead actress. Due to her injury, she was forced to either accept character roles or bid farewell to the film industry. However, Lalita's love for acting triumphed over everything, as she happily accepted character roles and even worked as a supporting actress in a series of films. Not only this, she even played the mother of iconic actors like Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and many others, despite being younger than them. However, Lalita's decision to keep working in films made her a timeless actress and an inspiration for all aspiring actors across India.

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Lalita Pawar's husband, Ganpatrao Pawar's extra-marital affair with her sister

Lalita Pawar Life Story

Just like her professional front, Lalita Pawar also saw a major downfall in her personal life. The actress tied the knot with her first husband, Ganpatrao Pawar, back in the mid-1930s, and everything was going smoothly. However, things fell apart when Lalita got to know about her husband's extra-marital affair with her sister.

It was a major shock for Lalita, and it broke her completely. Despite such a heartbreaking betrayal, Lalita kept her cool and gave divorce to her husband so that he could marry her younger sister. After some years of the heartbreaking tragedy, it was ace producer, Raj Kumar Gupta, who restored her faith in true love. The couple got married and welcomed a baby boy, whom they named, Jai Pawar.

Lalita Pawar's lonely death: The actress' body was found three days after her demise

Despite all the troubles that she suffered, both professionally and personally, Lalita Pawar never stopped working hard in her career. As a result, she is considered one of the most talented actresses of all time. On February 24, 1998, Lalita Pawar passed away due to mouth cancer at the age of 81. However, what's even more disheartening is that when she passed away, she was all alone in her residence.

It was when Lalita Pawar's son called her, and she didn't pick up the phone for three straight days. He told her neighbours to check on her. After neighbours reached Lalita's bungalow, they came to know about her demise, and it was when her family rushed to her place. It was a sad end to her illustrious journey, but no matter what, she will always be remembered for her versatility and her love for acting.

Lalita Pawar Life Story

What are your thoughts on Lalita Pawar's inspirational life, who stood time and again despite several tragedies? Let us know.

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