When Bollywood star Tanuja slapped Dharmendra for flirting with her
The yesteryear actress recounts her first meeting with the late Vinod Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan in latest interview.
Tanuja, Bollywood’s charming actress of yesteryear turned 78 on Thursday. Hailing from a family of film stars, Tanuja starred in Hindi, Marathi and Bengali films from the 1960s. Her daughter Kajol is a renowned actor, while her late sister Nutan was also a remarkable star. She was married to filmmaker Shomu Muherjee (who passed away in 2008) and is the daughter of Shobhna Samarth, another renowned actor of early Hindi cinema.
In an interview to a film magazine, Tanuja recalled her friendship with top actors including Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Sanjeev Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. “Vinod was no altu faltu, he didn’t talk rubbish,” she said. “It was satisfying to interact with a co-star who was at par with you mentally.”
As for Sanjeev Kumar, he was “seedha-saadha, a gentle soul and a fabulous actor,” remarked Tanuja, who acted with him in films including Anubhav (1971). As for Amitabh, she was the first heroine to a then unknown and budding actor in his maiden appearance in Hindi cinema, Pyaar Ki Kahani (1971).
Tanuja remembers meeting him at a club and telling him: “Why don’t you join films?” To which he replied: “I’ve come here to join films.”
She also had a great time with Dharmendra. She recalled in an interview that once when he tried to flirt with her, she slapped him and called him ‘Besharam.’ To which, he responded: “Tanu, meri Maa, sorry…please make me your brother.”
The veteran actress has many junior relatives in the family who are also famous in Bollywood. They include Rani Mukherji, Ayan Mukerji and Mohnish Bahl.