Born 1933 into a poor Parsee theatre family of Ali Bux and dancer Iqbal begum in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. Entered films to support family in difficult times. She was six when hired for Leatherface (1939) in 1939 by Vijay Bhatt and named Baby Meena. Later she became Meena Kumari when cast for Bhatt's 诗人 (1952). She did mythological films with Homi Wadia and then comedies like Miss Mary (1957). She became personified as the archetypal good Hindu wife through many roles, long suffering and always true to the man. She excelled at tragedy and was often shown in a white sari carrying the film with her emotive acting. She was also thought to be the only actress who could sell a film on the strength of her name alone. Her major films are Daera (1953), 诗人 (1952), 0046164, and of course her most well known film, 墓地里的玫瑰 (1972). She was married to Kamal Amrohi with whom she started making "Pakeezah". They separated in 1964. She was also an accompalished Urdu writer and had several poems published by Gulzar after her death. She battled alcoholism and loneliness and finally died, alone, in 1972.