Vyjayanthimala started her movie career in a Tamil movie (Vazhkai) in 1949 when she was only about 13 years old. The movie was very successful and it was re-made in Telugu. This too was very successful. So AVM (the company which produced the original Tamil movie) decided to make the movie in Hindi for a much wider audience and Vyjayanthimala was chosen to do the Hindi version too. The Hindi version (Bahar) was made in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1951 and it was again a hit. Vyjayanthimala was thus launched in the world of Hindi movies.
She got really noticed in the movie Nagin (1954) in which she danced so charmingly with the beautiful music composed by Hemanta Mukherjee (Hemant Kumar) and sung by Lata Mangeshkar. But her real acting talent was recognized by the industry and the public for her role as Chandramukhi in Bimal Roy's Devdas in 1955. After that there was no stopping of Vyjayanthimala. Her triple role in Madhumati in 1958, along with Dilip Kumar's acting, made the movie a huge commercial success.
Vyjayanthimala went on to make movie after movie and was cast against all the leading male actors of her time. But when she got married in 1968, Vyjayanthimala who was at the top of her form (and fame) at the time, decided to quit the silver screen. This is because she thought movie making and home making could not be done together. A sad decision both for the film industry and the admiring public, but I have to say that was the right decision. That gave her all the opportunity in the world to build a happy home with her beloved husband and later her son without any outside interference. That also made her audience remember her at her peak form, not playing the role of grandma!
Vyjayanthimala acted in 62 films in her career. The following is a list of her films along with their year of release. The information has been collected from IMDb - Earth's Biggest Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0904537/). Even though it is said that Vyjayanthimala had quit the movie industry after her marriage in 1968, I see some of the movies were released at a later date, notably Ganwaar in 1970 and Ladki in 1989. Probably these films were completed by 1968 but were not released until later for some reason. I am not sure on this. It also appears that the 1953 movie Ladki was released again in 1989. I don't know why. My guess is it was a modified version such as colorized or dubbed in another language.
1. Vazhkai (1949)
3. Bahar* (1951)
33. Raja Bhakti (1960)
62. Ganwaar (1970)
63. Ladki (1989)
Source of the image of Vyjayanthimala on top of the page: http://movies.indiainfo.com/newsbytes/nfcb.html
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