Saira Banu: A happy life, Marriage, Movies, Children, and Biography

Saira Banu (or Saira Bano as referred to in some articles) is one of the rare actresses of the Golden ere who not only continued her acting career after marriage but also appeared in bold and glamourous characters on screen. From childhood Saira had only two dreams, one was becoming an actress, and the second one was marrying Dilip Kumar. And Saira happily says her both dreams were fulfilled.

Coming from a family with a film background Saira Banu made a name for her in the mid-60s to late 70s. We will tell you about her early life, career, marriage, children, and every detail you deserve to know about her. So let’s start from where every story starts, and that is with her birth.

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The birth of Saira Banu and her early life

Before jumping directly to Saira Banu’s life, let us know a little about her father and mother. Her father Ehsan-ul-Haq was a film producer, and her mother Naseem Banu (her original name was Roshan Ara Begum) was one of the top actresses of the 1930s and 1940s.

Naseem Banu started her career when she was still in school in Sohrab Modi’s movie, and in no time, she became a popular actress in Indian cinema. Later she married her childhood friend Mian Ehsan-ul-Haq, and the couple had two children. Elder was son Sultan Ahmed born in 1939, and younger was Saira, who was born on 23 August 1944.

The couple started their own production house named Taj Mahal Films and produced movies like Ujala (1942), Begum (1944), Mulaqat (1947), and Ajeeb Ladki (1952), in which Naseem Banu also acted as the main lead.

It was the time India and Pakistan faced partition, and many were still crossing the boundaries to settle in the other country. Saira Banu’s Father left for Pakistan with all the negatives of the movie they have produced under Taj Mahal Films, and thus, it is said that Naseem Banu had a huge fan following in Pakistan.

Naseem Banu later moved to England with her two children, where Saira Banu completed her studies and returned to India in the late 1950s.

Saira Banu Movies and Career

Saira Banu wanted to become an actress from her childhood, like her mother. When she returned to India and was offered a movie as the second lead actress in a movie, she refused to play the second lead and later was signed opposite Shammi Kapoor (an established star) for Junglee.

The movie was the first Eastmancolor movie of Hindi cinema and proved to be a successful film. She was nominated for best actress in the 7th Filmfare awards.

Her name was considered for the movies like Ram Aur Shyam and Sangharsh opposite Dilip Kumar, but Dilip Kumar disapproved of her name, citing that she is too young.

Her next movie was Shaadi starring opposite Manoj Kumar and Dharmendra as her brother, released in 1962. In 1963 she again starred opposite her first costar Shammi Kapoor in the movie Bluffmaster.

In 1964, four of Saira Banu’s films were released, including Ayee Milan Ki Bela, April Fool, Aao Pyaar Karein, and Door Ki Awaaz.

Her acting career was going well when she married Dilip Kumar in 1966, and everyone thought it was the end of her career. But Mehmood and Manoj Kumar both approached Dilip Kumar and expressed their desire to take Saira Banu in their upcoming movies Padosan and Purab Aur Paschim.

Dilip Kumar agreed to the proposals, and she was back with a bang as Padosan was a super hit and considered one of the best comedy movies made in Hindi.

She continued her acting career till 1976 and gave many hits during this period. In 1975, her movie was released named Zameer, in which she was paired opposite Amitabh Bachchan. The interesting fact was that Shammi Kapoor, the first hero opposite Saira Banu, started her career and played her father’s character in the movie.

She appeared in 44 movies in her career spanning more than 15 years.


Sl No Movie Name Year
1 Junglee 1961
2 Shaadi 1962
3 Bluffmaster 1963
4 Ayee Milan Ki Bela 1964
5 April Fool 1964
6 Aao Pyaar Karen 1964
7 Door Ki Awaz 1964
8 Saaz Aur Awaaz 1966
9 Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai 1966
10 Pyar Mohabbat 1966
11 Shagird 1967
12 Diwana 1967
13 Aman 1967
14 Padosan 1968
15 Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan 1968
16 Aadmi Aur Insaan 1969
17 Gopi 1970
18 Purab Aur Paschim 1970
19 Balidaan 1971
20 Victoria No. 203 1972
21 Jwar Bhata 1973
22 Daaman Aur Aag 1973
23 Resham Ki Dori 1974
24 International Crook 1974
25 Sagina 1974
26 Pocketmaar 1974
27 Aarop 1974
28 Paise Ki Gudiya 1974
29 Zameer 1975
30 Saazish 1975
31 Chaitali 1975
32 Aakhri Daao 1975
33 Mounto 1975
34 Bairaag 1976
35 Hera Pheri 1976
36 Koi Jeeta Koi Haara 1976
37 Aarambh 1976
38 Nehle Pe Dehla 1976
39 Mera Vachan Geeta Ki Kasam 1977
40 Kaala Aadmi 1978
41 Lahu Pukarega 1980
42 Desh Drohi 1980
43 Duniya 1984
44 Faisla 1988

Marriage with Dilip Kumar and Children

Saira Banu used to see movies when in London and during vacations she used to visit India with her family. She was 12 years when she first saw Dilip Kumar in person when she went to saw shooting “Naya Daur”.She was so impressed with Dilip Kumar that she decided to marry him when she grows up.

Dilip Kumar was a family friend, but he refused to act opposite her as he felt she was very young. In 1966, Saira Banu’s new house at Pali Hill was completed, and her home entrance was kept on the day of Saira Banu’s birthday. Dilip Kumar was also invited on this occasion. When Dilip Kumar saw Saira Banu in reality for the first time, he liked her beauty a lot, which he has written in his autobiography.

Dilip Kumar was earlier in a relationship with Kamini Kaushal and Madhubala. His relationship with Kamini Kaushal did not progress much because Kamini Kaushal was married by the time both fell in love.

And in Madhubala’s case, due to mutual differences between the two, both of them got separated from each other. Although Madhubala’s younger sister Madhur had said in an interview that when Dilip Kumar married Saira Banu, Madhubala was also sad because of not getting married to Dilip Kumar, and also she was happy for Dilip Kumar.

After seeing Saira Banu on her birthday, Dilip Kumar visited Saira Banu’s house quite often while he was busy shooting for Ram Aur Shyam in Chennai. One day when the two went for a drive, Dilip Kumar proposed to Saira Banu for marriage. Saira Banu became happy inside as soon as she heard this, but her answer was “to how many more girls you told this line.” Dilip Kumar laughed at this.

After this, Saira told Dilip Kumar that such things are discussed with the older people of the house. After which, Dilip Kumar talked about marrying Saira Banu with her mother and grandmother, and both agreed. On October 11, 1966, both were married according to Muslim customs.

Dilip Kumar is almost 22 years older than Saira and was only 6 years younger than his mother-in-law Naseem Banu.

Even after marriage, Saira Banu continued her acting career. And in an interview, Saira even said that Dilip Kumar never interfered in her work, nor did he ever put a restriction on her dress or anything else. In most of Saira Banu’s films, her mother used to be her dress designer.

After about 10 years of marriage, Saira became pregnant in 1976. She developed high blood pressure when she was 8 months pregnant.

Then operation was also not possible, due to which the child died in the womb due to suffocation. After this, considering it as God’s will, Dilip and Saira never tried to have a child.

Dilip Kumar in an interview said that they were quite hurt as they could not save their son.

Dilip Kumar Second Marriage

Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar had given up hope of a child, but somewhere in Dilip Kumar’s mind, there was still a desire for a child. During a cricket match in 1980, Dilip Kumar meets a woman named Asma Rehman. Gradually, the meeting between the two increases, and both of them get married secretly in 1981.

Saira Banu was not aware of this and came to know through the media. When she came to know about this, she was very hurt, but at that time, her mother told her to be calm and keep her patience.

Dilip Kumar writes in his biography that marrying Asma was the biggest mistake of his life. It was reported that Asma was cheating on her and she was already married and she was the mother of three children.

After Dilip Kumar came to know about everything, he divorced him in 1983 and returned to Saira again.

Is Saira Banu Indian?

Yes, she is Indian. Though her father migrated to Pakistan but her mother stayed back in India.

Why Dilip Kumar has no child?

Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu tried for a child and even she got pregnant in 1976. But due to high blood pressure, they lost their children and after that, they never tried for another child.

Does Saira Banu have cancer?

No, she is absolutely fine physically.

What is the age difference between Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu?

Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu have an age gap of almost 22 years. At the time of marriage, Dilip Kumar was 44 and Saira was 22.

Who is the father of Saira Banu?

Her father is Mian Ehsan-ul-Haq who migrated to Pakistan after partition.

What is the age of Saira Banu?

As of July 2021 Saira Banu is 77 years old.

What is the religion of Saira Banu?

Saira Banu is Muslim by religion.

Who is the mother of Saira Banu?

Naseem Banu is the mother of Saira. She was a renowned actress of her time and later she took up a dress design job when Saira started her career as an actress.

Does Dilip Kumar drink alcohol?

He used to but has given up from many days.

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