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Blockbuster Actress, Forced Into Prostitution, Dies In Poverty And Isolation

Additionally, she gained acclaim for her role in the National Award-winning Punjabi film ‘Nanak Nam Jahaz Hai.’

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Jan 18, 2024 15:02 IST
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Bollywood serves as a pathway to fame, success, and wealth for many, promising a stable and prosperous life. The glamorous lifestyles of its leading figures stand as proof of this. Nevertheless, this was not always the reality, as there was a period when celebrities experienced a rapid decline in both fame and fortune. The tragic tale of Vimi serves as a poignant illustration of this phenomenon.

Renowned for her notable performances in movies such as ‘Hamraaz’ and ‘Aabroo,’ Vimi’s introduction to the film industry occurred when music director Ravi discovered her at a mid-60s party. During this time, Vimi was already married to Shiv Agarwal, the son of an industrialist, and had a son and a daughter. Her debut came the following year, opposite Sunil Dutt in ‘Hamraaz,’ which became a hit, leading to significant projects like ‘Aabroo’ alongside Ashok Kumar and ‘Patanga’ opposite Shashi Kapoor. At the peak of her career, Vimi was among the highest-paid young actresses in the industry. Additionally, she gained acclaim for her role in the National Award-winning Punjabi film ‘Nanak Nam Jahaz Hai.’

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However, her career took a downturn after the initial success of ‘Hamraaz,’ with all her subsequent films failing to make an impact. By the early 1970s, Vimi found herself gradually fading into obscurity, relegated to cameo roles in films like ‘Guddi’ or uncredited dancer parts in ‘Kahin Aar Kahin Paar.’ Around the mid-1970s, Vimi and her husband went through a separation. A posthumous obituary revealed that she had experienced domestic abuse during her marriage. Despite this, her troubles persisted. Vimi entered into a relationship with a lesser-known producer named Jolly, who reportedly exploited her. According to a News 18 report, he even coerced her into prostitution. Vimi managed to extricate herself from this toxic relationship as well and attempted to establish her own business.

Vimi ventured into entrepreneurship by establishing a textile business in Calcutta, but unfortunately, it faced financial difficulties and had to be sold to settle her debts. Reports indicated that by her early thirties, the actress was completely bankrupt. Struggling to cope with her circumstances, she sought solace in alcohol, leading to a decline in her health. Tragically, in 1977, at the age of 34, Vimi succumbed to liver complications. During this time, she was reportedly alone, and her body had to be transported for cremation in a cart typically used by street vendors.

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First published on: Jan 18, 2024 02:57 PM IST

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