Google Pays Tribute to Fearless Nadia –the ‘Stunt Queen of India’

Google Doodle pays tribute to “Fearless Nadia,” the famous stuntwoman of India.

2 min read
Google Doodle pays tribute to “Fearless Nadia.” 

Google doodle on Monday paid homage to Australian-origin Indian film actress, “Fearless Nadia,” who is renowned for her daring role in movies such as Hunterwali (1935), Pahadi Kanya (1936), Diamond Queen (1940), and Lutaru Lalna (1938).

Mary Ann Evans – as she was known before adopting the stage-name ‘Fearless Nadia’ – and her family shifted base from Australia to India when she was five. While growing up in the country, Nadia had been trained in several difficult skills, such as horseback riding, hunting, fishing and shooting.

While she was honing these skills, she caught the eye of Jamshed Boman Homi Wadia, a famous director, screenwriter and producer of Bollywood. He introduced her to cinema and she starred in several of his movies subsequently.

What marked her different from the rest of the actors of her time was her natural ability to self-perform some of the most daring stunts during the filming of the movie, which crashed several stereotypes within the industry as well, at a time when male actors were 'known’ for performing their own stunts.

To this end, Nadia became the original ‘Stuntwoman of India’.

Nadia had also made another kind of impact in the industry – that of directing the gaze of the audience away from the male protagonist in an action-packed movie to herself. Her daring and often dangerous stunts as a female lead marked this shift.

According to NDTV, before being discovered by Wadia, who she later married, Nadia worked as a dancer in a dancing-troupe-cum-circus in Mumbai. It was during this time, that she made the acquaintance of an Armenian fortune-teller, who suggested she change her name to one beginning with 'N', leading her to choose the exotic stage-name.

The Deccan Chronicle, calling her the “woman with a whip”, said that she wasn’t limited to using only one prop at a time. She would reportedly jump from chandeliers, rooftops and upon occasion, tame lions.

In his recent movie ‘Rangoon’, says NDTV, director Vishal Bhardwaj paid homage to the Fearless Nadia, through the character of Jaanbaaz Julia, played by Kangana Ranaut, celebrating the priceless years of her contribution to Indian cinema.

(With inputs from NDTV and The Deccan Chronicle)

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