Fearless Nadia: The Fierce Stuntwoman Of Indian Cinema

By Tanushree De10 Jan 2019, 17:32 IST

A woman has so many roles to play while making her mark in a largely male-dominated society. Throughout the centuries there have been some legendary women who have managed to write their names in the annals of history with their courage. HerZindagi salutes the spirit of such women and will explore their stories through our series ‘Heroines’ to tell you about their achievements and what made them into the superwomen that they were.

Bollywood’s Original Stunt Queen

We begin with India’s first ever female action star Fearless Nadia who is the face of brave women in Indian cinema. Nadia was born as Mary Ann Evans in Australia but moved to India during World War I and grew up being crazy about acting in movies. She became an expert in horseriding & dance and, learnt to speak fluent albeit accented Hindi as well. She was finally given a break in movies by Jamshed J.B.H. Wadia and rose to stardom with films like Diamond Queen, Frontier Mail, Muqabala, Jungle Princess and Hunterwali in the 30s to 40s. In recent times, Kangana Ranaut’s character Miss Julia in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon was heavily inspired by Nadia and it revived the presence of the fearless females in Bollywood.

HerZindagi talked to Nadia’s great grandnephew Shiamak Davar about his aunt and he shared how she believed in trying everything once in her lifetime. The choreographer was his favourite and he fondly referred to her as Mary Mai. He says that she was the inspiration behind his love for dancing and was a jovial personality, loved by all. Watch the video to know about the life and times of this original stuntwoman of Bollywood who is still an inspirational figure today.