Veteran movie actor Tabassum Govil, known for her work as a child artiste in several Hindi classics and also as host of popular TV talk show Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan, died after suffering a cardiac arrest, her son Hoshang Govil said on Saturday. She was 78.
Mr Govil said his mother had been admitted to a hospital for the past few days. On Friday, she suffered two cardiac attacks and passed away at night.
“Few days ago, she was admitted to a hospital. She had gastro problem and we went there for check-up. She suffered two cardiac attacks at 8.40pm and 8.42pm. She passed away peacefully on Friday night,” Mr Hoshang told Press Trust of India.
Born in 1944 in Mumbai to Ayodhyanath Sachdev and Asghari Begum, Tabassum started her career as a child artiste with the 1947 movie Nargis. At that time, she was known in the industry as ‘Baby Tabassum’ and went to feature in many other movies such as Mera Suhaag (1947), Manjhdhar (1947) and Bari Behen (1949).
In the 1950s, Tabassum acted in movies such as Sargam, Sangram, Deedar, and Baiju Bawra.
She also had a minor role in the 1960 historical epic Mughal-e-Azam, starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala. After a few more films, Tabassum took up the job of the host of Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan, which was Indian television’s first talk show. She emceed the show from 1972 to 1993 during which she interviewed big stars of the Indian film industry. During her time as the host of Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan, Tabassum continued to feature in films, though sporadically.
She made her directorial debut with 1985 feature Tum Par Hum Qurban. Her last film was Rajesh Khanna and Govinda-starrer Swarg in 1990 in which she made a guest appearance as herself.
In the 2000s, she appeared in daily soap Pyaar Ke Do Naam: Ek Raadha, Ek Shyaam.
Keeping up with the changing world, she launched her own channel on YouTube, called Tabassum Talkies with son Hoshang where the veteran actor used to discuss the lives of many cinema figures and movies of the bygone era.
In 2021, Tabassum spent 10 days in hospital after contracting Covid-19.
Tabassum is survived by her husband Vijay Govil, the elder brother of veteran TV star Arun Govil, and son Hoshang.
Originally published in Dawn, November 20th, 2022