Mumbai: Veteran actress, showbiz personality and one of the pioneers of television content, Manju Singh has passed away following an illness, her family said here on Saturday.
The family said she passed away in Mumbai on Thursday.
“With profound grief, we inform you about the demise of our Manju Singh. She lived a beautiful and inspiring life, devoted to her family and her craft. From ‘Manju Didi’ to ‘Manju Nani’ she will be truly missed by all,” said the family in a terse media announcement, without more details.
Ranked among the pioneers of the TV industry since its fledgling days in the early 1980s, Singh started with what was the first sponsored programme on the small screen, ‘Show Theme’.
She subsequently went on to produce several memorable television programmes, ranging from serials, children shows, spiritual to activism and other meaningful topics for the Doordarshan in the early era of colour telecast.
Some of them included ‘Ek Kahani’, ‘Swaraj’, ‘Adhikaar’ and anchored the kids’ show ‘Khel Khilone’ which was among the longest running shows then.
Singh also acted in a few Hindi films, prominently as Ratna Sharma, the sister of the main lead Ramprasad D. Sharma (Amol Palekar) in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s rib-tickling award-winning comedy of ‘Golmaal’, and ‘Hanky Panky’ (both, 1979), ‘Ladies Tailor’ (1981), ‘Screen Two’ (1985), sliding into character roles with ease from ‘sister’ to ‘granny’.
Later, in 2007, she founded the WorldKids Foundation with the motto of ‘Entertainment With a Purpose’ which organises global children’s film festivals, and reaches educational films to classrooms.
Acknowledging her contribution to TV, films, creative arts and academics, the government in 2015 nominated Singh as a Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) Member.
Several veterans from the Indian TV and film industry have condoled the passing of Manju Singh, including one of her earliest associates, lyricist-singer-writer Swanand Kirkire.