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Geeta Dutt

Biography

A beloved playback singer who managed to hold her own (as much as anyone could) against the unstoppable Lata Mangeshkar in the 1950s, Geeta Dutt was born in Bengal in 1930. Like most singers, she got into films early, singing her first lines in a film song in 1946. By the end of the '40s it looked like she was the next "it" girl until Lata came along. She worked with music directors like S.D. Burman and O.P. Nayyar and was renowned for the untrained ease with which she sailed through almost any type of song. 1951's Baazi was a high-water mark for her, which led her in a hipper and more risqué direction than she'd taken previously. But in the late-1950s Dutt began having marital troubles with her director husband Guru Dutt. That drama, combined with a growing drinking problem, cost Dutt work as directors found her less and less reliable, especially after her husband died. She sadly died in 1964 of cirrhosis of the liver.
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