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One of Bollywood's last singer-actors, Suraiya was a raving beauty with giant, almond-shaped eyes who gained a hysterical following in India in the 1940s and '50s. She began as a child star in the early-'40s and later made a few films with K.L. Saigal, a singer-actor who was deeply influential for a generation of male playback singers. The late-'40s saw her at her peak, with such films as Dillagi and Pyar Ki Jeet flooding the country with her songs. In the early-'50s her career began to flounder and a series of personal problems deepened the slide. Though she came out retirement a handful of times, she lived in relative seclusion until her death in 2004.
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