indian cinema heritage foundation


  • Real Name: Faryal Manmohan
  • Born: 3 November, 1945 (Syria)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi

Popular for her vamp roles and cabaret dance sequences, the Indo-Syrian Faryal is known for films such as Jewel Thief (1967), Insaan Aur Shaitan (1970), Apradh (1972), Sachaa Jhutha (1970), Loafer (1973), Dharma (1973), Dharmatma (1975), Rafoo Chakkar (1975), and Aafat (1977). Starting off as a lead heroine in Zindagi Aur Maut (1965), she played female lead roles in some productions, before becoming more famous and successful in vamp and dancer roles. 

Born Faryal Manmohan on 3 November, 1945 in Syria to an Indian father and Syrian mother, she schooled at Loretto Convent, Simla, followed by St. Xavier's College, Bombay. Taking up work as an air hostess with Air India, she later caught the attention of Sashadhar Mukherji, the famous producer. He offered her the chance to act in a film of his production house, Filmlaya Studios and soon Faryal was in Bombay where she joined the Filmalaya School of Acting.  

She signed her first film in 1965, to play the leading lady in the film Biradari (1966). It was produced by the brother of old-time popular comedian Gope - Ram Kamlani. She featured opposite Shashi Kapoor in the film. Unfortunately, the film did not succeed at the box office. Prior to this, she featured in Zindagi Aur Maut (1965). She starred opposite Pradeep Kumar in the film, directed by Nisar Ahmed Ansari, with music by C Ramchandra. Zindagi Aur Maut became a super hit. This film included the popular song Dil laga kar hum ye samjhe rendered individually by Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor respectively. 

Faryal went on to star in many more small productions as a heroine; however, success proved elusive. After a point, realising that she was not winning acceptance as a heroine, she shifted focus to negative roles. She went on to feature as a vamp in numerous films, as well as cabaret sequences. Her role as a cabaret dancer in the film Jewel Thief, released in 1967, had brought her considerable attention and similar offers started to pour in post the film’s release. In an interview of 1973, Faryal revealed that ever since she had been cast by filmmaker Goldie Anand as the glamorous dancer in the Dev Anand-starrer Jewel Thief, filmmakers went on to look upon her as an excellent cabaret dancer. However, by her own admission, in reality she had never learnt dancing, and rather disliked dancing altogether. 

Jewel Thief starred Dev Anand, Vyjayantimala and Ashok Kumar, and featured four Bond girl-like actresses portrayed by Tanuja, Helen, Faryal and Anju Mahendru. Faryal was also noticed for her performances in the Rajesh Khanna-Mumtaz starrer Sachcha Jhootha (1970) and the Dharmendra-Waheeda Rehman film Man Ki Aankhen (1970). Initially fearful of getting typecast, she was reluctant to accept the many similar offers she received soon after the release of Jewel Thief. However, realisation grew that if she refused the roles there were many others who were ready to replace her. The release of Apradh (1972) with its bath tub scene further cemented her fate, so to speak. Apradh was an action thriller romance which marked Feroz Khan’s debut as a producer and director. The film starred Feroz Khan, Mumtaz, Prem Chopra, Iftekhar, Helen, Faryal and Madan Puri, with music by Kalyanji Anandji.

With time, as the offers became scarce, she quit the industry. She retired from films in 1984 after her performance as the girlfriend of Jeetendra in The Gold Medal (1979). This action thriller was directed by Ravikant Nagaich and produced under the banner of Time Films. The film’s star cast included Jeetendra, Dharmendra, Rakhee, Shatrughan Sinha, Bindu, David and Malti.

Faryal went on to marry and settled down in Israel.


Sources: Faryal: The Promising Actress Who Could Not Succeed In Bollywood | Tabassum Talkies –