indian cinema heritage foundation


  • Real Name: Kamal Bhiwandkar
  • Born: 1924
  • Died: 24 January, 1989

Born in 1924, actress Ratnamala played the leading lady in several films. She went on to act in more than 100 films in the course of her career, in supporting and character roles as well. Among her early films credited are Bharat Milap (1942), Das Baje (1942), Station Master (1942), Panghat (1943), Police (1944), Rukmini Swayamvar (1946), Bhakta Ke Bhagwan (1947) and Usha Haran (1949). In a review of the film Station Master that appeared in Film India, August 1942 issue, Ratnamala was singled out for attracting attention with her charming personality, with the critic adding, “…Considering that comparatively she is a newcomer to the screen, she gives a pretty performance as the Station Master’s daughter.” 

Beginning her acting career at the mere age of fourteen, she is said to have worked actively in numerous roles in Marathi films like Rukmini Swayamvar (1946), Mazha Ram (1949), Gokulcha Raja (1950), Ram Ram Pavhanam (1950), Sangatye Aika (1959), Manini (1961), Rangpanchami (1961), Vaijayanta (1961), Garibagharchi Lake (1962), Javai Majha Bhala (1962), Yalach Mhanat Prem (1964), Dhanya te Santaji Dhanaji (1968), Dharmakanya (1968), Kortachi Payari (1970), Kali Baiko (1970), Mumbaicha Jawai (1970), and numerous others. She also famously played the role of Dada Kondke's mother in many of his films, starting from his 1971 film Songadya

Over the decades, Ratnamala featured in small character roles in films such as Gehra Daag (1963), Char Darvesh (1964), Mera Saaya (1966), Badal (1966), Seeta Aur Geeta (1972), Taxi Driver (1973), Kuchhe Dhaage (1973), Dil Diwana (1974), Bhola Bhala (1978), Nastik (1983), Tere Mere Beech Mein (1984), and Khol Do Meri Zubaan (1989). 

Ratnamala was married to actor Raja Pandit who featured in films such as Maharani (1934), Hind Mahila (1936) and Bala Joban (1934). Ratnamala passed away on 23 January, 1989.