World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ruby Myers

Sulochana in the 1920s.
Born Ruby Myers
Pune, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died 10 October 1983 [1]
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation actor
Years active 1920s–1980s

Ruby Myers (1907 – 10 October 1983), better known by her stage name Sulochana, was an Indian silent film star of Jewish ancestry, hailing from the community of Baghdadi Jews in India (see History of the Jews in India).

In her heyday she was one of the highest paid actresses of her time, when she was paired with Dinshaw Billimoria in Imperial Studios films. In mid-1930 she opened Rubi Pics, a film production house.[2]

She was awarded the 1973 Dada Saheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in cinema for lifetime achievement.


  • Film career 1
  • Selected filmography 2
  • Further reading 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Film career

Ruby Myers was born in 1907 in Pune.[3] Chubby, petite and brown-eyed, the self-named Sulochana was among the early Eurasian female stars of Indian Cinema.

She was working as a telephone operator when she was approached by Mohan Bhavnani of Kohinoor Film Company to work in films. Though excited by the offer, she turned him down as acting was regarded as quite a dubious profession for women those days. However Bhavnani persisted with his offer and she finally agreed, despite having no knowledge of acting whatsoever. She became a star under Bhavnani's direction at Kohinoor before moving on to the Imperial Film Company where she became the highest paid movie star in the country.

Among her popular films were Typist Girl (1926), Balidaan (1927) and Wildcat of Bombay (1927) where she essayed eight roles including a gardener, a policeman, a Hyderabadi gentleman, a street urchin, a banana seller and a European blonde.

Three romantic super hits in 1928 - 29 with director R.S. Chaudhari - Madhuri (1928), Anarkali (1928) and Indira B.A. (1929) saw her at her peak of fame in the silent film era. In fact so widespread was her fame that when a short film on Mahatma Gandhi inaugurating a khadi exhibition was shown, alongside it was added a hugely popular dance of Sulochana's from Madhuri, synchronised with sound effects.

With the coming of sound, Sulochana suddenly found a lull in her career, as it now required an actor to be proficient in Hindustani. Taking a year off to learn the language, she made a grand comeback with the talkie version of Madhuri (1932).

Further talkie versions of her silent hits followed and with Indira (now an) M.A. (1934), Anarkali (1935) and Bombay ki Billi (1936). Sulochana was back with a bang. She was drawing a salary of Rs 5000 per month, she had the sleekest of cars (Chevrolet 1935) and one of the biggest heroes of the silent era, D. Billimoria, as her lover with whom she worked exclusively between 1933 and 1939. They were an extremely popular pair - his John Barrymore-style opposite her Oriental 'Queen of Romance' image.

But once their love story ended so did their careers. Sulochana left Imperial to find few offers forthcoming. Newer, younger and more proficient actresses had entered the scene. She tried making a comeback with character roles but even these were few.

However, she still had the power to excite controversy. In 1947, Morarji Desai banned the Dilip Kumar - Noor Jehan starrer, Jugnu, because it showed such a morally reprehensible act as an aging fellow professor falling for Sulochana's vintage charms.

In 1953, she acted in her third Anarkali, but this time in a supporting role as Salim's mother.

She finally died lonely and forgotten in 1983 in her flat in Mumbai. A sad end for the woman who once became famous for drawing a larger salary than the Governor of Bombay and who even acted in a film named after her - Sulochana (1933).

Her films include Cinema Queen (1926), Typist Girl (1926), Balidaan (1927), Wild Cat of Bombay, in which she played eight different characters, which was remade as Bambai Ki Billi (1936); Madhuri (1928), which was re-released with sound in 1932; Anarkali (1928), remade in 1945; Indira BA (1929); Heer Ranjah (1929), and many others, such as Baaz (1953).

Sulochana established her own film studio, Rubi Pics, in the mid-1930s. She received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1973 for her lifetime contribution to Indian cinema.[4] Ismail Merchant paid homage to her in Mahatma and the Bad Boy (1974).

Selected filmography

  • Cinema Queen (1926)
  • Typist Girl (1926)
  • Balidan (1927)
  • Wildcat of Bombay (1927)
  • Anarkali (1928)
  • Heer Ranjah (1929)
  • Indira BA (1929)
  • Sulochana (1933)
  • Baaz (1953)
  • Neel Kamal (1968)
  • Khatta Meetha (1978)

Further reading

  • Great Masters of Indian Cinema: The Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winners, by D. P. Mishra, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, 2006. ISBN 81-230-1361-2. page 16.
  • Actress Sulochana Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain And India, by Priya Jaikumar, Duke University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8223-3793-2. Page 73.
  • The Hundred Luminaries of Hindi Cinema, by Dinesh Raheja, Jitendra Kothari. India Book House Publishers, 1996. ISBN 81-7508-007-8. page 1871


  1. ^ Ruby Myers, Sulochana - Biography British Film Institute.
  2. ^ Silent Screen Stars' India Heritage:Performing Arts:Cinema In India:Personalities:Silent Screen Stars.
  3. ^ Queens of hearts The Tribune], December 9, 2007.
  4. ^ - Dada Saheb Phalke Award

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.