Bollywood is Jewish? Believe it or not, yes! Turns out, the leading ladies of Bollywood in the 1920s and 1930s were Jewish. Click to listen to a great podcast from Tablet about these early stars of Bollywood.
The Queens of Bollywood: When Jewish women were the leading ladies of Indian cinema
CREDIT: Courtesy Neepa Majumdar
Rose Ezra. Ruby Myers. Farhat Ezekiel Nadira. From the earliest years of Bollywood, these and other Jewish actresses garnered starring roles. And while they may have looked somewhat exotic to moviegoers, they came from Baghdadi Jewish families who had been living in India for decades. Reporter Eric Molinsky speaks to film scholars, as well as friends and relatives of these once-beloved but now mostly forgotten stars of Indian cinema, to find out how they became the “go-to girls” for leading female roles in the 1920s, ’30s, and beyond.