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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 Reel Story of Jewish Bollywood

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

By Vox Tablet | 7:00 AM Jun 29, 2009 – Click here to listen to the podcast.

Sulochana (Ruby Myers) and Zillo in Saubhagya Sundari

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.

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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