Shyam (actor)

Sunder Shyam Chadda (20 February 1920 – 25 April 1951) [1] was a Hindi cinema actor. He began his career in 1942 and worked in various films until his death during the shoot of the 1951 film Shabistan.[2]

Sunder Shyam Chadda

(1920-02-20)20 February 1920
Died25 April 1951(1951-04-25) (aged 31)
EducationGordon College
Years active1942–1951
Mumtaz Qureshi ('Taji') (m. 19401951)
ChildrenSahira Kazmi (daughter)
Shakir (son)
RelativesRahat Kazmi (son-in-law)
Ali Kazmi (grandson)
Nida Kazmi (grand-daughter)

He originally hailed from Sialkot but grew up in Rawalpindi.[3] Shyam graduated from Gordon College in Rawalpindi. He was a close personal friend of Saadat Hasan Manto and was the inspiration of many of his stories.[4] Even after partition, their bond of friendship endured. One of his most famous movies was Bazaar, released in 1949, in which he starred with Nigar Sultana. He married a Muslim, Mumtaz Qureshi (nickname "Taji"), with whom he had a daughter, Pakistani TV actress Sahira Kazmi, married to actor Rahat Kazmi, and a son named Shakir (born two months after his death), a psychiatrist based in UK. His wife migrated to Lahore, Pakistan, after his premature death in 1951, along with her elder sister, Zeb Qureshi, who was an actress in Bombay. Mumtaz later married a gentleman, Ansari after Shyam's death.[5]

Shyam acted in many memorable films: Man ki jeet (1944), Majboor (1948), Dillagi (1949), Patanga (1949), Chandni Raat (1949), Meena Bazaar (1950) and Samadhi (1950).


Shyam died on the set of the film Shabistan in 1951 after he fell off a horse during filming. His few remaining scenes were completed with a body-double who had a similar height to him and filmed from behind without showing his face.[5][2]

In film

Tahir Raj Bhasin was seen portraying Shyam in the film Manto, a biopic on Saadat Hasan Manto. The film was released in September 2018.[6]


  1. "Shyam's Upperstall profile".
  2. Mishra, Vijay (2002). Bollywood Cinema. Routledge. pp. xiii. ISBN 978-0-415-93014-7.
  3. Ahmed, Ishtiaq (2 November 2013). "An evening with actor Shyam's family". Daily Times. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  4. Mufti, Aamir (2007). Enlightenment in the Colony. Princeton University Press. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-691-05732-3.
  5. "Actor Shyam (1920-1951) who died very young".
  6. "Watch: Nawazuddin Siddiqui aces Manto's look and quirks in Nandita Das' short film". Firstpost. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
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