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Birth name Surendranath
Birth 11 november 1910 (109 years)
Surendra (November 11, 1910 - 1987) was an Indian singer-actor of Hindi films. Known by his mononym, Surendra was educated in Punjab to be a lawyer by profession. He came to Bombay to become a singer on the recommendation of a Delhi distributor and his friends. He was "picked" by Mehboob Khan whom he met at Sagar Movietone, to sing and act in films as an alternative to the then Calcutta-based singer-actor, K. L. Saigal. Surendra started his career with his debut starring role in Deccan Queen (1936) directed by Mehboob Khan. He soon became a part of Sagar Movietone when his song "Birha Ki Aag Lagi More Man Mein" from the film became an "instant hit".
Referred to as "Bombay's Saigal", or "the other Saigal", Surendra formed a popular singer-acting pair with his heroine Bibbo who was one of the 'most important female star of the 1930s and 1940s', following their successful films like Manmohan (1936) and Gramaphone Singer (1938). He worked with acclaimed music directors like Anil Biswas, Khemchand Prakash, Ram Ganguly and Naushad. With composer Naushad, Surendra gave a musical success with the film Anmol Ghadi (1946). Cited as one of the "most popular films of the 1940s" with "evergreen (i.e. classic) hit" songs, it had Surendra singing the famous duet with actress-singer Noor Jehan, "Awaaz De, Kahan Hai" (Call Out To Me, Where Are You?) in rāga Pahādi.
Surendra acted in about 74 films from 1936-1977, nine of which were to be with his mentor Mehboob Khan. Stated to be an "immediate precursor" to Dilip Kumar, Surendra continued to enjoy immense popularity in the 1940s, giving way to character roles with rare singing from the 1950s onwards. His last role as a lead actor was in Ram Bhakt Vibhishan (1958), a devotional film.