Khursheed (1914-2001) was a pioneer actress and singer of the Indian cinema. Her career ran through the 1930s and 1940s. She was born Irshad Begum in the village of Choonian in Lahore, then in British India. Most of her films were released between 1931 and 1942, a period during which she went unnoticed. Khursheed acted in a number of films for Ranjit Movietone and her leading men included K L Saigal, Motilal and Jairaj. She was among the two singing actresses of Hindi film industry who have shared stellar honors with the legendary actor and singer K L Saigal. The other one was Suraiya.
Khursheed started her film career in the silent film Eye For An Eye (1931), the year when the first talkie film of the sub-continent Alamara was also released. Some of her films in 1940s were Musafir and Holi in 1940, Pardesi, Beti and Shaadi in 1941, Tansen and Nurse in 1943. Tansen was a high point in her acting career. She became known both as an actress and a singer and the song ‘Ghata Ghan Ghor Ghor’ became a rage of that time. Her other famous films are Mumtaz Mahal and Shahenshah Babar in 1944, Prabhu Ka Ghar and Moorti in 1945, Aage Badho and Mitti in 1947 and Aap Beetee in 1948.
Her last film in India was Papeeha Re (1948), which was a great hit, prior to her migration to Pakistan, leaving her mark in the Indian film industry. Khursheed migrated to Pakistan after the Partition of India, with her husband and manager Lala Yakub, who was also an occasional actor, where she settled down in Karachi. Later she divorced Yakub and remarried in 1956 to Yusuf Bhaimia, an admirer of her work, entrepreneur in the shipping business, and a philanthropist. After her marriage to Bhaimia, she appeared in few PTV shows. A number of private shows were also held by her admirers and by private institutions. Khursheed died on April 18, 2001.