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Dev Anand proposed to her in 1950, during the shooting of the film Afsar, yet she did not marry him because of her family's resistance. She remained a lifelong spinster.) Hindi/Hindustani film actress and playback singer in Bollywood from the 1940s to the early 1960s, who remained unmarried throughout her life, after her love affair with actor Dev Anand was aborted by her maternal grandmother.She was the most popular singing star of the Indian sub-continent of her generation.(1) Gold Medal for film Kajal(1948) (2) President's Gold Medal for film Mirza Ghalib (1955) (3) Screen Videocon Lifetime Achievement Award (1996) (4) Urdu Academy (Delhi) and Sahitya Academy Award (1998) for perpetuating Mirza Ghalibs memory (5) Bimal Roy Memorial Trophy (1999) (6) Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2003) (7) Voted as the Best on screen beauty with the most ethnic look in 100 years sponsored by the Indian Film Academy (2013) (posthumously) (8) 'Suraiya' stamp of Rs.5/- issued by India Post in her name (2013) (posthumously)Love interest - Dev Anand (They fell in love in 1948, while shooting for the film Vidya.For a song, she commanded rupees 1000, while Lata Mangeshkar was getting rupees 100–200 per song. She had a natural talent for singing, acting and dancing from childhood.She received basic training in music when her mother used to take her to a Hindustani music teacher or 'masterji' for training.From 1948 to 1951, she became the singing superstar of Bollywood, earning more for her performances than each the performing actors of the times, male or female, including Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Madhubala.
Raj Kapoor and Madan Mohan both used to sing with her on A. R.(All India Radio), when she was a six-year-old girl. The film was directed by Jaddan Bai, mother of Nargis, with Jaddan Bai herself as heroine, and the music and songs were also written and sung by her.
As an adult, Suraiya initially played as a heroine in K.
Asif's Phool as Shama, with Prithviraj Kapoor as hero, and as a co-star in Mehboob Khan's Anmol Ghadi (1946), (which was written by Aghajani Kashmeri, also known as Kashmiri) and Dard (1947).
She acted as a heroine in the film Tadbir (1945) on the recommendation of K. Saigal, who liked her voice during a rehearsal of a song for Jayant Desai's film Samrat Chandragupt (1945) in which she was acting. Saigal in Omar Khayyam (1946) and Parwana (1947 film).
He recommended her to Desai, opposite himself in Tadbir (1945). Although by then she had a few hit songs, the four solo songs which she sang in Parwana for music director Khwaja Khurshid Anwar made her a genuine singer-film star.