Tuntun was Hindi cinema’s first-ever comedienne but her journey with cinema didn’t quite start with acting.
Born in a small town in Uttar Pradesh, Uma Devi, fled from her home at an early age and reached Bombay. As luck would have it she met the legendary Naushad saheb who was quite amused by her. Upon asking Uma on her capabilities she responded that she could sing a bit. Naushad Saheb observed potential in her singing and decided to mentor her.
In 1947, A.R. Kardar, was in process of directing “Dard” and Naushad Saheb recommended Uma for playback singing. She sang three songs in the film of which one was along side Suriyya. Uma received a lot appreciation and more songs were awarded to her. She became more acclaimed after singing five songs in Gemini’s “Chandralekha” directed by S.S. Vasan.
Uma Devi was a successful singer of her times but when new talent entered the Industry, Naushad saheb suggested that she focus on acting. Uma debuted in S.U. Sunny’s movie “Babul” in 1950 starring Dilip Kumar, Nargis, Munawar Sultana.
Dilip Kumar suggested that Uma Devi be rechristened as Tuntun as during the shoot of the movie, they both fall on a “Charpai” creating a hilariousness moment on screen.