Gohar Kayoum Mamajiwala was an indian singer, actrees, producer and studio owner. She was born into a Bohri family of Bombay. Her family was a rather well off one owing to the success of her father’s business. However, her father’s business almost collapsed and the funds were seriously depleting when a family friend , Mr. Homi Master who was at that time a director for Kohinoor films suggested that Gohar take up acting as a career . It must be kept in mind that Gohar was only sixteen when she was offered her first film. It is said that she was a soft-spoken girl with an innocent beauty at the tender age of sixteen.
She started her career with the film Baap Kamai or Fortune and the Fools (1926) which was directed by Kanjibai Rathor and produced under Kohinoor Films. The film portrayed the story of a rich man’s son who had squandered all of his inherited fortune and was finally able to get back on his feet owing to the support of his wife . Gohar played the role of the wife and the hero was prtryed by Khalil.
An interesting aspect of this film is that in an era where there was more focus on adventure stories or mythologies , a social drama like this one was a completely new entity for the audience. The fact that a film like this was not only able to survive but also become a big hit at it’s time is commendable. It also brings up the success with which Gohar , a new actress, at that time was able to portray the role.
Followed by Baap Kamai, Gohar worked in “Fairy of Ceylon” , a fantasy fairytale adventure directed by Homi Master and produced by Dwarkadas Sampat. The film turned out to be a successful for the studio and an important milestone in hr career.
She went on to portray a diverse range of characters throughout the span of her career. What set her apart from the other actresses was the versitality that she brought in to her work. She portrayed roles varying from those In historical dramas as seen in “Jasma Oden’ to a young doctor in “Educated Wife”. It was her performance in “educated Wife” that brought her to the notice of Chandulal Shah who was then about to start directing “Typist Girl” for Kohinoor Films. He then insisted on having her play a cameo in the film. Following this she was a part of various /Kohinoor films often co-starring opposite Khalil and Raja Sandow.
She was a star under a contract with Kohinoor Films for two years, following which in 1927 rose another milestone of her career. A mutual friend of hers and Chandulal Shah’s , Jagdish Pasta decided to start producing films with their help. The quintet comprising of Jagdish Pasta, Chandulal Shah, Gohar, Raja Sandow and cameraman Pandurang Naik started the Shree Sound studios. They made around ten films as a part of this venture.
In 1929 Gohar and Chandulal Shah decided to to start their own company – Ranjit Film company. The company eventually grew to a stage that led to the acquisition of 4 sound stages. It’s first production titles “Pati Patni” revolved around the theme of husbands going astray.