The entire Kathak world is mourning the loss of Sitara Devi. From the accounts I have read about her, she was a dynamic and charismatic personality. A lesser known fact was that she was a Bollywood star and had acted in many movies.
In his book “Stars from Another Sky” Saadat Hasan Manto says
Over the years, I have known and analysed many women but the more I learnt about her, the closer I came to the view that she was not a woman but a typhoon which did not blow in and out as typhoons do, but which retained its force and fury without showing any signs of weakening. She may have been a woman of average build but she was stronger than most people I have known. Had another woman suffered as many illnesses as she did, she could not have survived. Sitara was made of a different clay and was both brave and strong-minded. She never missed her morning dance exercises and spent at least an hour dancing as if there was no tomorrow.
Here are some (not exhaustive) vintage photos/stills and posters of Sitara Devi as a tribute to her that came in the Filmindia magazine in the late 30’s and early 40’s. Click on the images to see full-size.
Prithvi Putra (1938)
Professor Woman MSc (1938)
India To-Day (1940)
Dukh Sukh (1942)