Fearless Nadia was born on January 8, 1908, to a Scottish father Herbert Evans and a Greek mother Margret in Perth, Western Australia. Her birth name was Mary Ann Evans.
Google India is paying a tribute to Mary Evans Wadia on her 110th birth anniversary with a special Doodle. Wadia, India’s first stuntwoman and late actress, was also known as ‘Fearless Nadia’.
She was born on January 8, 1908, to a Scottish father Herbert Evans and a Greek mother Margret in Perth, Western Australia. Her birth name was Mary Ann Evans.
Nadia came to Bombay at the age of five when her father was transferred to India but had to move to Peshawar after the untimely death of her father. She acquired skills such as horse riding, hunting, fishing, and shooting during her stay there.
In 1928, she moved back to Bombay with her family and started working as a salesgirl in the Army & Navy Store. She then came in contact with Russian dancer, Madame Astrova, who runs a ballet dance school who recognised Mary’s natural talent and selected her to be a part of her travelling troupe.
Her talent was first spotted by Eruch Kanga, a Lahore-based cinema owner and recommended her to JBH Wadia and Homi Wadia, the brothers who owned the production called Wadia Movietone.
They asked her to learn Hindi and gave her a small role in their movies called Desh Deepak and Noor-e-Yaman which were well received by the audience.
The brothers launched her as a lead heroine in 1935 film Hunterwali. She was given the nickname ‘Fearless Nadia’ after the movie by the future husband, Homi Wadia. The film proved to be a huge success and she later went on to act in a number of stunt movies.
The character ‘Jaanbaaz Julia’ from the movie Rangoon featuring Kangana Ranaut in lead role is inspired by the life of Fearless Nadia.She married Homi Wadia in 1961 and became Nadia Wadia.