indian cinema heritage foundation

Balwant Singh

  • Born: 9 December, 1918 (Pandoga village)
  • Died: 4 December, 1985 (Ludhiana)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi
  • First film: Jeevan Prabhat (1937)

Actor-singer Balwant Singh is memorable for films such as Naukar (1943), Parakh (1944), Dr. Kumar (1944) and Apni Chhaya (1950). In the course of his career, he acted in approximately 18 films, sang 20 songs in 10 films and also wrote six songs in the film Sumitra (1949). Post films, he went on to work for All India Radio for four years. In fact, the signature tune played just before the morning broadcast was his composition for A.I.R. After a long stint spent directing plays and teaching music in Ahmedabad, he eventually moved to Ludhiana.

Balwant Singh was born on 9 December, 1918, in Pandoga village of Hoshiyarpurinto a jahagirdar's family. Training in classical music under Pandit Bhishmadev, he came to Bombay to join Bombay Talkies at the age of 18. He made his debut in playback singing in Jeevan Prabhat (1937). Films that followed such as Nirmala (1938) and Durga (1939) saw him acting as well as singing. Cast in V Shantaram’s Padosi (1941), his songs became popular hits. He featured as hero in several films such as Darpan (1941), Swapna (1942), Malan (1942), Naukar (1943), Paraya Dhan (1943), Ashirwad (1943), Collegian (1944), Bhanwar (1947), Hip Hip Hurray (1948) and Apni Chhaya (1950). His songs with Shanta Hublikar (Malan) and Parul Ghosh and Khan Mastana (Bhanwar) were very popular. He also acted in Nirmala (1938), Vachan (1938) and Kangan (1939).

Post a career in which he acted in approximately 18 films, and having rendered 20 songs in 10 films, Balwant Singh went on to work for All India Radio for four years. This was followed by a stint in which he directed plays and taught music in Ahmedabad. Finally, he moved to Ludhiana.

On the personal front, he married a girl from the royal family of Palanpur, Gujarat. Balwant Singh passed away on 4 December, 1985.