Actress Tabassum, First TV Talk Show Host of India, Passes Away Due Cardiac Arrest

Actress, talk show host and YouTuber Tabassum Govil has passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest. She had started her career as child actor Baby Tabassum in 1947, and later became the host of the first talk show of Indian television, Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan. It ran on Doordarshan from 1972 to 1993, wherein she interviewed film and TV personalities.

Bollywood paparazzo Viral Bhayani posted the news of her death on Instagram, saying the actress passed away on November 18 and her prayer meet will be held on November 21. “Our lovable actress #tabassumgovil passed away last evening due to cardiac arrest. She left us with some amazing memories with her show Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan. The prayer meeting will be held on 21st Nov at Arya Samaj at Linking Road, Santacruz. Om Shanti,” he wrote.

Tabassum made her film debut as a child actor with Nargis (1947) followed by Mera Suhaag (1947), Manjhdhar (1947) and Bari Behen (1949). She appeared in Baiju Bawra (1952) in the childhood role of Meena Kumari.

She hosted the first talk show of Indian television, Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan, which ran for 21 years from 1972 to 1993. Produced by Doordarshan Kendra Mumbai, it was based on interviews of film celebrities and became immensely popular. This also led to a career as stage compere. She was also the editor of Grihalaxmi, a Hindi women’s magazine for 15 years and wrote many joke books.

She continued to interview celebrities on her YouTube channel, Tabassum Talkies. She was also fairly active on Twitter. In her last post on November 17, she praised Karan Johar and Twinkle Khanna for the latter’s chat show The Icons on YouTube.

In April 2021, she was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai for Covid-19 related complications. She later tested negative for the virus and went back home, according to her son, Hoshang Govil. There were some rumours suggesting that she was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but her son has dismissed them.

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