Cuckoo Moray Wiki, Age, Death, Husband, Family, Biography & More

Cuckoo MorayCuckoo Moray, also known as Cuckoo or Cukoo, was an Anglo-Indian actress and dancer, who was a legendary dancer of the Indian cinema. She is famously called the ‘rubber girl’ of Bollywood, where she established a reputation as the ‘first item girl’ and ‘cabaret queen of the Indian cinema’ around the mid-20th century. She died of cancer on 30 September 1981.


Cuckoo Moray was born in 1928 (age 52 or 53 years; at the time of death) in an Anglo-Indian family. She was fond of dancing since her childhood and aspired to be the top-most dancer in Indian cinema. Since she came from an Anglo-Indian family, she used to dance to English songs; however, she could also gracefully dance to the classic beats of Indian music.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 3″

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Black

Cuckoo Moray


There is not much information about her family.


According to some sources, she had an affair with a Bollywood film director.



Cuckoo introduced cabaret dancing to the Indian cinema and made it an important element of the films of that era. She became popular when big actresses like Nargis, Meena Kumari, Suraiya, and Madhu Bala were the hits. ‘Ek do teen,’ ‘Patli kamar hai,’ and ‘Hum tumhare hain zara, ghar se nikal kar dekh lo’ are her standout performances as a dancer.

Cuckoo Moray in the iconic Raj Kapoor movie song, Ek Do Teen

Cuckoo Moray in the iconic Raj Kapoor movie song, Ek Do Teen

Her screen debut as a dancer was in the film ‘Mujrim’ in 1944. It was ‘Arab Ka Sitara’ in 1946, that made her a hit to the extent that almost every movie of the 1950s used to have at least one cabaret dance no. of Cuckoo. In 1948, she was featured as a dancer in Mehboob Khan’s film ‘Anokhi Ada,’ and later in Andaaz where on meeting Raj Kapoor, she got many RK films like ‘Barsat’ and ‘Awara.’


In various movies, Cuckoo danced only to music like ‘Aan.’

Cuckoo Moray has a few dance numbers with Helen in films like Yahudi (1958), Heera Moti (1958), and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958). Their most iconic dance number together is ‘Hum tumhare hain zara.’

Cuckoo and Helen in the song, Hum Tumhare Hai

Cuckoo and Helen in the song, Hum Tumhare Hai

The film ‘Girls Hostel’ is believed to be her last big hit, and after this, she got only one or two opportunities to work as a chorus dancer. She retired in 1963, her last film being ‘Mujhe Jeene Do.’


Cuckoo worked as an actor in a few films like Andaaz (1949), in which she played a supporting role as Nargis’ friend Sheela, starring Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar.

Cuckoo Moray in the role of Sheela with Nargis in a still from the film Andaaz

Cuckoo Moray in the role of Sheela with Nargis in a still from the film Andaaz

In the film Barsat (1949), she played the role of seductive senorita to Premnath in the song ‘Patli kamar hai.’ In Saqi (1949), she played the role of a courtesan.


Tax Evasion

  • As per the sources, tax evasion was charged against Cuckoo by the Income Tax Department. The maximum of her property was confiscated, which led eventual loss of wealth in her later years. [1]Amar Ujaala

Assets & Properties

She had a bungalow in Mumbai and possessed many jewellery items.


Cuckoo Moray had cancer due to which she died on 30 September 1981 at the age of 53.


  • Cigarette brand: 555


  • Cuckoo was one of the most expensive Bollywood dancers of her era. She used to charge Rs. 6000 per item song, which used to be even costlier than the amount of some of the film’s actors/actresses. This fee was more than famous singers like Lata, Rafi and Mukesh, who used to earn Rs 300-400 per song.
  • She was also a singer. She sang the song ‘Neele Aasmani’ in Guru Dutt’s film ‘Mr. and Mrs. 55’ (1955) and also in the movie Pardes (1950).
  • She was a family friend of Indian dancer and actress Helen and introduced the 13-year-old Helen into films as a chorus dancer.
  • Cuckoo has helped and introduced many aspiring actors/actresses to films, like Pran in the movie Ziddi.
  • Cuckoo was also applauded for her well dressing style.
  • She never took any dancing training.
  • The film ‘Aan’ was her only coloured film as a dancer.
  • She lived an extravagant life. She had three cars out of which one was reserved for her dogs to be taken out for drive and one for her friend Helen. She owned dogs of expensive breeds. She was fond of costly cigarettes and Scotch.
  • Cuckoo remained the best dancer in Hindi cinema before actresses Vyjayanthimala and Helen came to the forefront.
  • At the time of her death, she was broke, penniless, and forgotten. She believed her extravagant lifestyle was the reason for this.


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