Pamela Chopra (1938-2023) was an Indian playback singer and film writer and producer. She was the wife of veteran Bollywood film director Yash Chopra. She was often credited as the writer, costume designer, and singer in Yash Chopra’s films. She died due to pneumonia at Lilavati Hospital And Research Centre, Mumbai on 20 April 2023.
Pamela Singh The Times of India was born in 1948 (age 74-75 years; at the time of death). She belonged to a typical Indian joint family and spent her early childhood with a lot of cousins. As her father was a navy officer, she grew up studying in different army schools due to her father’s postings in several remote locations all over India.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
She belonged to a Punjabi family.
Parents & Siblings
Pamela Chopra’s father, Mohinder Singh, was an officer in the Indian Navy. She had two younger brothers.
Husband & Children
In 1970, she got married to the veteran Bollywood film director Yash Chopra (deceased).
Her son (born in 1971) Aditya Chopra is also a film director, producer, and writer. Aditya is the chairman of the entertainment company Yash Raj Films (YRF), which was founded by his father. Her son Uday Chopra (born in 1973) is an actor and producer who is known for starring in the Bollywood films Mohabbatein (2000) and Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (2002) and the sequels of Dhoom.
Indian actress a talk show host Simi Garewal is the first cousin of Pamela Chopra. Simi’s mother, Darshi, and Pamela’s father, Mohinder Singh, were siblings.
Pamela Chopra’s brother-in-law BR Chopra (Yash Chopra’s elder brother) was also a celebrated film director and producer in Bollywood. Her son Aditya is married to the Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji.
Indian filmmaker Karan Johar‘s mother, Hiroo Johar, is the sister of Yash Chopra.
Before marriage, she worked with British Airways. After her marriage to Yash, she dabbled in several fields connected to films for the family’s production banner Yash Raj Films (YRF). Pamela Chopra voiced various songs for Yash Chopra’s films, starting from his 1976 film Kabhi Kabhie to the 2002 film Mujhse Dosti Karoge. One of her most famous songs was Main Sasural Nahi Jaungi from Chandni (1989) and Ghar Aaja Pardesi from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) for which she shared credit with Manpreet Kaur. She also wrote the story of the film Kabhie Kabhie (1976), which went on to become one of Yash Chopra’s biggest hits. Although her name appeared in the capacity of ‘producer’ in the credits of various films made by her husband, she independently produced the film Aaina (1993).
She was credited as the co-writer for the 1997 blockbuster film Dil To Pagal Hai, along with Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra, and Tanuja Chandra. She made a short appearance on the silver screen, along with Yash Chopra, for the opening song Ek Duje Ke Vaaste of Dil To Pagal Hai (1997). She was also credited with the story of the Bollywood film Lamhe (1991) inspired by the romantic novel Daddy-Long-Legs (1912 ). She worked as a costume manager for the films Noorie (1979), Silsila (1981), and Sawaal (1982). She worked as an associate producer for the films Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Mohabbatein (2000), Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (2002), and Veer-Zaara (2004).
On 20 April 2023, Pamela Chopra died due to pneumonia at Lilavati Hospital And Research Centre in Mumbai. Her cremation took place on the same day in Mumbai. She was admitted to the hospital 15 days before due to age-related issues and was put on a ventilator when her health deteriorated. Hindustan Times
- Actor: Raj Kapoor
- Film: Sangam (1964)
- She was fond of music and dance since childhood and also learnt Bharatnatyam when she was young. In an interview, while recalling her childhood with Pamela, Simi Garewal said,
She loved to sing Punjabi songs and would teach me how to sing with the right accent. Whatever Punjabi songs I know, I owe it to her. Pam had also learnt bharatnatyam and I recall as youngsters during holiday time we would be dancing till 2 am. She would keep on saying tha thei thei thath till I would get the steps right.”
Recognising Pamela’s passion for music, Yash Chopra would ensure that his wife was a part of the music sittings of his film. Talking about the same in the docuseries The Romantics (2023), Pamela said,
Music is my passion. Yash knew that and he would invite me to attend the music sittings. Slowly, I became a part of that group”.
- Pamela and Yash first saw each other during a cricket match in Delhi. However, they didn’t talk or meet there. Talking about the same, in an interview, she said,
Oh, yes. I first saw him at this star cricket show in Delhi. Yash was seated just a few rows in front of us. My cousins pointed him out to me. Yash turned around and saw us. My cousins were very pretty and you know, he had an eye for pretty girls, so he kept turning around throughout the match. But we did not meet or talk to each other.”
- The two first met when Pamela’s cousin Simi Garewal introduced them at the wedding of Yash’s niece in Mumbai. While talking about their first meeting in an interview, Pamela said,
I think the first time I spoke to him was at Yashji’s niece’s wedding sangeet. I was in Mumbai for my holidays and staying at Simi’s home. They were invited and took me along. They said I would be a great asset as I sing Punjabi songs. I met him very briefly at first. He was too busy trying to convince Hema Malini to do a film. He and Hema were on the balcony the whole time. He came in only when the singing started. I was singing. He came up to me and complimented me on my singing. That was it.”
- They had a traditional Indian marriage arranged by their families via a common friend, the mother of filmmaker Romesh Sharma. Apparently, Romesh’s mother saw Pamela at a wedding in Delhi. Thereafter, she called BR Chopra’s wife and suggested that Pamela would make an ideal bride for BR’s younger brother Yash.
- She was also referred to as Pam Chopra The Indian Express and fondly called Pam Aunty by many. The Economic Times
- She occasionally enjoyed alcoholic beverages. While talking about Pamela and Yash, in an interview, Sharmila Tagore said,
Yash and Pam were so much in love. I remember once I was travelling back from London, they were in seats in front of me. As you know, Yash never drank, but they were sharing glasses of champagne, one each. It was such a sweet moment, toasting one another, the companionship, the mutual appreciation.” The Times of India