Ruby Myers also known by her stage name Sulochana which means the one with beautiful eyes, was a famous actress during the early 1920’s. She was a Jewish actress who worked in Indian Cinema during the silent film era, hailing for the Baghdadi Jews community in India. She was born in Pune, Maharashtra. She is one of the rarest actresses on whom the movie had been made on her name which released in 1933. The current generation would not be aware of her but she was one of the game changers during the 1920’s. She started he career with the movie ‘Veer Baal’ in 1925 and gave a series of hits in silent films such as ‘Cinema Queen’ (1925),’ Telephone Girl,’ ‘Typist Girl’ (1926), ‘Wild Cat of Bombay’ (1927), ‘Madhuri’ (1928), ‘Anarkali’ (1928) and ‘Indira B.A.
‘ (1929). Ruby was working as a telephone operator before she was approached by the Kohinoor film company to approach in films. Initially she didn’t accept the offer due to the non-supporting, conservative minds of the Indians but eventually landed up accepting the offers from Bhavani as he was persistent on giving her a role in the movie. She became a star under the guidance of Bhavani who worked in Kohinoor before she went to the Imperial Film Company where she became the highest paid film actress. She was also awarded with the ‘Dada Saheb Phalk’ Award’ due to her contributions in the film in 1973. Ruby was known as the Queen of romance during the silent film era. There were three romantic super hits in 1928 with the director RS Chaudhari that were Madhuri, Anarkali, and Indira B.A.
In fact, she was so widespread that when the film Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated a khadi exhibition was showed, alongside a hugely popular dance of Sulochana’s from Madhuri was added with sound effects. With the coming of sound, she found a lull in her career and had to learn Hindustani. After a year’s time Sulochana was back with a bang. She fell in love with one of the biggest heroes of the silent film era named D. Billimoria. She worked with him from 1933-1939. They were a very popular pair at that time.
Unfortunately, once their love story ended so did their career. It became harder for her to find main roles in films after that. She acted a supporting role in many films like ‘Anarkali.
‘ Ruby Meyers at the age of 75, died in August 2005 following an extended illness. She has played a very important role during the silent film era in Indian Cinema. She led a very luxurious life at a very young age encouraging women during the 1920’s to participate in such activities while the society was still apprehensive of it. Her films tended to project an overall atmosphere of glamour and an aura of the fashionable, both of which conveyed a sense of the daring and of the experimental. Dress and on-screen lifestyle fed off each other to underscore the persona of a modern working woman fully in charge of her life and at ease in the public sphere.
In fact, in Bombai ki Billi (a remake of her own silent film Wildcat of Bombay), she performed eight roles, including male characters. Her role in the film is an ambiguous one. Ruby was easily forgotten in the upcoming age of the film industry but will still remain as one of the famous and inspiring actresses of the 1900’s.