Purnima was born on 2nd March 1932 in Mumbai.Her mother hailed from a Muslim Family of Lucknow and father Sheshadri Aiyangar was a Tamil Brahmin and an accountant by profession.
Her elder sister 'Shirin' was also a film actress who worked in films like "Bambai ki Saithan,Passing Show,Khwab Ki Duniya,State Express,Bijlee" etc.
Purnima's real name was 'Meher Bano' and while she was still a school student, their neighbour Raman B. Desai who was a film director offered her Radha's role in his proposed Gujarati film 'Radheshyam'.Her sister changed her name as 'Purnima' during this occasion.Radheshyam was released in 1948 when she was 16 years old but prior to that itself in 1947 her two films, 'Manager' and 'Tum aur Mein' were released.
She said in interviews that Kedar Sharma's 'Thes' which was released in 1948 was her first film.Bharat Bhushan and Shashikala were the main leads of 'Thes'.
In 1948 her Gujarati film 'Radheshyam' was released and yet another Gujarati film 'Saavati Maa' was also released.She acted as second lead of two films 'Narad Muni, and Patanga' also in 1948.Narad Muni was Raman B. Desai's bilingual film, in Gujarati and Hindi.
'Patanga' was a very successful film which contained beautiful songs composed by C.Ramachandra out of which two songs were filmed on Purnima.
She got many offers from producers of big banners afterwards and acted as heroine or second lead in about 20 successful films within five years.
Amaya Chakravarty's 'Gauna'(50),Kedar Sharma's 'Jogan',Badal(51),Bebus(50),H.S.Rawal's 'Sagai'(51),Shagoofa(53),O.P.Dutta's 'Parvat,Guru Dutt's 'Jaal',B.R.Chopra's 'Sholay(53),Ramanand Sagar's 'Mehman'(55),Bhagwan Das Varma's 'Aurat'(53), Pooja (54) are some of the successful films she acted in those period.
She married Producer/Director Bhagwan Das Varma in 1954 and was away from acting field for three years.
She came back with the film 'Chamak Chandni' in 57.Due to some financial problems she accepted all the offers came across.She acted in films like 'Kangan,Madam XYZ, Jawani Ki Hawa,College Girl,Gambler,Post Box 999' etc in main role or as second lead during that period.
Afterwards she acted in character roles in films like 'Badtameez,Humjoli,Mera Gaon Mera Desh,Bairaag,Zanjeer,Khoon Pasina,Inqulaab' etc and quit from acting field after the 1986 film 'Sada Suhagen' in which Jeetendra,Rekha and Govinda were in the lead roles.
Poornima acted in about 200 films during her acting career of 38 years.Her husband Bhagwan Das Verma who was a Producer/Director made films under the banner 'Varma Films'.He passed away in 1962.
Poornima passed away on 14 August 2013 at Mumbai.
Tum Aur Mein
Post Box 999
Mera Gaon Mera Desh
Mein Tulsi Tera Angan Ki