Bengali film icons Supriya Devi and Sabitri Chatterjee, Bollywood's "Ooh la la" girl Vidya Balan, veteran actor Paresh Rawal, filmmaker Santosh Sivan, animation veteran Ram Mohan and writer Sooni Taraporevala have been named for the Padma Shri awards announced on the eve of the 65th Republic Day.
Vidya has come a long way from being a bespectacled character on TV show "Hum Paanch" to being a National award-winning actress and defying her fashion critics time and again with her acting skills. A versatile talent, she has delivered impeccable and power-packed performances in films like "The Dirty Picture" and "Kahaani".
A theatre and film veteran, Paresh Rawal started his tryst with showbiz in 1984. He has essayed serious, villainous and comical roles with a rare ease and finesse. His performance in the 2012 film "OMG! Oh My God" was widely lauded.
From West Bengal, which has a pool of acting talent, veteran actresses Supriya Devi and Sabitri Chatterjee, both of whom have a vast filmography spread over five long decades, have been named for the coveted title.
Ram Mohan, the doyen of the Indian animation industry, with a career spanning more than 50 years, runs Graphiti Studio at Mumbai. He also runs an animation school there.
Among the awardees this year is also Santosh Sivan, a widely acclaimed filmmaker, whose National Award-winning films include "Halo", "Terrorist", "Malli" and "Navarasa".
There is also Taraporevala, who has penned scripts like "Salaam Bombay!", "Mississippi Masala" and "The Namesake", and has directed "Little Zizou".