Today is the birthday of Shabana Azmi
, the impressive film, theater, television actress and social activist.
She was born in Azamgarh, UP, to a poet father and a stage actress mother. Her parents were members of the Communist Party of India and her brother was a cinematographer. She graduated from Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and made her Bollywood debut in Shyam Benegal's Ankur in 1974 as Lakshmi. The film was a huge critical success and she won the National Award for Best Actress. She continued to showcase her talent in movies like Arth, Khandar, Paar, and Godmother all of which won her the National Award bringing her tally of the prestigious awards to a whopping five. Her other remarkable performances include Nishanth, Junoon, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Sparsh, Amar Akbar Anthony and Masoom. Her success is not limited to Bollywood and she has even starred in many Hollywood productions such as Madam Sousatzka, Son of the Pink Panther, In Custody and City of Joy. She has also been seen on the small screen in a soap called Anupama, and has acted in stage plays like The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Tumhari Amrita, A Doll's House, etc.
Shabana has acted in experimental and parallel cinema and left her mark in Fire. She was also supposed to star in Water and had even shaved her head for the role, but the movie was shelved due to political reasons and Seema Biswas replaced her five years later.
Shabana has the honor of having received the most number of National Award for Best Actress and the Filmfare Award four times. She has won a few international awards as well, including the Silver Hugo, in North Korea, Taormina Arte Festival, in LA Outfest. She has been awarded the Padma Shri in 1988, and the Padma Bhushan in 2012. Finally, adding she has been conferred with Honorary Doctorates by Leeds Metropolitan University in 2007, by Jamia Mila in 2008.
Not only is she a fabulously talented actress, but is an even better human being. She is a very prominent social activist, and particularly supports the causes of child survival, the fight against AIDS, and injustice in real life. She even undertook a four day march for communal harmony from Delhi to Meerut. She is an active member of the National Integration Council and the National AIDS Commission Shabana is also a Goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund, a member of the Rajya Sabha and is married to Javed Akhtar
We, at BollyCurry, would like to wish her a very happy birthday and a much more productive life!
Editor(s): Vibha & Gunia