SHARMILA TAGORE Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Her smile and dimples took the hearts of millions right in her first Hindi film. Sharmila Tagore has been the embodiment of glamour in the Hindi film industry. She was in her teens when Satyajit Ray introduced her in his last film of the Appu triology’ Apur Sansar and then in Devi, one of his best movies, where she plays as an incarnation of goddess Kali, “I did those movies during my holiday’s. My career in films was a kind of chance with pressure, mingled with curiosity” is what she says. She later on went to do his films like Nayak (1966) Aranyer Din Ratre (1970) and Seemabaddha (1971).


Acting was never a difficult task for this multi-talented actress. Her first film Kashmir ki kali in 1964 opposite Shammi Kapoor, by the famous director Shakti Samantha launched her as the hottest and most glamorous actress of her times.


Her style, her sophistication as a educated foreign born Indian girl in her double role in her next film An Evening in Paris justified her being a sex symbol, especially her bikini clad cabaret role in the same film, and, made a great news at the age of high conventionality.


She was also a style setter. Her butterfly knot blouse, her style of making up, long eyelashes, her curvy dresses all became a fashion statement. In the mean time she also appeared on the cover of a magazine in two piece bikini which became the talk of the town. “Looking back, I realize I was very different from the other actresses of my time.


My behavior was grossly misinterpreted. I felt I was making mistakes all the time. I’d wear clothes that were not suitable. Everybody would be wearing a sari and I’d turn up in jeans. I was also accused of being snooty and arrogant, which I was not. I didn’t know that one was expected to lead a certain lifestyle.”


There was a twist in her career when she did Araadhana opposite Rajesh Khanna which was a film that made golden jubilee hit, where she plays the role of a bright and young sporting girl to that of a old mother. Her roles opposite Rajesh khanna became the best-known duo in the industry.


She got married to the former Indian cricket captain, Mansoor Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataud, everybody was sure that their marriage wouldn’t work out but her post marriage performances are the best in her career and her marriage is one of the ever lasting ones. She also converted to Islam, under the name of Ayesha Sultana.


After a short break (after her son Saif Ali Khan’s birth) a series of offers opposite Rajesh Khanna was impossible to resist. That is when she made a come back with lots of offers Her pairing with Rajesh Khanna sparked off great many hits. Amar Prem is the film where we see the famous character of Pushpa, a mute courtesan with whom Rajesh khanna is in love with.


Which is just opposite to a prostitute’s role in Gulzar’s Mausam opposite Sanjiv Kumar where she played double role and won a national award. Besides Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila also made a good pair with hit heroes of yester years Shashi Kapoor with films like Waqt, Aaamne Saamne, Suhana Safar… Sanjeev Kumar in Charitraheen, Mausam, Grihapravesh and Dharmendra in Devar, Anupama, Chupke Chupke and also the superstar Amitabh Bachchan in Faraar, Besharam and Desh Premee but these pairs didn’t make much impact on filmgoers.


She was recently seen in character roles in Mann (1999) and Dhadkan (2000), which was not upto the mark. It is said now, Sharmila is shooting with one-time archrival, Raakhee, for Rituparno Ghosh’s Bengali film Shubho Mahurat.


In an industry where the all heroine’s make a mark Sharmila Tagore with her royal background has a left with a permanent mark with her cute dimples, her styles and most of all the glamour that nobody else has.