Smita Patil (17 October 1955 – 13 December 1986) was an Indian actress of film, television and theatre. Regarded among the finest stage and film actresses of her times, Patil appeared in over 80 Hindi, Marathi and Malayalam films in a career that spanned just over a decade. During her career, she received two National Film Awards and a Filmfare Award. She was the recipient of the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour in 1985.
Patil on a 2013 stamp of India
|Died||13 December 1986 (aged 31)|
|Cause of death||Childbirth complications|
|Occupation||Actress, television newscaster|
|Parent(s)||Shivajirao Girdhar Patil|
Patil graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune and made her film debut with Shyam Benegal's Charandas Chor (1975). She became one of the leading actresses of parallel cinema, a New Wave movement in India cinema, though she also appeared in several mainstream movies throughout her career. Her performances were often acclaimed, and her most notable roles include Manthan (1977), Bhumika (1977), Aakrosh (1980), Chakra (1981), Chidambaram (1985) and Mirch Masala (1985).
Apart from acting, Patil was an active feminist and a member of the Women's Centre in Mumbai. She was deeply committed to the advancement of women's issues, and gave her endorsement to films which sought to explore the role of women in traditional Indian society, their sexuality, and the changes facing the middle-class woman in an urban milieu.
Patil was married to actor Raj Babbar. She died on 13 December 1986 at the age of 31 due to childbirth complications. Over ten of her films were released after her death. Her son Prateik Babbar is a film actor who made his debut in 2008.
Smita Patil was born in Pune to a Maharashtrian politician, Shivajirao Girdhar Patil and social worker mother Vidyatai Patil, from Shirpur town (Village-Bhatpure District-Dhule) of Khandesh province of Maharashtra State. She studied at Renuka Swaroop Memorial high school in Pune.
Smita Patil belongs to a generation of actresses, including Shabana Azmi and, like her, who are strongly associated with the radically political cinema of the 1970s. Her work includes films with parallel cinema directors like Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Satyajit Ray (Sadgati, 1981), G. Aravindan (Chidambaram, 1985) and Mrinal Sen as well as forays into the more commercial Hindi film industry cinema of Mumbai. Patil was working as a TV news reader and was also an accomplished photographer when Shyam Benegal discovered her.
She was an alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. In 1977, she won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in the Hindi film Bhumika. In her films, Patil's character often represents an intelligent femininity that stands in relief against the conventional background of male-dominated cinema (films like Bhumika, Umbartha and Bazaar). Smita Patil was a women's rights activist and became famous for her roles in films that portrayed women as capable and empowered.
I remained committed to small cinema for about five years ... I refused all commercial offers. Around 1977–78, the small cinema movement started picking up and they needed names. I was unceremoniously dropped from a couple of projects. This was a very subtle thing but it affected me a lot. I told myself that here I am and I have not bothered to make money. I have turned down big, commercial offers because of my commitment to small cinema and what have I got in return? If they want names I'll make a name for myself. So I started and took whatever came my way.
In time she was accepted by commercial filmmakers and from Raj Khosla and Ramesh Sippy to B.R. Chopra, they all agreed that she was "excellent." Her fans, too, grew with her new-found stardom. Patil's glamorous roles in her more commercial films — such as Shakti and Namak Halaal — revealed the permeable boundaries between "serious" cinema and "Hindi cinema" masala in the Hindi film industry. In 1984, she served as a jury member of the Montreal World Film Festival.
Director C. V. Sridhar was the first one to pair her opposite Rajesh Khanna in Dil-E-Nadan in 1982. After success of this film, Smita and Khanna were paired in successful films like Aakhir Kyon?, Anokha Rishta, Angaarey, Nazrana, Amrit. The songs "Dushman Na Kare Dost Ne Woh" and "Ek Andhera Lakh Sitare" from the J.P. Omprakash directorial venture Aakhir Kyun became popular. With the release of Aakhir Kyon? her popularity and her pairing with Khanna were at its peak. The film Nazrana, also co-starring Sridevi released posthumously after her death and became box office success with the film being among the top 10 highest-grossing films of the year 1987. Each of her films with Khanna were different and spoke about various social issues. In the film Awam, Smita was paired opposite Raj Babbar in supporting role whereas Khanna was in the lead role. In the year 1987, Amrit directed by Mohan Kumar became fifth highest-grossing film of the year. Her performance along-with that of Khanna were critically acclaimed in case of the films Anokha Rishta, Amrit, Aakhir Kyon?.
Her association with artistic cinema remained strong, however. Her arguably greatest (and unfortunately final) role came when Smita re-teamed with Ketan Mehta to play the feisty and fiery Sonbai in Mirch Masala (1987). Smita won raves for playing a spirited spice-factory worker who stands up against a lecherous petty official. On the centenary of Indian cinema in April 2013, Forbes included her performance in the film on its list, "25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema".
During the making of Chakra, Smita Patil used to visit the slums in Bombay. It culminated in another National Award.
When she became romantically involved with actor Raj Babbar, Patil drew severe criticism from her fans and the media, clouding her personal life and throwing her into the eye of a media storm. Raj Babbar left his wife Nadira Babbar to marry Patil.
Death and legacyEdit
In 2011, Rediff.com listed her as the second-greatest Indian actress of all time, behind Nargis. According to Suresh Kohli from Deccan Herald, "Smita Patil was, perhaps, the most accomplished actress of Hindi cinema. Her oeuvre is outstanding, investing almost every portrayal with a powerhouse realistic performance."
Awards and nominationsEdit
|National Film Award for Best Actress||Bhumika||Usha/Urvashi Dalvi||1977||Won|
|Filmfare Award for Best Actress||Jait Re Jait||Chindhi||1978||Nominated||Marathi film|
|Umbartha||Sulabha Mahajan||1981||Nominated||Marathi film|
|Aaj Ki Aawaz||Rajni Deshmukh||1985||Nominated|
|Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress||Arth||Kavita Sanyal||1984||Nominated|
|Padma Shri Award, Civilian Award by Government of India||1985|
|1974||Mere Saath Chal||Geeta|
|1975||Nishant (Night's End)||Rukumani|
|1975||Charandas Chor||Rajkumari (Princess)|
|1977||Bhumika||Usha/Urvashi Dalvi||National Film Award for Best Actress|
Nominated–Filmfare Best Actress Award
|1977||Jait Re Jait||Chindhi||Marathi film|
|1977||Saal Solvan Chadya||Pinky||Punjabi film|
|1978||Kondura / Anugraham||Parvati||Hindi / Telugu film|
|1980||Bhavani Bhavai||Ujaan||Gujarati Film|
|1980||Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai||Joan|
|1981||Chakra||Amma||National Film Award for Best Actress|
Filmfare Best Actress Award
|1982||Arth||Kavita Sanyal||Nominated–Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award|
|1982||Badle Ki Aag||Bijli|
|1982||Bazaar||Najma||Nominated–Filmfare Best Actress Award|
|1982||Dard Ka Rishta||Dr. Anuradha|
|1982||Naseeb Ni Balihari||Gujarati Film|
|1982||Umbartha||Sulabha Mahajan||Marathi film, Dubbed as Subah in Hindi|
Marathi Rajya Chitrapat Puraskar for Best Actress
|1983||Mandi||Zeenat||Nominated–Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award|
|1983||Ardh Satya||Jyotsna Gokhale|
|1984||Aaj Ki Aawaz||Rajni Deshmukh||Nominated–Filmfare Best Actress Award|
|1984||Pet Pyaar Aur Paap|
|1984||Meraa Dost Meraa Dushman||Lali|
|1984||Kanoon Meri Mutthi Mein|
|1984||Anand Aur Anand||Kiran|
|1984||Hum Do Hamare Do|
|1984||Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki||Aarti|
|1985||Ghulami||Sumitra Sultan Singh|
|1985||Meraa Ghar Mere Bachche||Geeta Bhargav|
|1985||Jawab||Rajni / Radha Gupta / Fredi Martis / Salma Hussain|
|1986||Aap Ke Saath||Ganga|
|1986||Kaanch Ki Deewar||Nisha|
|1986||Anokha Rishta||Dr. Pramila|
|1987||Insaniyat Ke Dushman||Lakshmi Nath|
|1988||Hum Farishte Nahin||Roma|
|1989||Galiyon Ke Badshah||Tulsi|
- On the occasion of 100 years of the Indian cinema, a postage stamp bearing her face was released by India Post to honour her on 3 May 2013.
- Priyadarshni Academy started with Smita Patil Global Awards as a tribute to the veteran actress.
- Subodh Kapoor (1 July 2002). The Indian Encyclopaedia: Biographical, Historical, Religious, Administrative, Ethnological, Commercial and Scientific. Indo-Pak War-Kamla Karri. Cosmo Publication. pp. 6699–. ISBN 978-81-7755-257-7. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- D. Sharma (1 January 2004). Mass Communication : Theory & Practice In The 21St Century. Deep & Deep Publications. p. 298. ISBN 978-81-7629-507-9. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Annette Kuhn (1990). The Women's Companion to International Film. University of California Press. pp. 310–. ISBN 978-0-520-08879-5. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Andrew Robinson (1989). Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye. University of California Press. pp. 258–. ISBN 978-0-520-06946-6. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Lahiri, Monojit (20 December 2002). "A blazing talent remembered". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterji, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 601. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
- Si. Vi Subbārāvu (2007). Hyderabad: the social context of industrialisation, 1875–1948. Orient Blackswan. pp. 82–. ISBN 978-81-250-1608-3. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- William van der Heide (12 June 2006). Bollywood Babylon: Interviews with Shyam Benegal. Berg. pp. 208–. ISBN 978-1-84520-405-1. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Hena Naqvi (1 January 2007). Journalism And Mass Communication. Upkar Prakashan. pp. 202–. ISBN 978-81-7482-108-9. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Reminiscing About Smita Patil"
- Frontpage – MANAS. Sscnet.ucla.edu. Retrieved on 8 November 2018.
- Gulazāra; Govind Nihalani; Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema: An Enchanting Close-Up of India's Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. pp. 625–. ISBN 978-81-7991-066-5. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Indian Cinema – Smita Patil", SSCnet UCLA
- "Awards of the Montreal World Film Festival – 1984". Montreal World Film Festival. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Prasad, Shishir; Ramnath, N. S.; Mitter, Sohini (27 April 2013). "25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema". Forbes. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- "'She was a great human being'". Rediff.com. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
- "'25 years on, a phenomenon named Smita Patil '". ibnlive.in.com. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
- Ram Awatar Agnihotri (1998). Film stars in Indian politics. Commonwealth Publishers. ISBN 978-81-7169-506-5. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Memories from Mrinal da", Rediff.com, 2 February 2005.
- Sen, Raja (29 June 2011). "Readers Choice: The Greatest Actresses of all time". Rediff.com. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Kohli, Suresh (22 September 2011). "Immortal performances". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- staff. "Smita Patil Documentary and Short Film Festival". Time Out. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- 7th Smita Patil international film festival to be held in Pune on December 8-9
- Every life matters, says the man who has saved scores
- Salvage army
- Cop documents work of Pune’s unsung hero
- A Documentary On An 81 Year Old Woman Porter Is Throwing Its Weight At International Film Festivals
- Anwar Huda (1 January 2004). Art And Science Of Cinema. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 52–. ISBN 978-81-269-0348-1. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Debashishu Archived 17 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine