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 and one of the greatest film actresses of all time, Patil appeared in over 80 Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam and Kannada 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. She 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), Jait Re Jait (1978), Aakrosh (1980), Chakra (1981), Namak Halaal (1982), Bazaar (1982), Umbartha (1982), Shakti (1982), Arth (1982), Ardh Satya (1983), Mandi (1983), Aaj Ki Awaaz (1984), Chidambaram (1985), Mirch Masala (1985), Amrit (1986) and Waaris (1988).
Patil on a 2013 stamp of India
|Died||13 December 1986 (aged 31)|
|Occupation||Actress, television newscaster|
|Parent(s)||Shivajirao Girdhar Patil|
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 belonged 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 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. 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 the success of this film, Smita and Khanna were paired in successful films like Aakhir Kyon?, Anokha Rishta, Angaarey, Nazrana, Amrit. With the release of Aakhir Kyon? her popularity and her pairing with Khanna were at its peak. The songs "Dushman Na Kare Dost Ne Woh" and "Ek Andhera Lakh Sitare" from Aakhir Kyon? were chartbusters. Each of these films were different and dealt with various social issues. Their performances were critically acclaimed. In 1986, Amrit directed by Mohan Kumar became fifth highest-grossing film of the year. Nazrana, co-starring Sridevi released posthumously and became a box office success and was among the top 10 films of 1987.
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 released after her death in 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
|1977||National Film Awards||Best Actress||Bhumika||Won|
|1978||Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards||Best Actress (Hindi)||Mirch Masala||Won|
|1977||Filmfare Marathi Awards||Best Actress||Jait Re Jait||Won||Marathi film|
|1978||Filmfare Awards||Best Actress||Bhumika||Nominated|
|1984||Best Supporting Actress||Arth||Nominated|
|1985||Best Actress||Aaj Ki Aawaz||Nominated|
|1974||Raja Shiv Chhatrapati||Saibai||Hindi/Marathi|
|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||Saal Solvan Chadya||Pinky||Punjabi film|
|1977||Jait Re Jait||Chindhi||Marathi film|
|1978||Kondura / Anugraham||Parvati||Hindi / Telugu film|
|1980||Sapne Apne Apne|
|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||Bazaar||Najma||Nominated–Filmfare Best Actress Award|
|1982||Badle Ki Aag||Bijli|
|1982||Arth||Kavita Sanyal||Nominated–Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award|
|1982||Umbartha||Sulabha Mahajan||Marathi film, Dubbed as Subah in Hindi|
Marathi Rajya Chitrapat Puraskar for Best Actress
|1982||Dard Ka Rishta||Dr. Anuradha|
|1982||Naseeb Ni Balihari||Gujarati Film|
|1983||Ardh Satya||Jyotsna Gokhale|
|1983||Mandi||Zeenat||Nominated–Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award|
|1984||Sharaabi||Guest Appearance in Song "Jahan Char Yaar Mil Jaye"|
|1984||Hum Do Hamare Do|
|1984||Aaj Ki Aawaz||Rajni Deshmukh||Nominated–Filmfare Best Actress Award|
|1984||Pet Pyaar Aur Paap|
|1984||Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki||Aarti|
|1984||Meraa Dost Meraa Dushman||Lali|
|1984||Kanoon Meri Mutthi Mein|
|1984||Anand Aur Anand||Kiran|
|1985||Jawab||Rajni / Radha Gupta / Fredi Martis / Salma Hussain|
|1985||Ghulami||Sumitra Sultan Singh|
|1985||Meraa Ghar Mere Bachche||Geeta Bhargav|
|1985||Debshishu||Seeta||Posthumous Release Bengali film|
|1986||Kaanch Ki Deewar||Nisha|
|1986||Aap Ke Saath||Ganga|
|1986||Anokha Rishta||Dr. Miss Padma Kapoor|
|1987||Insaniyat Ke Dushman||Lakshmi Nath||Posthumous Release|
|1987||Thikana||Shashi Goel||Posthumous Release|
|1987||Mirch Masala||Sonbai||Posthumous Release|
|1987||Dance Dance||Radha||Posthumous Release|
|1987||Raahee||Rano / Sandhya||Posthumous Release|
|1987||Avam||Dr. Shabnam||Posthumous Release|
|1987||Thikana||Shashi Goel||Posthumous Release|
|1987||Sher Shivaji||Posthumous Release|
|1988||Hum Farishte Nahin||Roma||Posthumous Release|
|1988||Akarshan||Posthumous Release, Special appearance|
|1989||Oonch Neech Beech||Unreleased|
|1989||Galiyon Ke Badshah||Tulsi||Posthumous Release(Final film role)|
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