Suraiya Biography

Born On: June 15, 1929
Born In: Gujranwala, British India
Died On: January 31, 2004
Career: Singer, Actress
Nationality: Indian

No formal training in singing. No certified acting classes. Yet she ruled the silver screen for over two decades. One of the most sensational actresses during the golden eras, Suraiya is remembered for her drop-dead beautiful looks and melodious voice. A career that began from hosting a children's program on All India Radio rose dramatically as she conquered the world of Indian cinema for both singing and acting. Such was the impact of this classic almond-eyed beauty that caught hold of the attention of every onlooker that crossed her. Interestingly, there were times when the Mumbai roads were jammed up not due to a long line of cars, but because people were trying to catch a glimpse of the charismatic actress named Suraiya. Though she chose to keep a low profile following her retirement from singing and acting, her effervescent charm has kept the flame alive until present.

Early Life
Suraiya was born as Suraiya Jamaal Sheikh in Gujranwala, Punjab (now in Pakistan) as the only child of her parents. Her father had a small furniture shop in Gujranwala and later shifted to Lahore. This is why she is assumed to be of Lahore origin by most. She was later taken to Bombay (present day Mumbai) by her mother, maternal uncle, and maternal grandmother much against her father's will. This transfer made her entry to Bollywood possible. While in Bombay, she received her formal education from J.B. Petit High School for Girls, in Fort. She was taught religious teachings in Persian back at home. Suraiya did not receive any training in singing or acting, yet she managed to make it big in the Indian film industry and carved a niche for herself and the generation of that era.

Singing Career
With the help of her maternal uncle, Zahoor (a popular villain of that epoch), Suraiya grabbed a role of a child artist in "Usne Kya Socha" in 1937. While accompanying her uncle to Mohan Studios one day in 1941 to watch the shooting of film "Taj Mahal" directed by Nanubhai Vakil, she was offered the role of young Mumtaz Mahal in the same movie. This proved to be another leap towards hitting the chartbusters. She used to sing for a children's program on All India Radio where she was once heard over by legendary music director Naushad. He instantly offered her to sing for Kardar's film "Sharda" in 1942, showcased on an elderly heroine, Mehtaab. Since she was barely in her teens, she had to stand on a stool to reach the mike and sing the song "Panchi ja". Suraiya was later launched in the 1943 "Hamari Baat" as a singing star. In the years following, she delivered some smash-away hits, but the four solo songs of "Parwana" film made her a star overnight. The composer of these songs Khawaja Khurshid Anwar was her favorite music director, but she went on to sing only 13 songs for him from 1943 through 1949.

Acting Career
After portraying a number of child artist roles, Suraiya was offered secondary roles as an adult. She starred in K. Asif's "Phool", Mehboob Khan's "Anmol Ghadi" (written by Aghajani Kashmeri), and "Dard". But it was "Tadbir" in 1945 that gave her a major break as the leading protagonist, at the recommendation of K.L. Saigal. Later, she starred in "Omar Khayyam" and "Parwana" with K.L. Saigal. But with the migration of ruling actresses Noor Jehan and Khursheed Bano to Pakistan post independence, Suraiya got an opportunity to flaunt her talent and rule the silver screen. With three hits in hand, "Pyar Ki Jeet", "Badi Behen", and "Dillagi", Suraiya became the highest paid actress of that time. Further, she even had an edge over Kamini Kaushal and Nargis simply because she could sing her own songs. However, the success was short-lived as after a while, her movies starting bombing on the box office in the 1950s. With "Waaris" and "Mirza Ghalib", she made her comeback in 1954. The 1963 realeased "Rustom Sohrab" was Suraiya's last film as an actor.

Personal Life
Suraiya has been renowned for being romantically involved with the heartthrob of yesteryears, Dev Anand. The couple starred in six films over a period of three years from 1948 to 1951, "Vidya", "Jeet", "Shayar", "Afsar", "Nili", and "Do Sitare". It so happened on the shoot of one such film that the boat carrying Suraiya capsized. Dev Anand rescued her. Bowled over by his brave act, Suraiya fell in love with him instantly. But due to religious controversies, her grandmother opposed their relationship. As a result, the affair and relationship broke off, and Suraiya chose not to marry. She remained unmarried throughout her life.

Suraiya resided in an apartment in Marine Drive in Mumbai. She died on January 31, in Harkishandas Hospital after a brief illness. She was 74 years old then. Suraiya was buried at Badakabarastan in Marine Lines.

Notable Films
Usne Kya Socha, 1937
Taj Mahal, 1941
Station Master, 1942
Phool, 1944
Tadbir, 1945
Yateem, 1945
Anmol Ghadi, 1946
Omar Khayyam, 1946
Dard, 1947
Parwana, 1947
Do Dil, 1947
Pyar Ki Jeet, 1948
Kajal, 1948
Rang Mahal, 1948
Vidya, 1948
Badi Behen, 1949
Jeet, 1949
Shayar, 1949
Dillagi, 1949
Bombay, 1949
Singaar, 1949
Afsar, 1950
Nili, 1950
Khiladi, 1950
Sanam, 1951
Do Sitare, 1951
Waaris, 1954
Mirza Ghalib, 1954
Mr. Lambu, 1956
Shama, 1961
Rustom Sohrab, 1963

1929: Was born in Gujranwala, Punjab (now in Pakistan)
1937: Essayed the role of a child artist in "Usne Kya Socha"
1941: Worked as a young Mumtaz Mahal in "Taj Mahal"
1942: Sang her first song for "Sharda"
1943: Became a singing star with "Hamari Baat"
1945: Began her lead actor role with "Tadbir"
1947: Delivered the runaway hit "Parwana" demonstrating both her acting and singing skills
1954: Made a comeback with "Waaris" and "Mirza Ghalib"
1963: Her last film "Rustom Sohrab" was released
2004: Died on 31st January in Mumbai, aged 74.

Sri Devi

Born as Sridevi Ayyapan on the 13th of August in 1963 at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, she was a great Indian actress. She worked in a large number of Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada films. Well, in this article, we will present you with the biography of Indian Actress Sridevi.

Sridevi lost her father when she was shooting for the film Lamhe and mother, while shooting for the film Judaai. She lost her parents when she was very young. There was a rumor during the period between 1986 and 1987 that Sri Devi had an affair with the Bollywood actor Mithun Chakravorty. But, the relationship came to an end, when Mithun did not divorce his wife Yogita Bali. On June 2, 1996, Sridevi tied her wedding knots with the film producer Boney Kapoor. They have two daughters named Janvi and Khushi. She did a lot of films with her brother-in-law Anil Kapoor. Read on to know the complete life history of Sreedevi.

Film Career
Sridevi made her first public appearance as a child artist in the Tamil film Kandhan Karunai (1967). In the beginning of her career, she gave performances in numerous Tamil and Malayalam movies. Some of her best Malayalam movies are Aalinganam, Kuttavum Sikshaiyum, Aadhyapaadam, Aa Nimisham. In the year 1976, she got a major break in the Tamil movies in the lead role. Here, she got the opportunity to work with two great actors, namely Kamal Hassan and Rajnikanth.

In the year 1978, she made her entry in the Hindi films. Her debut Hindi film was Solva Saawan, which unfortunately did not succeed. But, her second film Himmatwala was a super duper hit. The movie made her a star overnight. Thereafter, she signed the film Sadma, which brought her lot of appreciation. During 1980s, she gave fabulous performances, which were admired by all. Her film Chandni was the biggest hit, which brought her in the list of one of the highest paid actresses of Bollywood. She worked in a number of films and has had a very prosperous career. After performing in Judaai, she took a break from the film industry, for upbringing her two daughters. After six years, she appeared on the small screen in a couple of TV serials.

Awards Won
FilmFare Award (South) for Tamil Film Meendum Kokila
Filmfare Best Actress Award for Chaalbaaz
Filmfare Best Actress Award for Lamhe
FilmFare Award for Telugu Film Kshana Kshanam

Other awards
Nandi Award for Telugu Film Kshana Kshanam
Giant Awards for Contribution to Hindi Cinema
MAMI Award for Excellent Contribution to Hindi Cinema
Vamsee Art Theatres International's Lifetime Achievement Award
Toronto Best Actress Award for Devaragam

Important Works of Sri Devi

Kumara Sambhavam (1969) (First Malayalam movie)
Swapnangal (1970)
Poombatta (1971)
Theertha Yathra (1972)
Aasirvadham (1976)
Anthardhanam (1977)
Vezhambal (1977)
Avalude Ravukal (1978)
Amme Narayana (1984)
Devaragam (1996)

Nam Naadu (1969)
Kumara Sambhavam (1969)
Nam Naadu (1969)
Moondru Mudichu (1976)
Gayathri (1977)
Kavikkuyil (1977)
Manitharil Iththanai Nirangala (1978)
Mudisooda Mannan (1978)
Pilot Premnath (1978)

Bangarakka (1977)
Erra Gulabeelu (1978) (Sigappu Rojakkal - dubbed)
Kartheeka Deepam (1979)
Vetagadu (1979)
Aatagadu (1980)
Chuttalunnaru Jagratha (1980)
Devudu Ichchina Koduku (1980)
Gharana Donga (1980)
Kaksha (1980)
Mama Allulla Saval (1980)

Bollywood (Hindi)
Himmatwala (1983)
Justice Chowdhary (1983)
Kalakaar (1983)
Sadma (1983)
Inquilaab (1984)
Jaag Utha Insaan (1984)
Naya Kadam (1984)
Maqsad (1984)
Tohfa (1984)
Balidaan (1985)
Masterji (1985)
Sarfarosh (1985)
Bhagwan Dada (1986)
Dharam Adhikari (1986)
Nagina (1986)
Jaanbaaz (1986)(cameo)
Karma (1986)
Suhaagan (1986)
Aulaad (1987)
Mr India (1987)
Chaalbaaz (1989)
Chandni (1989)
Banjaran (1991)

Sharmila Tagore

Sharmila Tagore is a well known name of the Indian film industry. From April 2005 onwards, she is the head of the Indian Film Censor Board. The same year in the month of December, she served as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Well, in this article, we will present you with the biography of Indian actress Sharmila Tagore. Read further to know the complete history of Sharmila Tagore.

She was born on the December 8, 1946 in Hyderabad. She is a relative of the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. She wanted to marry a Muslim man Mansoor Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataudi. For marrying him, she got her religion converted to Islam. She even changed her name to Ayesha Sultana. In the year 1968, she got married. They have three children, namely Saif Ali Khan, Soha Ali Khan and Saba Ali Khan.

Film Career
Her film career started in the year 1959. She got her first break by playing the lead role in Satyajit Ray film Apur Sansar (The World of Apu). She was just fourteen years old, when she worked in her maiden film. Thereafter, she was starred in many films.

Awards Won
Filmfare Best Actress Award in 1969
National Film Award for Best Actress in 1976
Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997
Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003

Important Works of Sharmila Tagore
Apur Sansar (The World of Apu)
An Evening in Paris
Amar Prem
Desh Premee
Chupke Chupke
Aashiq Awara

Smita Patil

Smita Patil (1955 - 13 December 1986) is one among the few versatile Indian actresses, who have made a special position in the hearts of people. She was indeed the pride of Bollywood. She has given superb performances in her movies, for which she is admired even today. Well, in this article, we will present you with the biography of Indian actress Smita Patil.

She has worked with wonderful directors like Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal, and Mrinal Sen. She has performed in a number of Hindi and Marathi films. She is the queen of Indian cinema. For some time, she also took the job of a TV news reader. She was a great photographer. She was a multifaceted personality. She had dominated the Indian film industry during the 1970s and 1980s.

Smita was an alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. In the year 1977, she received the National Award for best actress for her remarkable performance in the film Bhumika. In most of her films, she was portrayed as a very strong woman, who is able to endure the pressures created by the male dominated society.

Apart from being an actress, she was also an activist who raised several women issues. She tied her wedding knots with the well known Bollywood actor Raj Babbar. She did not survive for long. Due to complications arising from the birth of son, she died on the December 13, 1986.

Notable Works of Smita Patil
Namak Halaal
Dard Ka Rishta
Arth Bhavni Bhavai
Mirch Masala

Shabana Azmi

Born on the 18th of September in the year 1950 in New Delhi, Shabana Azmi is one of the most leading actresses to have graced the screens of Bollywood. She has worked in a number of films, which has brought her lot of praise and appreciation. She has played roles of different genre and been able to adapt very nicely according to the need of the role. Well, in this article, we will present you with the biography of Indian actress Shabana Azmi.

Early life
She is a fabulous Muslim actress, who was born to the Azmi family. Her father Kaifi Azmi was a famous Indian Urdu poet as well as writer and her mother Shaukat was a renowned stage actress. Her brother Baba Azmi is a cinematographer. Thus, the entire family has been actively involved in the field of fine arts. They have always had vast social circles and thus, Shabana has always seen lot of people congregating in their house. She did her graduation in Psychology from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. Thereafter, she took up a course in Acting at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. Read on to know the complete life history of Shabana Azmi.

The maiden movie of Shabana was an art movie 'Faalsa'. Though, it was her first movie but got released after Shyam Benegal's movie Ankur. She was given a very different kind of role to play in this film and she did it a fabulous job. The film turned out to be a superhit and even won the National award. Her performance in both the films was widely appreciated.

She won the national awards for three consecutive years from 1983 to 1985 for her notable work in the films Arth, Khandhar and Paar. She has always given an outstanding performance, because she has the caliber to very well get into the character, thus making it appear like a real life portrayal. She has worked in more than hundred films demanding different kind of attitude and skills. Shabana is an amazing actress who has truly proved her talent and versatility.

Notable Works of Shabana Azmi
15 Park Avenue
Madame Sousatzka
The Bengali Night

Social Activist
Well, Shabana Azmi is not just a wonderful actress, but a great social activist. She has made an incredible contribution in raising voice against unjust and inequality. She has also been actively involved in fighting AIDS. She has brought in notice a number of social issues. Initially, her efforts for the social welfare were considered to be a publicity gimmick. But, her strong determination and hard work proved people that she is genuinely concerned and not trying to draw people's attention to come into limelight. She has taken a keen interest in fighting for issues like communalism. She even participated in the demonstrations and marches for advocating communal harmony.

Awards Won
National Film Awards (6 times)
Filmfare Awards (4 times)
Padma Shri
Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award for her commendable work for the slum dwellers living in Mumbai.