Smita Patil was an accomplished stage and film actress known for her fiery and bold roles in cinema. One of the finest and most sensitive actresses, Smita, was among the leading actresses of parallel and art cinema in India.
Regarded as one of the leading ladies of offbeat films as well, Smita Patil appeared in over 80 Hindi and Marathi films in a career spanning over a decade. During her short but successful film career, Smita Patil received 2 National Film Awards, 8 Filmfare Awards and the Padma Shri (India's fourth highest civilian honour). Her most notable performances include Manthan, Bhumika, Aaj Ki Awaaz, Aakrosh, Chakra, Bazar, Umbartha, Mandi Chidambaram, Jait Re Jait and Mirch Masala.
Patil was married to actor Raj Babbar. Her son Prateik Babbar is a film actor.
Smita Patil was born on 17 October 1955 in Pune, Maharashtra into a Maratha family to Shivajirao Girdhar Patil and Vidyatai Patil. While Smita's father was a politician, her mother was a social worker. Smita studied at Renuka Swaroop Memorial High School in Pune and later was an alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
Smita Patil was an active feminist and a member of the Women's Centre in Mumbai. She took active interest in issues relating women empowerment and was deeply committed to the advancement of women's position is society. Smita was romantically involved with actor Raj Babbar, the duo got married and were blessed with Prateik Babbar who is also a Bollywood actor.
Smita's first tryst with the camera was as a television newscaster for Doordarshan in the 1970s. She started her acting career with Shyam Benegal's film "Charandas Chor" in 1974 and her first film established her as an actress having immense talent and artistic worth.
The versatile actress Smita Patil belonged to a generation of actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Om Puri who took art and parallel cinema to the zenith of their times. Her dusky skin, fiery look and sensuous body made her one of the favorites in art and parallel cinema.
Smita workd with Shabana Azmi for the first time in Shyam Benegal's "Manthan" and the film was one of the milestones of Smita's career. But the film that brought her to the limelight was "Bhoomika" that also fetched her many awards.
During her cinema career Smita Patil worked with top notch directors like Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Satyajit Ray, G. Aravindan and Mrinal Sen. It was director Shyam Benegal who discovered the talent of Smita and gave several powerful roles in cinema.
Smita Patil was a feminist to the core and against male chauvinism. Her films like Manthan, Bhumika, Mirch Masala, and Mandi reflected her inner feelings as a feminist and her role in these films portrayed women as capable and empowered. Like parallel cinema, Smita also gave outstanding performances in commercial films like Shakti and Namak Halaal.
Ill Health and Death:
Smita Patil died on 13 December 1986, following childbirth complications at a tender age of 31. She died barely two weeks after having given birth to Prateik Babbar.
Awards and Recognition:
Smita Patil was conferred the Padma Shri Award, Civilian Award by Government of India, for her contribution to cinema in 1985. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress for the films Bhumika (1977), and Chakra (1980). She won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for the films Jait Re Jait (1978), Umbrata (1981), Chakra (1982). The India Post released a postage stamp bearing her face to honour her on 3 May 2013.
Husband: Raj Babbar
Son: Prateik Babbar
(FAN OF Mrs. SMITA PATIL)
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