Veteran Bollywood actress Shashikala passes away at 88
Shashikala started her career with a small role in the 1945 movie Zeenat and went on to appear in various popular movies such as Sujata, Anupama, Aarti, Khubsoorat, Waqt, Gumrah, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
Veteran Bollywood actress Shashikala Om Prakash Saigal passed away at her residence on April 4, 2021. She was 88.
Popularly known by her first name, Shashikala acted in over 100 movies. She started her career with a small role in the 1945 movie Zeenat and went on to appear in various popular movies such as Sujata, Anupama, Aarti, Khubsoorat, Waqt, Gumrah, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.
In 2007, Shashikala received Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award. She was honoured for her contribution to Indian Cinema.
The news of her death was confirmed by the President of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees, BN Tiwari. He mentioned that Shashikala Ji passed away but the exact details of her demise are unknown.
Celebrities mourn the demise of the veteran actor:
Personalities like filmmaker-actor Farhan Akhtar, singer Lata Mangeshkar, National Congress Party Supremo Sharad Pawar as well as the Union Minister Jitendra Singh paid their rich tributes to the late star.
Guni abhinetri Shashikala ji ke swargwas ki khabar sunke mujhe bahut dukh hua. Wo har tarah ki bhumikaein badi khubi se nibhaati thi.Ishwar unki aatma ko shanti pradan kare.Meri samvedanayein unke pariwar ke saath hai. pic.twitter.com/6eRVmORold— Lata Mangeshkar (@mangeshkarlata) April 4, 2021
RIP Shashikala-ji. 🙏🏽 Condolences to the family. pic.twitter.com/YCkHSPrHtq— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) April 4, 2021
Sharad Pawar in his tribute to the actor stated that she made a significant mark on the Indian Film Industry with her well-deserved and hardened career.
Saddened to hear about the demise of veteran actress Padma Shree Shashikala.— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) April 4, 2021
She made a significant mark on Indian film industry with her hardearned and well-deserved career.
Condolences to her family and friends. RIP 🙏🏻
The Union Minister Jitendra Singh called Shashikala among the last from that golden age genre of Bollywood.
First silver screen appearance and breakthrough in Bimal Roy’s Sujata
Shashikala made her first silver screen appearance in Zeenat in 1945. The movie was directed by the husband of legendary actor Noor Jehan, Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi.
In her career spanning around over 6 decades, Shashikala went on to play small but significant parts in various movies for almost a decade. She then got an opportunity to feature in ‘Teen Batti Chaar Raasta’ of V Shantaram in 1953 and ‘Daku’ starring Shammi Kapoor in 1955.
However, her career breakthrough came in Bimal Roy’s Sujata in 1959. It was also one of the early movies in Hindi Cinema that explored the issue of casteism. The movie was based on a short story of the same name written by Subodh Ghosh.
The movie saw Shashikala playing the role of the real daughter of a Brahmin family that adopts the protagonist named ‘Sujata’, played by Nutan, who is an orphan from a low caste.
Mastering the portrayal of negative parts:
In 1962, Shashikala appeared in Tarachand Barjatya’s Aarti. The film starred Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari, and Pradeep Kumar in the lead.
The movie proved to be a stepping stone for Shashikala as she became one of the go-to actors in the industry to portray negative parts.
In 1974, she again returned to play a vamp in ‘Chhote Sarkar’ starring Shammi Kapoor and Sadhana.
Work on television:
In the 2000s Shashikala switched to television and went on to play significant roles in serials ‘Son Pari’, ‘Apnaapan’ and ‘Dil Deke Dekho’.
Personal Life: Background
Shashikala was born in Solapur, Maharashtra and she started acting on stage at the age of 5 in her hometown. She then moved to Bombay, after her father went bankrupt, with her family and started to look for work in the movie industry.
Shashikala married Om Prakash Saigal in her early 20s. He belonged to the KL Saigal family. They had two daughters one of whom passed away due to cancer.