Smita Patil was one of the most talented actresses of the Hindi film Industry. She proved that to become successful you need not have good looks, but you must have the talent. The dusky beauty was upright, confident and a strong feminist. Born into a very elite family, Smita is considered as one of the best actresses which the film industry got.
Smita was born on 17th October 1955 in Pune. She hailed from a Maratha family. Her father was a famous politician Shivajirao Patil and her mother Vidyatai Patil was a social worker from Khandesh. Smita studied at Renuka Swaroop Memorial High School in Pune. She studied at the Film And Television Institute of India in Pune.
A very good photographer, Smita faced the camera for the first time when she started working as a television newscaster for Doordarshan in 1970. Smita was closely associated at the radically political cinema and parallel cinema of 1970s. She worked with the parallel cinema experts like Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray ,Govind Nihalani and Mrinal Sen. When Shyam Benegal discovered her, she was working as a television newsreader and a proficient photographer.
Smita , who also worked as a women's rights activist, often represented an intelligent and strong feminity which stand against the conventional male dominated cinema. Her work in the parallel cinema eventually landed her up in the mainstream cinema. All the filmmakers like Raj Khosla, Ramesh Sippy, B. R. Chopra considered Smita as an excellent actress.
Some of the award winning performance which Smita has delivered are in the films 'Bhumika' (National Award), 'Jait Re Jait' 'Sarvasarkshi' , 'Umbartha'(Marathi films), 'Chakra','Bazaar', 'Shakti', 'Namak Halal', 'Arth', 'Mandi', 'Ghungroo', 'Aaj Ki Awaz', 'Anokha Rishta', 'Mirch Masala' etc. Smita has appeared in various Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Gujarati and Telugu films as well. She was nominated for the Filmfare and national awards and won the awards for many times. She has also received Padma Shree Award for her contribution to Indian cinema.
Smita was romantically involved with the actor Raj Babbar. He left his wife Nadira to marry Smita. Many feminist groups criticized Smita for this and called her a home breaker. She died on 13th December 1986, barely two weeks after the birth of her son actor Prateik Babbar due to some post natal complications. Her very close friend and filmmaker Mrinal Sen alleges that Smita died due to a major medical negligence.
Smita Patil's contribution to the Indian cinema is a great and outstanding. Bollywood has never got such a talented and excellent actress again.
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