From her Audrey Hepburn-styled fringe to her critically acclaimed films, veteran actor Sadhana was a trailblazer in many ways. The actor died on Friday at the age of 74 in Mumbai on Friday. She leaves behind a legacy.
Sadhana started her career with a Sindhi film Abaana in 1960 for which she was paid Re 1. She was spotted by film producer Sasadhar Mukherjee who was looking for a fresh face with whom he could launch his son, Joy. The result was Love in Shimla and an iconic onscreen pair .
Sadhana portrayed grey characters when the leading heroes of the era shied away from the roles. Two of her best films -- Woh Kaun Thi and Mera Saaya -- had her delivering performances which were miles away from what leading ladies were expected to do in her time.
Not only a good actor, she was also the first style icon of sorts in Indian cinema who had a hairstyle named after -- the Sadhana cut. The actress was among top stars in the ’60s and ’70s and acted opposite Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Balraj Sahni and Manoj Kumar among others. Here are her best works…
Woh Kaun Thi: Sadhana’s tour de force and arguably her best film, Woh Kaun Thi casts Sadhana as a mysterious woman who is helped by Manoj Kumar on a dark, stormy night. She vanishes into a graveyard and director keeps us and Kumar wondering if the woman we just met was real or an apparition. The hit song Naina Barse Rimjhim was intrinsically linked to the mystery of the film.
Mera Saaya: Another mystery by Raj Khosla, this one cast Sadhana as the loving wife of Sunil Dutt who dies in his arms after an illness. Only she comes back from the dead and approaches the police to be reunited with her husband. The famous Jhumkaa Giraa Re and Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega tracks are from the film.
Raaj Kumar: Shammi Kapoor played a ‘clown’ prince to Sadhana’s tribal princess in this musical romance. Directed by K Shankar, this film had evergreen music with hits like Aaja Aai Bahaar.
Ek Phool Do Mali: A mountaineering student falls in love with a girl (played by Sadhana) and marriage is on the cards till he is caught in an avalanche. He is presumed dead and she is pregnant. A twist in the tale makes this film a must-watch.
Hum Dono: A story of mistaken identity with war in the backdrop, it has Sadhana as the love of Dev Anand’s life. The only problem is another woman assumes Dev is actually her husband. The music of this film is unforgettable.
Waqt: This Yash Chopra-directed family tearjerker had Sadhana as Meena, the recipient of Raaj Kumar and Sunil Dutt’s affections. A superhit with melodious numbers, it is still referenced for its dialogues and performances.