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Happy Birthday, Shabana Azmi

There is a 'Fire' in her that gives a mystic 'Sparsh' to Indian Cinema. Once a 'Masoom', Shabana Azmi has turned the 'Godmother' of Bollywood.

entertainment Updated: Sep 21, 2009 13:44 IST

There is a 'Fire' in her that gives a mystic 'Sparsh' to Indian Cinema. Once a 'Masoom', Shabana Azmi has turned the 'Godmother' of Bollywood.

At 59, Shabana continues to spin magic with films like Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., Loins of Punjab Presents and Sorry Bhai! The veteran actress slips into the serious mould as easily as she does it in a masala character.

Check out: Shabana's filmography

On one hand she worked in mainstream movies like Manmohan Desai's Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish and Prakash Mehra’s Jwalamukhi, on the other, she made her mark with films like Ankur, Nishant, Mandi, Khandhar etc.

The actress has travelled her way into people's hearts not only through her cinematic portrayals, but also through her social concerns.

Very few people know that Shabana was inspired by Jaya Bhaduri to join a course in film institute.

"I had had the privilige of watching Jaya Bhaduri in a film Suman and I was completely enchanted by her performance because it was unlike the other performances I had seen. I really marvelled at that and said, 'my god, if by going to the Film Institute I can achieve that, that's what I want to do.'" Azmi eventually topped the list of successful candidates of 1972."

Some of her notable films include Shyam Benegal's Nishant (1975), Junoon (1978), Susman (1986), Antarnaad (1992), Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Mrinal Sen’s Khandhar, Genesis, Ek Din Achanak, Saeed Mirza’s Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai, Sai Paranjpye’s Sparsh, Disha, Gautam Ghose’s Paar, Aparna Sen’s Picnic, Sati, Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth, Vinay Shukla’s Godmother. Her other films include the commercially successful Manmohan Desai's Amar Akbar Anthony, and Parvarish and Prakash Mehra’s Jwalamukhi. The list goes on and on.

The actress has also starred in Hollywood productions such as John Schlesinger’s Madame Sousatzka (1988) and Roland Joffe’s City of Joy (1992).

Shabana Azmi has been a committed social activist, active in fighting AIDS and injustice in society.