Smita Patil (1955 - 13 December 1986) is one among the very few versatile Indian actresses, who have made a special position in the hearts of people. She was indeed the pride of Bollywood. She has given path-breaking performances in her movies, for which she is admired even today. 13th December 2011 marks the 25th death anniversary of an actress who was wise beyond her years.
Smita Patil Smita Patil was born in Pune into a Marathi family to a Maharashtrian politician, Shivajirao Patil and social worker mother. She started her career by working as a television announcer before entering films. Her debut in Shyam Benegal's 'Charandas Chor' was followed by Jabbar Patel's 'Saamna' of the same year.
The role that would make her a star was of the 'Harijan' (Untouchable) woman in 'Manthan' (1976). 'Bhumika' in 1976, again with Shyam Benegal, was another powerful role of the legendary Marathi film star Hansa Wadkar. 'Bhavni Bhavai' (1980) portrayed her as a tribal woman, free and wild at heart.
Films like Muzaffar Ali's 'Gaman and The Naxalites' (1979), 'Chakra' (1980), 'Bazaar' (1982) were appropriate vehicles for her talent. Others like 'Ardh Satya' (1983), 'Tarang' (1984), 'Mirch Masala' (1985) where she played the heroic 'Sonbai' who defies authority and conventional oppression, are films that cannot be definitely categorized as mainstream or arthouse. In addition to such roles, she was proficient in mainstream cinema as well - 'Dil-e-Nadaan' (1979), 'Namak Halal' and 'Arth' (1982), 'Ghulami' and 'Tere Sheher Mein' in 1985, 'Dehleez' in 1986 and 'Thikana' (1987), to name a few.
Patil acted in regional films as well - Mrinal Sen's 'Akaler Sandhaney' in Bengali, Aravindan's Malayalam film 'Chidambram', and the Kannada film 'Anveshane', directed by T.S. Nagabharana.
She was a women's activist and a member of the Women's Centre, Mumbai. She married the actor Raj Babbar, and her death in 1986 shortly after childbirth was a loss to the country and the film industry. Smita's son Prateik Babbar was 15 days old when she passed away.
Prateik, incidentally, was only 15-days old when his mother passed away.He made a debut with a role in 'Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na' which released in 2008 and was seen in a lead role with 'Dhobi Ghat'.
FridayMoviez mourns and remembers one of the finest actresses of Indian Cinema- Smita Patil.