Google is paying a special tribute to Indian actress Zohra Sehgal by featuring her on a doodle today. On this day in 1946, her movie Neeche Nagar was released at the Cannes Film Festival. The illustration used is made by guest artist Parvati Pillai. In a statement written on the doodle page, Google described the actress as “one of the country’s first female actors to truly achieve recognition on the international stage.” That year, the movie won the Palme d’Or Prize, the festival’s highest honour.
About Zohra Sehgal
Sahibzadi Zohra Begum Mumtaz-Ullah Khan was born on April 27, 1912, in Saharanpur in British India. After growing up the actress went on to learn ballet from a prestigious dancing school in Germany, soon after, she joined Indian dance pioneer Uday Shankar. She went on tours with him, became a teacher and a crucial part of his dancing troupe. After returning to India she started her journey as an actor and became a member of the Indian People’s Theatre Association in 1945.
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As a dancer, she performed across Japan, Europe and the US, during this time she fell in love with Kameshwar Sehgal who was also a dancer and they tied the knot in August 1942. Zohra Sehgal had a splendid career spanning for over seven decades. She had appeared in many Bollywood films as a character actor as well as in English language films besides television series and plays.
Some of her legendary performances include hits like Cheeni Kum with Amitabh Bachchan, Dil Se with Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala, Veer Zaara with Shah Rukh and Preity Zinta, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam with Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai, and Bend It Like Beckham among several others. She last appeared in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Sawariya.
In 1962, she moved to London on a drama scholarship. There she made a name for herself by appearing in British television series such as Doctor Who, The Jewel in the Crown. Further, she moved back to India in the mid -nineties and continued to work in films and appear on the stage. In 2002, in her 90th year, she acted in the British film, Bend It Like Beckham and left the audience awestruck.
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She was honoured with Padma Shri (1998), the Kalidas Samman (2001), and the Padma Vibhushan (2010) by the Indian government for her outstanding contribution to the World of art.
The actress often called the grand old lady of Bollywood passed away at the age of 102 in 2014. However, she has left a great impact on people’s mind through her brilliant performances as an actor and dancer.
Image Credit: indianexpress.com
Arunima Sharma is an intern with SheThePeopleTV