Shashikala No More: Remembering Bollywood's supporting actress who ruled the hearts of millions
New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: Veteran Bollywood actress Shashikala Om Prakash Saigal, who was known for playing supporting roles in the film industry, passed away on Sunday at the age of 88. Shashikala, who married Om Prakash Saigal in her 20s, is survived by two daughters.
Born on August 4, 1932, in Maharashtra's Solapur, Saigal, who was better known by her first name, had shown keen interest in dancing, singing and acting at an early age. However, she had to face a lot of hardships in her early days as her family was quite poor and earned barely to survive.
In her teens, Shashikala wandered from one studio to another in Mumbai to look for some work but barely managed to get fame. Her first breakthrough came in the 1950s when she met Noor Jehan. With the help of Jehan, Shashikala made her Bollywood debut as a side actress in Zeenat.
In 1955, Shashikala got a chance to work with superstar Shammi Kapoor in Daku. She also worked in several other films like V Shantaram's Teen Batti Char Raasta and Bimal Roy's Sujata but struggled to get lead actress' roles in the film industry.
However, her fortunes turned in the 1960s when she got a chance in Tarachand Barjatya's Aarti. Starring alongside Meena Kumari and Ashok Kumar, Shashikala was widely praised by fans and critics for her performance of a negative role.
Shashikala eventually won the film fare award for her role in Aarti that changed her fortunes. Later, she got a chance to feature in several other Hindi films like Gumrah, Khubsoorat, Waqt and Anupama but only as a supporting character.
Shashikala continued to play side roles in the fag end of her career and acted alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan in Baadshah and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. She also played crucial roles in several TV serials like Son Pari, Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai and Dil Deke Dekho.
In 2007, Shashikala was awarded Padma Shri for her contributions to the film industry.
We pray that her soul rests in peace.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma