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Shabana Azmi Biography

One of the leading Indian actresses, Shabana Azmi was born on 18 September 1950 at New Delhi. Daughter of the renowned poet, Kaifi Azmi, Shabana did her graduation in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, before going on to do a course in Acting at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.

Her first movie was Shyam Benegal’s Ankur in 1972 and her first art movie was Faalsa. She received the national awards consecutively for three years from 1983 to 1985 for the movies, Arth, Khandhar and Paar. She has also enacted many roles in parallel Indian cinema. She won the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 32nd Chicago Film Festival and Jury Award for Best Actress at Outfest, Los Angeles for her role in Deepa Mehta’s 1996 film Fire

Some of her major films include Nishant, Junoon, Susman, Antarnaad, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Khandhar, Genesis, Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish, Albert Pinto Ko Guussa Kyon Aata Hai, Ek Din Achanak Sparsh, Disha; Paar; Picnic, Sati, Arth and Godmother. She made her small screen debut with the serial Anupama.

She has also acted in a number of Hollywood movies which include John Schlesinger’s Madame Sousatzka, Nicholas Klotz’s Bengali Night, Roland Joffe’s City of Joy, Channel 4’s Immaculate Conception, Blake Edward’s the Son of Pink Panther and Ismail Merchant’s In Custody.

Shabana Azmi has been a very active social activist and has been a member of the Rajya Sabha. She has participated in several plays and demonstrations against communalism. In 1989, she undertook a four-day march for communal harmony from New Delhi to Meerut.