Mumbai, Sept 18: Shabana Azmi turns 71 today, and the beautiful seventy one-year-old looks as radiant and cheerful as she did on her debut in the glamor industry in 1974. Though we were inspired by leading actresses, social activists, and nomineesof the Raja Sabha there were many more things he did not know.
Shabana was born on 18 September 1950 as the daughter of Urdu poet and scholar Kaifi Azmi and stage actress Shaukat Azmi in Hyderabad, now Telangana. After filming as a debutant, Shabana soon established herself as a leading actress in parallel cinema in India, an area that was previously unexplored. After nearly 46 years and countless contributions to Bollywood, Shabana Azmi is the image of elegance, fashion and sobriety in Indian film, television and theatre.
Often known as the “original diva” of the film industry, Shabana has inspired many generations of fashion and even contributed to social activism by being a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund. He is also the president of Mijwan charity, which was founded by his father in 1993. Shabana hosts the annual Mijwan fashion show, which features the work of renowned designers such as Manish Malhotra who is among the top Bollywood stars including Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and others.
Azmi was named after Ali Sardar Jafri at the age of eleven. His parents named him Munni.
Shabana comes from a big film family where her brother is a cameraman and sister-in-law is an actress, and the stereotype-breaking queen of Bollywood, Tabu, who happens to be her niece.
Several foreign films in which she has starred have gained international acclaim, including John Schlesinger’s Madame Sousatzka, Nicholas Klotz’s Bengali Night, Roland Joffe’s City of Joy, Channel 4’s Immaculate Conception, Blake Edwards’ Son of the Pink Panther, and Ismail Merchant’s In Custody.