Shabana Azmi is a film actress of Indian origin and social activist. Shabana was born on 18, September 1950 in Hyderabad. Her father,
Kaifi Azmi was an Indian poet while her mother Shaukat Azmi was a stage actress for the Indian People’s Theatre Asociation.
Both her of her parents was supporters of the Communist Party of India. She has a brother named
Baba Azmi, who is a cinematographer. Shabana’s early childhood memories consist of high social activity of her parents and respect for human values.
Shabana did her schooling at the Queen Mary School situated at Mumbai. Following that she did her graduation in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College. Post-graduation, following her passion for acting, she opted for acting course at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) at Pune. Shabana debuted as an actress in
Shyam Benegal’s movie ‘Ankur’ which was released in the year 1974.
Though, this was not the first movie that she had signed. Prior to ‘Ankur’, Shabana had signed for movies like ‘Faasla’ and ‘Parinay’. Though being a debutant in ‘Ankur’, still her performance was highly appreciated by the audience marked by her intensity on the screen.
She also went on to win the National Award for Best Actress for her performance. She even received appreciations from famous personalities like
Satyajit Ray. Following her succession of winning, she had grabbed the National Film Award consequently for three years in a row i.e. from 1983 to 1985.
The award winning movies were ‘
Arth’, ‘Paar’ and another masterpiece named ‘Khandhar’. Shaban’s acting was different from other actresses as it had a touch of real- life emotion and its qualities like these that led her to win her fifth National Film Award for the movie ‘godmother’ released in 1999.
Apart from Bollywood, she also became a part of the Indian parallel cinema. Her role of a lesbian in the 1996 movie ‘Fire’ received protests from various social groups in India. But, it was highly appreciated by the international media.
Shabana was awarded Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress and also the Jury Award for Best Actress at Outfest, in Los Angeles. Shabana Azmi has been a part of many memorable Hindi movies. The most notable among her movies are 1975 film ‘Nishant’ directed by Shyam Benegal where she plays the part of “Sushila,” 1978 released ‘Junoon,' where she played the part of “Firdaus,” Satyajit Ray’s movie ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ and movies like ‘Antarnaad’ in 1992.
Shabana rose to fame beyond compare due to impeccable acting skills and distinguished screen presence. She also acted in television serials like ‘
Anupama’. In addition, she also has been part of the Indian Theatre and performed in various stage plays like ‘Safed Kundali’ in 1980 and ‘Tumhari Amrita’ with actor
Farooq Sheikh. Shabana in her personal life too has been very free-minded.
She is married to Bollywood’s famous poet, scriptwriter, and lyricist
Javed Akhtar. Though Javed was already married to Bollywood scriptwriter,
Honey Irani, and also her parents opposed her relationship with a married man, still Shabana followed her heart and married Javed Akhtar. Shabana also happens to be very active in supporting social causes like fighting AIDS and child abuse by participating and organizing various street plays and joining hand with various NGOs.