Sadhana Shivdasani (1941-2015):
The actress was previously in news for suffering from a tumour last year. She reportedly had a small lesion in her mouth that was cancerous and underwent a successful surgery for the same.
Known for films like ‘Mera Saaya’, ‘Wo Kaun Thi’ and ‘Waqt’, the legendary actress made the fringe hairstyle, inspired from Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, a popular look for a long time.
Born in a Sindhi family in Karachi, British India, Sadhana was named after her father’s favourite actress-dancer Sadhana Bose. Her father was the brother of actor Hari Shivdasani, father of actress Babita. The family fled from Karachi during the post-Partition riots and settled in Mumbai.
Sadhana aspired to be an actress since childhood. Her father helped her enter films. In 1955 she played a chorus girl in the song ‘Mur mur ke na dekh mur mur ke’ in Raj Kapoor’s ‘Shree 420’. When she was 15 years old, she was approached by some producers who had seen her act in a college play. They cast her in India’s first Sindhi film titled Abaana (1958), where she played the role of Sheila Ramani’s younger sister.
Known for her expressive and captivating eyes and strong acting, Sadhana played her remarkable double role in the first of the suspense-thriller trilogy, Woh Kaun Thi?. This white-sari-clad performance opposite Manoj Kumar earned her first Filmfare nomination as Best Actress.
On the set of her first film, the Sindhi film ‘Abana’ (1958), in which she had a supporting role, she asked the film’s star, Sheila Ramani for an autograph. Ramani scribbled, “One day, I’ll come and ask you for your autograph.”
Sadhana had health issues due to her thyroid, which she got treated at a hospital in Boston. After returning from the US, she starred in the successful movies ‘Intaquam’, ‘Ek Phool Do Mali’, and ‘Geeta Mera Naam’, which she also directed.
The actress kept a low profile all her life. She always believed that an artiste should maintain a certain mystique. According to her, ” An artist shouldn’t become too familiar to the public. One shouldn’t see them too often. The charisma grows in that way, and that’s what’s called star-power.”
She retired from acting in late 70’s as she did not want to be cast as a side-actress or do character roles. Later, she and her husband formed a production company. She also directed a movie starring Dimple Kapadia in 1989.
The cremation will take place tomorrow from her Santacruz residence.
With Sadhana, an era of Bollywood comes to an end