13 December: Remembering Smita Patil on her Punya Tithi

OV Digital Desk

Smita Patil (17 October 1955 – 13 December 1986) was an Indian actress in film, television, and theatre. Smita Patil appeared in over 80 Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam, and Kannada films in a career that spanned just over a decade.

Early Life

Smita Patil was born on 17 October 1955, in Mumbai, India. She studied literature at Bombay University and was involved in local theatre groups in Pune, where she spent much of her time on the campus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). In 1969, her father was elected as a cabinet minister and the family moved to Bombay (now Mumbai).


She worked as a TV newscaster for Doordarshan while studying at Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India. She played one of the main characters in Shyam Benegal’s 1976 film ‘Manthan’. In 1977, the film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for its setting in the White Revolution. Basically, Patil played the lead role of a villager.

She’s worked with parallel filmmakers like Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray, and Mrinal Sen. She’s been in a lot of Hindi and Marathi films. She is the queen of Indian cinema. She also read TV news for a while. During the 1970s and 1980s, she ruled the Indian film industry.

She graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. For her performance in the film Bhumika in 1977, she won the National Award for best actress. Her movies often portray a woman with a sense of intelligence that stands out against a male-dominated backdrop. Her roles in films portrayed women as capable and empowered making her a women’s rights activist.

She was praised for her role in ‘Arth’ opposite Shabana Azmi in 1982. Eventually, she got into commercial cinema.

She’s an excellent actress, according to Raj Khosla, B.R. Chopra, and Ramesh Sippy. In Shakti & Namak Halaal, she played a glamorous role.

She served on a jury at the Montreal World Film Festival in 1984.

Among her films with Raj Babbar are Bheegi Palkein, Tajurba, Aaj Ki Awaaz, Awam, and Hum Do Hamare Do.

She starred against Rajesh Khanna in 1982’s Dil-E-Nadan directed by C V Sridhar. After that, they starred together in Aakhir Kyon, Anokha Rishta, Angaarey, Nazrana, and Amrit.

They got a lot of praise for their performances together. In 1987, her movie Nazrana with Sridevi became a box office hit.

After her death in 1987, her film Mirch Masala was released. Her performance in the film was great. In 2013, Forbes listed her performance as “25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema”.


In 1985, she was awarded the Padma Shri award, by the government of India.

She won two National Film Awards for Best actresses in Bhumika 1977 and in Chakra 1980. She also won a Filmfare Award for Best actresses in Chakra.


She died on 13 December 1986, in Maharashtra, India.

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