Asha Parekh

Asha Parekh
Born (1942-10-02) 2 October 1942
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)[1]
Occupation Actress, Producer, Dancer
Years active 1952–1999

Asha Parekh (born 2 October 1942) is a Bollywood actress, director, and producer. She was one of the top stars in Hindi films from 1959 to 1973.[2] In 1992, she was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. Parekh is regarded as one of the most successful and influential Hindi movie actresses of all time.[3]


Early life

Asha Parekh was born into a middle-class Gujarati Jain family on 2 October 1942 in Mumbai, to a father (who was from Paldi near Pirana, Ahmedabad, Gujarat) and a Dawoodi Bohra Muslim mother.[4] Parekh's religious upbringing involved worshipping Sai Baba.[5][6] Her mother enrolled her in Indian classical dance classes at an early age and she learned from many teachers including Pandit Bansilal Bharati.


Parekh started her career as a child artist under the screen name Baby Asha Parekh in the film Aasmaan (1952). Famed film director Bimal Roy saw her dance at a stage function and cast her at the age of twelve in Baap Beti (1954). The film's failure disappointed her and even though she did a couple more child roles, she quit to resume her schooling.[7] At sixteen she decided to try acting again and make her debut as a heroine, but she was rejected from Vijay Bhatt's Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959) in favour of actress Ameeta, because the filmmaker claimed she was not star material. Precisely eight days later, film producer Subodh Mukherjee and writer-director Nasir Hussain cast her as the heroine in Dil Deke Dekho (1959) opposite Shammi Kapoor, which made her a huge star.[8]

The film also led to a long and fruitful association with Hussain. He went on to cast Parekh as the heroine in six more of his films: Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961), Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963), Teesri Manzil (1966), Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969), and Caravan (1971). She also did a cameo in his film Manzil Manzil (1984). Hussain also got her involved in distribution of films for 21 years, starting with Baharon Ke Sapne (1967).[9] Parekh was primarily known as a glamour girl/excellent dancer/tomboy in most of her films, until director Raj Khosla gave her a serious image by casting her in tragedienne roles in three of her favourite films: Do Badan (1966), Chirag (1969), and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). Director Shakti Samanta gave her more dramatic roles in her other favourite films, Pagla Kahin Ka (1970) and Kati Patang (1970); the latter earned her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. Many important directors cast her in several of their films, including Vijay Anand, Mohan Segal. Her other two films opposite Shammi Kapoor:Pagla Kahin Ka (1970) and Jawan Mohabbat (1971 were not successful. Her films opposite Shashi Kapoor included Kanyadaan (1968) and Pyar Ka Mausam (1969). In the sixties, her pair with Dharmedra was popular with films like Aaye Din Bahar Ke (1966), Shikar, Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke (1969),Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971), Samadhi (1972 film). Her films with Sunil Dutt included Hum Hindustani, Chhaya (film) (1961), Heera (1973) and Zakhmee (1975).

In the seventies, her pairing opposite Rajesh Khanna was popular. The successful films of the pair included Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Kati Patang, Aan Milo Sajna and Dharam Aur Kanoon. Parekh acted in her mother tongue by starring in three Gujarati films at the height of her fame in Hindi films, the first being Akhand Saubhagyavati (1963), which became a huge hit.[10] She also acted in some Punjabi films, such as Kankan De Ohle (1971) opposite Dharmendra and Lambhardarni (1976) with Dara Singh, as well as the hit Kannada film Sharavegada Saradara (1989).[11]

After her days as a leading lady ended, Parekh took on supporting roles as bhabhi (sister-in-law) and mother, but she called this the "awkward phase" of her career. So she stopped acting in films, and her friends recommended that she become a television director.[12] She took their advice and became a television director in the early 1990s with the Gujarati serial Jyoti. She formed a production company, Akruti, and produced serials like Palash ke Phool, Baaje Payal, Kora Kagaz and a comedy, Dal Mein Kaala.[13] She was the president of the Cine Artistes' Association from 1994 to 2000. Parekh was the first female chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) of India. She held the post from 1998 to 2001 for which she received no salary but plenty of controversy for censoring films and for not giving clearance to Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth. Later, she became the treasurer of the Cine and Television Artists Association (CINTAA) and was later elected as one of its officebearers.[14]

Asha stopped acting in 1995 to pursue directing and producing television serials. Parekh received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.[15] She has continued to receive other Lifetime Achievement Awards: the Kalakar Award in 2004;[16] the International Indian Film Academy Awards in 2006;[17] the Pune International Film Festival Award in 2007;[18] and the Ninth Annual Bollywood Award in Long Island, New York in 2007.[19] She received the Living Legend Award from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).[20]

In 2008, she was a judge on the reality show Tyohaar Dhamaaka on the Indian entertainment channel 9X.[21] In 2016, she said that she was writing her autobiography.[22]

Personal life

Parekh has remained unmarried, claiming that her reputation of being unapproachable made people hesitate in asking for her hand in marriage. There were rumours that she was romantically involved with her married director Nasir Hussain.[23][24][25] In her later years, Parekh said that she had a longtime boyfriend but declined to elaborate on the relationship, only stating that "it was nice while it lasted."[26] She said she had not seen Nasir Hussain during the last year of his life, as he became reclusive because of his wife's death,[27] but she did speak to him the day before he died in 2002.[28]

Asha parekh celebrating her 70th Birthday with Sushmita Sen and Aruna Irani

Today, Parekh concentrates on her dance academy Kara Bhavan and the Asha Parekh Hospital in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, named in her honour because of her many humanitarian contributions.[5]


Asha Parekh has acted in 90 films.

Awards and nominations

  1. Filmfare Award Nomination as Best Actress for Chirag (1969)
  2. Filmfare Best Actress Award for Kati Patang (1971)
  3. Filmfare Award Nomination as Best Supporting Actress for Udhar Ka Sindoor (1976)
  4. Filmfare Award Nomination as Best Supporting Actress for Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978)
  5. Padma Shri awarded in the Arts (1992)[30][31]
  6. Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (2002)
  7. Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association (IMPPA) felicitated Parekh for her outstanding contribution to the Indian film industry (2003)[32]
  8. Kalakar Awards — Lifetime Achievement Award (2004)
  9. International Indian Film Academy Awards for outstanding achievement in Indian cinema (2006)
  10. Saptarang Ke Saptashee Award (2006)[33]
  11. Gujarati Association of North America (GANA)'s First International Gujarati Convention—Lifetime Achievement Award (2006)[34]
  12. Pune International Film Festival—Lifetime Achievement Award (2007)
  13. Bollywood Award—Lifetime Achievement Award (2007)
  14. Living Legend Award from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).[20]
  15. Film Federation of India honoured Parekh at its Golden Jubilee celebration ceremony (2008)[35]
  16. Sahyadri Navratna Award given to Parekh for being a "woman of substance" (2008)[36]
  17. Solitaire for Life Award from the ABN Amro Solitaire Design Awards show (2008)[37]
  18. Nashik International Film Festival—Lifetime Achievement Award (2009)[38]
  19. 'Lachchu Mahraj Puraskar' Award for Parekh's contribution to dance and acting (2009)[39]
  20. 40th International Film Festival of India felicitated Parekh for completing 50 years in Hindi cinema (2009)[40]
  21. 'Legends Live Forever Award' from the Immortal Memories Event (2009)[41]
  22. Golden Laurel Award—Ninth Gr8 Women Achievers Awards (2010)[42]
  23. Prakarti Ratan Award (2010)[43]
  24. Jaipur International Film Festival—Lifetime Achievement Award (2011)[44]
  25. Legendary Icon Cine Artist Award—Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards (2011)[45]
  26. Sanskriti Kalashree Lifetime Achievement Award—Sanskriti Cultural Foundation (2011)[46]
  27. Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar Award-Dadasaheb Phalke Memorial Nashik International Film Festival (2011)[47]
  28. Bhishma Award by the Ashram Arts Academy (2012)[48]
  29. "Walk of the Stars" honor, where a tile bears her handprint (2013)[49]
  30. Jagran Film Festival—Lifetime Achievement Award (2014)[50]
  31. Stardust-Lifetime Achievement Award (2015)[51]


  1. Dinesh Raheja. "Asha Parekh: Bollywood's glamorous good girl". Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  2. "Screen The Business Of Entertainment-Films-Happenigs". Archived from the original on 9 February 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  4. "Asha Parekh – Memories". 28 March 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  5. 1 2 "Asha ParekhSpirituality – Indiatimes". Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  6. "I AM: Asha Parekh". The Times Of India. 14 October 2010.
  7. "The Hindu : Poise and pearly smiles". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  8. "Interview". Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  9. Kumar, Anuj (19 December 2013). "Jubilee queen, once more". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  10. " > Box Populi by Subhash K Jha > 'Sa Re Ga Ma' still challenges new kids on the block". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  11. "Spice". Retrieved 27 March 2011.
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  14. "Asha Parekh wins CINTAA elections". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  15. "Filmfare – Print Edition". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  16. "Kalakar Awards". 20 February 2008. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  17. APA Staff. "Asia Pacific Arts: 8 June 2006: News From Abroad". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  18. "Article which contains a picture of her receiving the award alongside her former leadingman Dharmendra, who also received his own Lifetime Achievement Award". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  19. "Yahoo! News Photos". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  20. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 September 2005. Retrieved 2007-08-06.
  21. "'I had lost interest in TV'". 17 October 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  23. "Bollywood Divas". Hindustan Times. India. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  24. Sadhana (actress) referred to a relationship between Asha and Nasir Hussain, but also acknowledged that she did not know the extent of their relationship]
  26. "Asha Parekh: "No hero made passes at me… My male co-stars were intimidated by me!"- Interviews-News & Gossip-Indiatimes – Movies". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  27. March 2002 – Startrek Archived 18 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  28. "Express India". Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  29. "Sar Aankhon Par review".
  30. "Search Awardees – Padma Awards – My India, My Pride – Know India: National Portal of India". Retrieved 27 March 2011.
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  32. "IMPPA awards". 22 August 2003. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  33. "Bollywood | Veteran Stars | Felicitation | Saptarang Ke Saptashee". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  34. "by_emR3 SaVSaK.CoMIndia4u News Online". 13 July 2006. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  35. "FFI Golden Jubilee Celebration". Archived from the original on 5 February 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  36. "Asha Parekh receives Sahyadri Navratna Award". 27 April 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  37. "@ NewKerala.Com News, India". Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  38. "NASHIK INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - Dadasaheb Phalke Home Town Awards". Archived from the original on 19 October 2009.
  39. "Asha Parekh honoured with Lachchu Mahraj award". Deccan Herald. India. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  40. Ramachandran, Naman (24 November 2009). "'Wheat' opens India film festival". Variety.
  41. "Events – Immortal Memories – An Award Nite". IndiaGlitz. 26 December 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  42. "Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the Ninth GR8 Women Achievers Awards 2010 – Photos". Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  43. "Asha Parekh, Entertainment Photo, Veteran actress Asha Parekh, w". 30 July 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  44. "> All About Cinema...> Red Alert bags 2 awards, Asha Parekh gets Lifetime at Jaipur film fest". 3 February 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  45. Kalyani Prasad Keshri (4 May 2011). "Young talent graced by Dadasaheb Phalke award". Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  46. "Nostalgia to the fore – South India – Chennai – ibnlive". Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  47. Firstpost. "Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar Conferred Asha Parekh – Asha Parekh Videos : Firstpost Topic – Page 1". Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  48. 20 January 2012 By Anupama Subramanian DC chennai (20 January 2012). "No more awards in my name, says Rajinikanth". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 4 March 2012.

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