Iconic Shabana Azmi - Godmother of Bollywood Film Industry

Shabana Azmi is a Hindi film actress & is known for her natural and fine acting skills that bring life to every role. She has been a part of the industry for more than four decades and 100+ films.

By Swati Chandra Jun 18 2021 9:11PM 366 Read
Shabana Azmi Story – Formula to Work for 40+ Years & 100+ Films

Shabana Azmi is a Hindi film actress who has acted in films, theatre, and television. She is known for her natural and fine acting skills that bring life to every role. She has been a part of the industry for more than four decades and has acted in more than a hundred films. Even in her 70s, this woman gives tough competition to all the newcomers in the industry. Shabana debuted in the 1970s and, she has become one of the leading actresses of the industry. She is also one of the highest awarded National Film Award Winners for the best actresses. Her contribution to the Hindi cinema is just incomparable.

Shabana Azmi – Statistics

  • Full Name – Shabana Kaifi Azmi
  • Born - 18 September 1950 (70 years)
  • Birth - Hyderabad, India
  • Occupation - Actress, Social Activist
  • Marital Status - Married
  • Spouse – Javed Akhtar
  • Children – Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar

Shabana Azmi - Early Life

Shabana was born in a family of artists. Her father, Kaifi Azmi, is a poet and, her mother, Shaukat Kaifi, was a stage actress. She is a Sayyid Muslim and both her parents were a member of the Communist Party of India. She got brought up in a political family who loved art. Her early life was full of values, personal growth, learning, and knowing art, respect for family ties, etc.

Shabana Azmi - Education

She attended Queens Mary School in Mumbai and later completed her graduation from St. Xavier's College in Psychology. She has also gone to a film school to do a course in acting. Azmi went to Film and Television Institute in Pune and, she topped the list of successful candidates.

Shabana Azmi - Family and Personal Life

Azmi got married to Javed Akhtar, a poet, scriptwriter, lyricist, in 1984. It was the second marriage for both of them. However, her parents objected to her marriage as she, marrying a divorced man with two kids (Farhan and Zoya Akhtar). Both of them are also working in the industry as an actor and director. Indian actress Tabu is her niece and, Tanvi Azmi is her sister-in-law. Her whole family is artistic and, no wonder this is in their genes.

Shabana Azmi - Career

  • Debut - Shabana signed a film right after graduating from the FTII. She signed her first film for Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and began working for another movie (Parinay). However, her first film was Ankur which got released in 1994. Azmi wasn't the first pick for that film as she only got the role after getting rejected by many leading actresses. But the film went on to become a hit and, she also won her very first National Film Award for her performance.
  • Breakthrough - Azmi's breakthrough was when she won back-to-back three National Film Awards from 1983 to 1985. Her roles in Arth, Khandar, and Paar were super hits and received much critical applause. She won her fifth National Film Award for Godmother in 1999 and, by now, was one of the best actresses in the industry.
  • Television and Theatre- Shabana has also acted in some iconic roles in television and theatre. She debuted in a daily soap Anupama and, even her journey as a theatre actress has also been fascinating. Some of her plays SafedKundali, Tumhari Amrita, etc., received much appreciation.

Shabana Azmi - Social Activist

Shabana has always been an active social activist throughout her career. She has raised her voice for many national issues like displaced Kashmiri Pandits, earthquake victims at Latur, 1993 Mumbai Riots, etc. She had also companies raise social awareness for AIDS. Azmi also played a role of a doctor treating HIV patients.

She is a member of the National Integration Council. Azmi also got nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1997. She served as a Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Population Fund in 1998. She also campaigned for Kanhaiya Kumar in the 2019 General Elections who contested from Bihar for CPI.

Shabana Azmi - Awards and Achievements

Shabana has been the recipient of many awards. Some of them are as follows:

  • National Awards:
    • Padma Bhushan Award, 2012
    • Padma Shri Award, 1988
    • National Film Award for Best Actress - Ankur, 1975
    • National Film Award for Best Actress - Arth, 1983
    • National Film Award for Best Actress - Khandhar, 1984
    • National Film Award for Best Actress - Paar, 1985
    • National Film Award for Best Actress - Godmother, 1999
    • Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Swami, 1987
    • Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Arth, 1984
    • Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Bhavna, 1985
    • Filmfare Award for Lifetime Achievement - 2006
    • Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress - Neerja, 2017
  • International Awards:
    • Taormina Arte Festival, Italy - Best Actress Award, Patang, 1994
    • Chicago International Film Festival - Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress, Fire, 1996
    • L.AnOutfest - Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film, Fire, 1996
    • Gandhi International Peace Award - Gandhi Foundation, Foundation, 2006
    • ANR National Award - Akkineni International Foundation, 2007
    • World Economic Forum's Crystal Award - 2009
  • Shabana Azmi - Honorary Doctorates
    • By Jadavpur University, West Bengal in 2003
    • By Leeds Metropolitan University, Yorkshire in 2007
    • By JamiaMiliaIslamia University, Delhi in 2008
    • By Simon Fraser University, Canada in 2013
    • By TERI University, Delhi in 2014

Shabana Azmi - Fans and Following

Azmi had a very successful career and, it is still going. She has been successful in gaining many fans throughout due to her outstanding performances. She is not active on any of her social media accounts but, she always tries to keep up with all the current happenings.

She has around 3.3 million followers on Twitter and almost 130 thousand followers on Instagram.

Shabana Azmi – Finest Indian Actress

Shabana has lived her life with full dignity and respect. She has aced her performance in every movie and, undoubtedly, she is one of the finest actresses that Indian cinema could ever have. This lady is the epitome of art and, acting runs through her veins. She is a great inspiration for all those people who want something as big as her.

Swati Chandra
Swati Chandra View More Posts

I am an English Honours graduate from Delhi University and writing is my passion. I like writing sweet, fun, action-packed mysteries. My characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, I am afraid of basements, bees, and going upstairs when it is dark behind. I have 2+ years of experience in this field and have worked with several websites as an intern.

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