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Google Pays Tribute To Legendary Actress Zohra Sehgal With Special Doodle

Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal

In a note written on its website, Google described Zohra Sehgal as "one of the country's first female actors to truly achieve recognition on the international stage."

Google on Tuesday paid tribute to iconic Indian actress and stage artiste Zohra Sehgal. The special Doodle, which showed the legendary actress as dancing, was made by Google guest artist Parvati Pillai. In a note written on its website, Google described Sehgal as "one of the country's first female actors to truly achieve recognition on the international stage."

Sehgal, a quintessential Bollywood diva who essayed character roles with aplomb in a career spanning over seven decades in both theatre and cinema, died in July 2014. Sehgal started her career as a dancer with Uday Shankar in 1935. She had appeared in many Bollywood films as a character actor as well as in English language films besides television series and plays.

Often called the grand old lady of Bollywood, she last appeared in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya (with Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor) in 2007. She acted in hits like Cheeni Kum (with Amitabh Bachchan), Dil Se (with Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala), Veer Zaara (Shah Rukh and Preity Zinta), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai) and Bend It Like Beckham.

Born on April 27, 1912 in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh in a traditional Muslim family, Sehgal, third of her seven siblings, grew up in Chakrata near Dehradun and was sent to Lahore to pursue her higher education.

As a dancer, she performed across Japan, Egypt, Europe and the U.S.. She married scientist, painter and dancer Kameshwar Sehgal in August 1942. The couple had two children, Kiran and Pavan. Kameshwar died in 1952 and Zohra raised the children all by herself.

Considered the doyenne of Indian theatre, Ms. Sehgal acted with Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and Prithviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre for 14 years. In 1946, she debuted in IPTA’s first film production Dharti Ke Lal, which dealt with the Bengal famine. She also acted in another IPTA film — Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar.

She choreographed for a few Hindi films as well, including classics like Guru Dutt’s Baazi (1951) and the dream sequence song in Raj Kapoor’s film Awaara.

Sehgal moved to London on a drama scholarship in 1962, where she appeared in many TV productions including The Jewel in the Crown, Tandoori Nights, My Beautiful Laundrette and The Raj Quartet.

(With inputs from PTI)


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