Parveen Babi Biography
Parveen Babi (Gujarati: પરવીન બાબી, Hindi: परवीन बाबी, Urdu: پروین بابی) (April 4, 1949 - January 20, 2005) was an Indian actress, who is most remembered for her glamourous roles alongside top heroes of the 1970s and early 80s in blockbusters like Deewar, Namak Halaal, Amar Akbar Anthony and Shaan
Personal life and education
Babi was born in Junagadh and did her early schooling in Aurangabad and later attended St. Xavier's College, Ahmedabad. Her father Vali Mohammed Babi, a Gujarati Muslim, was an administrator with the Nawab of Junagadh. Babi was born fourteen years after the marriage of her parents and was the only child.
Parveen did not marry but shared intimate relationships with married men: director Mahesh Bhatt, actors Kabir Bedi, and Danny Denzongpa. Parveen was also rumoured to have a relationship with her co-star Amitabh Bachchan. Mahesh Bhatt later wrote and directed Arth (1982), a semi-autobiographical film about his extramarital relationship with Babi, and wrote and produced Woh Lamhe (2006) based on actual facts about his relationship with her.
Parveen was considered to be one of the most successful Bollywood actresses in the 1970s and was known for her portrayal of iconoclastic women who did not care about the conventional norms of society. She made her film debut with film, Charitira, in 1973 while still in college.
She was the first Indian actress to have been featured on TIME magazine's cover, in March 1977. In her most successful films, she was paired opposite Amitabh Bachchan, who was one of the biggest stars of the decade, in cinematic blockbusters like Deewaar (1975) Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Shaan (1980), Kaalia (1981), and Khud-daar (1982).
She was often compared with her contemporary Zeenat Aman due to their common image of being sex-symbols. In fact, she acted alongside Zeenat in Mahaan (1983) and Ashanti (1982) (inspired by the American television show Charlie's Angels, with the third role played by Shabana Azmi). In films like Deewar (1975), Shaan (1980) and Namak Halaal (1982) her screen presence may have been minimal (the films largely working around the hero) but Babi brought a certain attractive aloofness to the roles and songs she appeared in. In Manoj Kumar's big hit Kranti (1981), she stole scenes with her supporting role from Hema Malini, the heroine of the film. Babi also acted in offbeat films like Vinod Pandey's Yeh Nazdeekiyan (1982).
Her success did not run into the mid-eighties as she had left the film industry to move to New York in 1983. Many of her completed films released in the following years right uptill her last film releasing in 1988. In New York she became associated with the spiritual philosopher U. G. Krishnamurti.
She returned to Mumbai in 1992 where she was unrecognizable as her former self after having put on a considerable amount of weight. She accused many foreign dignitaries and her former co-star, Amitabh Bachchan, of conspiring to kill her but her petition in court was dismissed for lack of evidence. She also filed an affidavit in the special court hearing the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, claiming that she had evidence to show, but she did not turn up in court after being summoned saying that she was afraid of being killed.
It is speculated that Parveen Babi suffered from schizophrenia and had become a recluse due to her paranoia. It also probable that she was not schizophrenic but had a Delusional Disorder DSM-IV TR and withdrew from society. It is probable that her mental disorder could be Substance-Induced Psychosis, as she allegedly took LSD and other hallucinogens with her lovers Kabir Bedi and Mahesh Bhatt - in addition to drinking heavily and also consuming marijuana. The move to New York was in order to obtain confidential psychiatric treatment, or perhaps partially motivated by the initial psychotic break - as she did not trust psychiatrists in India to keep her information confidential.
However, she managed to maintain her posh penthouse apartment in Mumbai and live affluently from sound financial investments. She was diabetic for most of her life - possibly due to the side-effects of powerful anti-psychotic medications.
She was found dead in her Mumbai apartment on January 20, 2005 after her residential society secretary complained to the police that she had not collected milk and newspapers from her doorstep for two days. She was found to have gangrene of the foot as a complication of her diabetic condition. The police ruled out any foul play. She was buried next to her mother at Santa Cruz, in Mumbai on January 23, after her funeral was held according to Islamic rites.