Sharmila Tagore Biography
Sharmila Tagore (Bengali: শর্মিলা ঠাকুর Shormila Ṭhakur) (now known as Begum Ayesha Sultana) is a Indian film actress from Bengal. She has won several National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards for her performances.
She has lead the Indian Film Censor Board. In December 2005 she was chosen as an UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Born in a Bengali Brahmo family in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, Sharmila Tagore is the daughter of Gitindranath Tagore who was then Dy. General Manager of the British India Company owner of Elgin Mills.
Tagore began her career as an actress in the 1959 Satyajit Ray film Apur Sansar (The World of Apu), as the ill-fated bride of the title character. As noted on the official website for Ray, "She was just a fourteen-year-old then, with no previous acting experience. As the shooting began, Ray had to shout instructions to Sharmila during the takes. None of this, however, is reflected on the screen. Ray cast her in his next film Devi too." She appeared in a number of Ray films, often co-starring with Soumitra Chatterjee.
She established herself as a popular Hindi film actress with Shakti Samanta's Kashmir Ki Kali in 1964. Samanta would cast her in many more hit films such as An Evening in Paris (1967), and teamed her up her with Rajesh Khanna for movies such as Aradhana (1969) and Amar Prem (1972). Other directors paired them together in Daag (1973) and Safar (1970). She starred in Gulzar's 1975 film, Mausam, and she played a supporting role as heroine Sarita Choudary's mother in Mira Nair's 1991 film Mississippi Masala.
Her latest release is Vidhu Vinod Chopra film, Eklavya: The Royal Guard, brings together real life mother and son, Sharmila Tagore and Saif Ali Khan. They share screen space for the first time since Aashiq Awara (1993).
Smt. Sharmila Tagore inaugurating the Week-End Film Festival, ’50 Years of Pather Panchali – A Tribute to Satyajit Ray’ with the Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Culture, Shri S. Jaipal Reddy, in New Delhi on April 22, 2005. The Film Festival organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India)
Tagore married Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Nawab of Pataudi after converting to Islam, and took the new name of Begum Ayesha Sultana. They have three children: Saif Ali Khan (b. 1970), Saba Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan (b. 1978).