Veteran B’wood actress Sadhana no more

MUMBAI: Veteran Bollywood actress Sadhana Shivdasani passed away on December 25 morning in Mumbai after a long battle with cancer, a family friend said here.

She was 74 and a widow, and is survived by her foster daughter.

“Sadhana breathed her last at her home this morning,” a close friend and BJP city spokesperson Shaina NC told IANS.

A top-rung Bollywood star in the 1960s and 1970s, Shivdasani was born in Karachi, now in Pakistan. However, after partition, when she was barely seven, her family migrated to India and settled in Bombay (now Mumbai).

She entered films as a child artiste in 1955 with a minor appearance in Raj Kapoor’s film, Shree 420.

Later, in 1958, she acted in India’s first Sindhi language film Abaana in a significant role, on a token payment of INRe 1.

When a promotional picture of the movie appeared on the cover of a film magazine, it was noticed by a prominent producer, Sashadhar Mukherjee, and she joined his acting school.

Shivdasani’s co-student then was her future co-star Joy Mukherjee. The duo starred in Love in Shimla, a musical superhit of 1960 produced by Sashadhar Mukherjee for Filmalaya Productions and directed by his son RK Nayyar, whom she married later.

She never looked back since and followed with highly-acclaimed and awarded film Parakh the following year and another musical superhit Hum Dono with the legendary Dev Anand.

Shivdasani is credited with introducing the famous ‘fringe’ haircut — known as her trademark ‘Sadhana Cut’ — and tight body-hugging churidar-kurtas as a much-copied fashion in Bollywood.

Paired with the top heroes of that era, Shivdasani continued her trailblazing career with notable films like Ek Musafir, Ek Hasina, Asli Naqli, Mere Mehboob — her first colour movie, Woh Kaun Thi, Rajkumar, Waqt, Aarzoo, Mera Saaya, Gaban, Ek Phool, Do Mali and many others till her voluntary retirement from Bollywood in 1994.

In one of her last major public appearances, Shivdasani along with her relative and actor Randhir Kapoor walked the ramp at a fashion show in May 2014 to support the cause of cancer and AIDS patients.