Name: Sadhana Shivdasani
DOB: 02 September, 1941
Birthplace: Karachi, British India
Occupation: Film actress
• She was nominated for the Filmfare Award in Best Actress category for her roles in Woh Kaun Thi? and Waqt.
• For her contribution to the film world, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by IIFA (2002).
• In a song sequence of Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), actress Bipasha Basu paid tribute to the actress by wearing a white churidar and kurta, and sporting the famous Sadhana cut.
• Sadhana was born in a Sindhi family and was named after her father's favourite actress-dancer Sadhana Bose. The family migrated from Karachi during the post-partition riots and settled in Mumbai. She was cousins with actress Babita.
• Sadhana aspired to be an actress since childhood. She entered into films with the help of her father. In 1955, she played a chorus girl in the song Mur Mur Ke Na Dekh, Mur Mur Ke in Raj Kapoor's Shree 420.
• When she was 15 years old, she was approached by a few producers who had seen her act in a college play. They cast her in India's first Sindhi film Abaana (1958). A token amount of 1 rupee was paid to her as compensation.
• Sashadhar Mukherjee, one of Hindi cinema's leading producers at that time, noticed her picture in Screen, a movie magazine. She joined his acting school along with his son and her debutant co-star, Joy Mukherjee.
• R. K. Nayyar, director of her first Hindi movie Love in Simla, created her trademark fringe look called ‘Sadhana cut’ inspired by British actress Audrey Hepburn. The style was suggested to make her forehead look narrower. The fringe soon became popular in the 1960s, while the film was listed in the top 10 films of 1960.
• When Sadhana went on to shoot for Bimal Roy's Parakh, Roy was disappointed to see her modern look. She had to stick her fringe back in order to match the simple-village-girl look in the film.
• In 1963, to play the role of a Muslim girl from Aligarh in her first technicolour film Mere Mehboob, she undid her famous cut to fit the bill. She had centre-parted her hair and wore it in a plait which was immediately discarded by the director. He said that the audience wanted to see her signature cut and demanded it. The film ranked in the top five films of the 1960s.
• One of the scenes from the film where Rajendra Kumar encounters Sadhana for the first time and sees her eyes through her burqa is considered as one of the most remarkable scenes in Hindi cinema.
• Director Raj Khosla cast her in three successful mystery films, Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Mera
Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967), thus, making her famous as the ‘mystery girl’.
• Sadhana performed on Jhumka Gira Re from Mera Saaya, a box office "Super Hit" courtroom drama, on dance steps choreographed by Saroj Khan, then an assistant to dance director. The song became so popular that audience in cinema halls used to throw coins at the screen in excitement, and still remains one of the most requested songs on radio.
• She stood out in Bollywood’s first ever ensemble cast film, Yash Chopra-directed Waqt (1965), by shifting the trend to tight churidar-kurtas from the traditional loose shalwar kameez. Chopra felt that it would not be accepted. But Sadhana, with the help of her fashion designer Bhanu Athaiya, showed him a sample, which he liked. The trend lasted well in the 1970s and was adopted by many actresses.
• Sadhana married her Love in Simla director, Ram Krishna Nayyar on March 7, 1966. Their love blossomed on the film set, but as she was very young then, her parents opposed the union. They were married for nearly 30 years, until his death in 1995 from asthma. The couple had no children.
• She retired from acting in mid-70s as she did not want to be cast as a side-actress or do character roles.
• Despite the fact that many of Shivdasani's films fared very well at the box office, she did not receive any of the leading awards of the film industry.
• In 2014, Sadhana made a rare public appearance walking the ramp in a pink sari at a fashion show to support the cause for cancer and AIDS patients. She was escorted by her relative, actor Ranbir Kapoor.
• Revealing her life post-retirement from films, she jokingly revealed, “I do gardening for two hours in the morning. Then sometimes I take a massage. After lunch I go to the club and play cards. In the evening I watch TV. I also have a group of non-filmi friends.”
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