Legendary Bollywood actress Zohra Sehgal has died at her home in New Delhi on Thursday at the age of 102. Born on 27 April 1912 in Uttar Pradesh, Sehgal began her career as a dancer before slowly progressing on to films. She made her film debut in K.A. Abbas’s Dharti Ke Lal (1946) and went on to work in Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar (1946), a film which acquired international attention and went on to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
Though Zohra Sehgal has had her presence felt over many decades within the Indian film industry; many from today’s generation will know her for her senior roles in films like Dil Se (1998), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Veer-Zaara (2004). She has even played the role of Amitabh Bachchan’s mother in the acclaimed hit Cheeni Kum (2007). In addition, Sehgal has starred in international projects such as Bhaji on the Beach (1993) and Bend it Like Beckham (2002). Her last ever film appearance was in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya (2007), which also marked the debuts of Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.
Sehgal has been honoured for her services to the arts by the Government of India and received the Padma Shri (1998), Padma Bhushan (2002) and Padma Vibhushan (2010) during her lifetime. Her body will be cremated on Friday at Lohdi Road Crematorium.