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On This Day (Dec 8) - Sharmila Tagore's Birthday: The 'Aradhana' Star Calls Herself An 'Accidental Actress'; Know Why

The actress began her career at the age of 14 with Satyajit Ray's 'Apur Sansar'.

"I had no such aspirations (of becoming an actress). I actually wanted to go to Shanti Niketan. I wanted to be a dancer..." - shared the veteran actress in one of her interviews.

Actress Sharmila Tagore turns 79 today and can still give the younger generation in B-town a run for their money. Well, the veteran is loved and admired universally, so much so that only a few in the entire history of Hindi cinema have been able to come close to her legacy. Especially, back in the 1960s and 70s, she reigned the silver screen with her enduring charm and elegance, leaving a remarkable mark that continues to resonate with us today.

Born on December 8, 1944, Tagore is precisely a cinematic chameleon who can seamlessly transition from one genre to another, essaying a wide range of characters. Take, for instance, her films with Satyajit Ray (such as 'Apur Sansar', 'Devi', and 'Nayak') where she graced the screen with her incredible subtlety, and on the other hand, her mainstream Bollywood films where she often set the screens on fire with her infectious glamour. Be it thought-provoking dramas like 'ChupkeChupke' and 'Amar Prem', romantic comedies like 'Aradhana' and 'Kashmir Ki Kali', or poignant thrillers like 'An Evening in Paris' and 'Aamne Samne'; Tagore's filmography is a testament to her phenomenal artistic depth and dedication to push her own boundaries.

It is also important to acknowledge that the actress has always been ahead of her time, shattering societal norms, and bringing a revolution to the industry. On the occasion of her 79th birthday, we share an interesting anecdote about her that will leave you spellbound.

Sharmila Tagore - An Accidental Actress

Sharmila Tagore, one of India's most loved actresses of all time, has always called herself an "accidental actress". Why? Let's learn that in this article.

Actually, Tagore never aspired to become an actress and was more into dancing. She never learned acting and got noticed by Ray under mere circumstances. Things got into place, paving her way to becoming a leading actress in Hindi cinema.

As the 'Aradhana' star once said in an interview, "You have to appreciate the fact that acting is not the be-all-end-all of my life.

There is so much more to life. In any case, unlike Jaya (Bachchan) or Shabana (Azmi), who went to acting school, I was an accidental actress.

I remember seeing Jaya at age 13 with her father, the distinguished journalist Tarun Kumar Bhaduri. Even at that age, she was decked up, a rose in her hair, and so on. She was very enamored of the camera. She was destined to be an actress.

I had no such aspirations. I actually wanted to go to Shanti Niketan. I wanted to be a dancer..."


(Credit: SuperHitGaane)

"My life changed when I was introduced to Satyajit Ray. It was acting for me thereafter. But I kept telling myself I’d quit after every film. I saw myself in my first Hindi film Kashmir Ki Kali and I didn’t like myself. I said, one more film and I’m done. But it continued.

But I left so many films: Khilona, Tere Mere Sapne, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Aad-mi Aur Insaan....When I was offered the last by Yash Chopra, I told him I was quitting," she added.

Some Other Interesting Facts About Sharmila Tagore

Sharmila Tagore is the first actress in Hindi cinema to wear a swimsuit in front of the camera.

The actress is distantly related to the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Her father (Gitindranath Tagore) was the grandson of Rabindranath Tagore's first cousin's grandson. She is also distantly related to Devika Rani.

She became Begum Ayesha Sultana after tying the knot with Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the Nawab of Pataudi.

Her collaboration with superstar Rajesh Khanna was a serious hit among fans. They starred in six films together, all of which were superhits.

In her leisure time, she loves gardening, reading books, and listening to music.