Happy Birthday Sharmila Tagore! Which of Your Awesome Looks is Our Favorite?

Sharmilaji! The coolest strongest hottest actress of the 1960s. And now a very classy actress of the later decades.

Sharmilaji! Very cool lady. She is from the Tagore family, which were Bengali cultural elites, and reformists. Her great uncle was Rabindrinath Tagore, writer of the Indian National Anthem and winner of the Nobel Prize and all kinds of cool things. In present day, he is essentially the patron saint of Bengali art. But the whole family is really very artsy and liberal and interesting. Because of Tagore’s “Patron Saint” status, Satyajit Rai thought it would be cool to cast someone from his family in one of his movies. Thus young teen Sharmilaji got her first film role. It was fun, it was a thing to do between classes. And then once she finished school, she went back to acting. But not in the boring black and white arty stuff, in the fun glamorous Bombay world.

Satyajit Ray's Sharmila Tagore - Newspaper - DAWN.COM

So here is Sharmilaji, very good family, very well educated, landing in Bombay. She was unusual among the actresses. The common wisdom is that actresses were always very low class, from performing families, not “respectable”. But actually there has always been a mixture of low and “respectable” actresses. Sharmila was something else though, the Tagores are a really really big deal. She brought with her that untouchable confidence given by her last name and used it to go farther than any other actress of her generation. First Indian actress to be photographed in a two piece, one of the few actresses to be happily married and keep working just as much, first actress to cross over (Mississippi Masala in 1991), and a woman who now acts as matriarch to a very untraditional family.

Mississippi Masala (1991)

Sharmila’s personal life is as dramatic as any film she was in. At the height of her fame, she caught the eye of Tiger Pataudi. Tiger was the only person in India who was her equal in terms of personal fame and family history. He came from the Pataudi royal family, a small fairly new royal family, but still real. More importantly, he was the captain of the Indian cricket team which is a VERY BIG DEAL. And he only had one eye, because of a car accident while in college, which I just find interesting. They had a whirlwind romance, which supposedly included him purposefully hitting balls to her in the stands during Cricket games (how romantic is that??? I could DIE!!!!). And then they got married, got a little apartment in Bombay, and she just kept working, not even a pause. 20 years later, her young spoiled son married a woman over ten years older than him and a scandalous actress, and Sharmila didn’t blink an eye. Same son then got a divorce and entered into a relationship with another scandalous actress far younger than him, once again Sharmila just accepted. Her daughter went to work and didn’t marry until over thirty, choosing a far younger man. Sharmila was cool with it. Really the only thing that has shaken her in her whole public life was the death of Tiger. They had a swooningly romantic beginning, followed by a solid quietly happy life together, and ending with a death that broke Sharmila as much as anything has. It’s romantic, but it’s also sad.

43 Sharmila Tagore Pataudi Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty  Images

Okay, now pick your favorite Sharmila photo!

Wedding:

Love Match! Tiger Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore: This Bollywood-Cricket  progressive tale is all about eternal romance

Grandma:

Why Sharmila Tagore is so impressed with Sara Ali Khan - Rediff.com movies

Sexy:

swimsuit photo of Sharmila Tagore 1970's | Bollywood bikini, Sharmila tagore,  Vintage bollywood

With Rajesh Khanna

Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna - Bollywood Photo (39640229) - Fanpop

25th Wedding Anniversary photo:

Sharmila Tagore's wedding lehenga | Wedding outfit, Sharmila tagore, Indian  designer outfits

Feathers:

Sharmila Tagore movies, filmography, biography and songs - Cinestaan.com

Fur:

SharmilaTagore #ShammiKapoor in Kashmir Ki Kali | Shammi kapoor, Vintage  bollywood, Bollywood actors

Shammi reunion:

Sharmila Tagore | Shammi Kapoor | One Evening in Paris Screening Photo #904

Shashi

Shashi Kapoor was most handsome man I had seen: Sharmila

Shashi again

Shashi Kapoor was most handsome man I had seen: Sharmila

Shashi third time

Film History Pics on Twitter: "(1965) Shashi Kapoor & Sharmila Tagore at  the Ashoka Hotel in Delhi during the shoot of film 'Waqt'.… "

Shashi one more time

Bollymusings | Shashi kapoor, Sharmila tagore, Vintage bollywood

Shashi reunion

Shashi Kapoor with Soha Ali Khan, Sharmila Tagore and Saba Ali Khan during  the Prithvi Theatre Festival, presented by Bombay Times, held in Mumbai, on  November 05, 2014 - Photogallery

And Sharmila with Saif

Retro Bollywood | Vintage bollywood, Bollywood photos, Bollywood

15 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Sharmila Tagore! Which of Your Awesome Looks is Our Favorite?

  1. So hard to pick.
    – grandma
    – wedding
    – sexy
    – Shashi third time

    That last might be my favorite, she looks so relaxed and natural.

    Like

    • To be fair, the Grandma picture is a bit of a gimme because her grandbabies are sooooooooooooooo cute.

      On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 8:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • And they both look like thye are having so much fun! In case you didn’t guess, they are wearing their wedding outfits for the classic “here we are 25 years later” photo.

      On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 10:25 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  2. Fur Sharmila and Sharmila now.Aged like fine wine.With a sublimely beautiful face like that,she deserved more movies with gothic themes.Is she arm wrestling Shashi?
    Satyajit Ray’s casting choices always seem,err,bizarre.Casting a local boy for a silent role,keeping debutants for leads,and working with a literal medical student for a major classical dance because she performed in a college function.Sharmila was normal by his antics.

    Like

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