Early days – Smita was an alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. She had to start off her life as a news presenter. Little did she know that she was will be noticed by none other than ace film maker Shyam Benegal. Smita bagged roles Charandas Chor and Nishant. Her acting capabilities were well noted only in 1976, in Benegal’s fim, Manthan.
Filmography that surged – There was no looking back after that. Smita Patil went on to act in some very big projects opposite all top heroes in her career with films. Despite sporting a dusky colour and unconventional looks, Smita proved her mettle and showed the world that skin tone is never a criterion to become an actress in Bollywood. Her role in films like Mirch Masala, Mr Natwarlal, Jawab etc are some of the unforgettable ones.
Cause for women – Smita was an active supporter of charity and women empowerment. She did mostly female oriented roles to address the real life societal issues of Indian women. She even won a Best Actress Award for her strong role in Benegal’s film, Bhumika, a story of an actress who leads a life opposed by society,
Love affair with Raj Babbar – Smita’s torrid love affair with actor Raj Babbar shook the Nation. The fact that Babbar was already a married man and involving himself with Smita made the media and fans label her as ‘Home breaker’. This accusation further strengthened when Babbar left his wife Nadira to finally tie the knot with Patil. This love affair remains to be the most controversial love affair of all times in Bollywood.
Early Death – Smita Patil could unfortunately not have a long life with her roaring success by her side. She died in 1986 after diving birth to her son Prateik Babbar out of medical complications. Director Mrinal Sen came out in the media after 20 years to reveal that Patil died because of ‘negligence’ and not ‘complications’. Her son, Prateik Babbar, is one of the promising actors now in Bollywood.
Team Chitramala remembers this great actress of Indian Film Industry with fondness.