REMEMBERING SHASHIKALA
Filmfare|April 2021
AUGUST 4, 1932 – APRIL 4, 2021. The veteran character actor passed away recently. Devesh Sharma offers a brief profile of her life and career
Devesh Sharma

Shashikala Jawalkar Saigal was born in 1932 at Solapur. Her father Anantrao Jawalkar was a cloth merchant. She had five other siblings. Her father’s business unfortunately collapsed when she was still a child. It was tough going for the actor, who then joined a dance and drama troupe to make ends meet. Her troupe enacted mythological plays at fairs and child Shashikala became famous for playing Krishna. The family later shifted to Mumbai. She started going to film studios to find work. It’s said she was discovered by singing star Noorjehan. The singer and her husband Shaukat Hussain were making a film called Zeenat (1945) and wanted to cast her as Noorjehan’s daughter in the film. Her lack of mastery over Urdu didn’t get her the speaking role but she was included in a qawwali scene in the film.

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