Asha Parekh is an Indian actress, director, and producer. She was one of the top actresses in Bollywood from the late 1950s to 1970s. She is regarded as ‘Hit Girl’ of Bollywood. Because of her successful career in Bollywood, she was given the title of “Jubilee Girl” of Bollywood.
Asha Parekh was born on 2 October 1942 (Age 80 years; as of 2022) in Mumbai. Her Zodiac sign is Libra.
Her mother enrolled her in Indian classical dance classes at an early age. There she learned from many teachers including Pandit Bansilal Bharati.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Hair Colour: White
Family, Caste & Husband
Asha Parekh was born in a middle-class Gujarati Jain Family. Her father’s name is Bachubhai Parekh, who was a Gujarati Jain. Her mother Sudha, also known as Salma Parekh, was a Muslim. She was rumoured to be in a relationship with the Veteran producer and Director, Late Nasir Hussain. However, she confirmed it in her autobiography, “The Hit Girl” that throughout her life she only loved Nasir Hussain.
Parekh started her career as a child actress with the screen name, ‘Baby Asha Parekh.’ She acted in “Maa (1952)” at the age of 10.
She later left acting for her schooling. At the age of 16, she made her debut as a heroine in 1959 “Dil Deke Dekho” alongside Shammi Kapoor, which made her a huge star.
Asha made her Gujarati debut with the movie “Akhand Saubhagyavati” in 1963.
She also did Punjabi movies, the first one being “Kankan De Ohle” in 1971.
She also did a Kannada movie known as Sharavegada Saradara in 1989. Asha made her debut as a television director in early 1990s with the Gujarati serial “Jyoti.” She formed a production company called ‘Akruti’ and produced serials like “Palash Ke Phool,” “Baaje Payal,” “Kora Kagaz” and a comedy series, “Dal Mein Kaala.”
She once courted controversy over her censoring on the films. She was denounced for her refusal to clear Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth (1998).” However, Asha said that whatever she did was under the tenets of Law.
Awards & Honours
- Gujarat State Award for Best Actress for the television series Akhand Saubhagyavati in 1963
- Padma Shri in 1992
- Living Legend Award from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
- Dadasaheb Phalke Award by the Government of India in 2020; she received the award in September 2022.
- Best Actress from the movie Kati Patang in 1972
- Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002
- Food: Fried Fish, Goan Fish Curry
- Actor: Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar
- Actress: Waheeda Rehman, Helen, Saira Bano
- Director: Bimal Roy, Raj Khosla
- Singer: Asha Bhosle
- She has a deep faith in Sai Baba.
- Asha started performing in stage shows at a very young age. At one such event, Bimal Roy saw her and cast her in his film “Maa (1952).”
- She was rejected from Vijay Bhatt’s Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959) in favour of actress Ameeta, with filmmaker claiming that Asha was not a star material.
- After being the lead actress in the movies, she started playing supporting roles as Bhabi (sister-in-law) or mother, that she regards it as the ‘ Awkward Phase’ of his life.
- She was the president of Cine Artistes’ Association from 1994 to 2000.
- Asha was the first female chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) of India.
- She judged a TV reality show ” Tyohar Dhamaka” on 9X Channel.
- Asha sold her bungalow after her mother’s death to take care of her ailing father, who passed away later.
- She runs a dance academy called ” Kara Bhavan” and Asha Parekh Hospital (named in her honour) in Santa Cruz, Mumbai.
- She used to address her favourite co-star Late Shammi Kapoor and his Late wife Geeta Bali as “Chacha and Chachi.” Even now she still calls Neila Devi (Shammi’s second wife) as Chachi.
- She is trained in Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Kathakali.
- Asha doesn’t like salad because it reminds her of her diet.
- Asha Parekh says that being on top of your career feels lonesome. After her parents’ death, she was depressed and says
It was a very bad phase for me. I lost my parents. I was totally alone and I had to manage everything all alone. It did put me in depression. I was feeling miserable and had these (suicidal) thoughts. Then I got out of it. It is a struggle, I had to take aid of the doctors to get out of it.”
- Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman, and Helen are best friends and the trio are often seen together in events, functions or trips.