Padma Khanna is a veteran Indian actress who is best known for portraying “Kaikeyi” in Ramanand Sagar‘s epic television series “Ramayan.”
Padma Khanna was born on Thursday, 10 March 1949 (age 71 years; as in 2020) in Patna, Bihar. She spent most of her childhood in Varanasi. By the age of seven, she had started learning Kathak.
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about her parents and siblings.
Relationships, Husband & Children
Padma Khanna was married to the late film director Jagdish L. Sidana. Their marriage took place in 1986.
She has a daughter Neha Sidana and a son Akshar Sidana.
At the age of twelve, she made her debut with the Bhojpuri film “Bhaiya” in 1961. Thereafter, she appeared in another Bhojpuri film ‘Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo’ (1962).
Padma has many more Bhojpuri films to her name, such as Bidesiya (1963), Balam Pardesia (1979), and Mai (1989). She made her Bollywood debut with the film ‘Biwi Aur Makaan’ (1966).
However, she rose to fame after appearing in the Bollywood film ‘Johny Mera Naam’ (1970) in which she played the sizzling, flamboyant cabaret dancer.
Padma Khanna has appeared in many more popular Bollywood films, like Pakeezah (1972), Saudagar (1973), and Hera Pheri (1976). In 1977, she appeared in her only Gujarati film ‘Gher Gher Matina Chula.’
Padma Khanna made her Punjabi debut with the film ‘Jindri Yaar Di’ (1978).
She also appeared in another Punjabi film ‘Sher Puttar’ (1978). She made her Marathi debut with the film ‘Devta’ (1983) in which she had a cameo appearance in the song “Khel Kunala Daivacha Kalala.”
In 1986, she appeared in another Marathi film ‘Maaficha Sakshidar’ in which she did a cameo in the song “Shama Ne Jab Aag.”
She made her television debut with Ramanand Sagar‘s epic television series Ramayan (1987) in which she played the role of “Kaikeyi,” one of the queens of Raja Dashrath (played by Bal Dhuri). Her intense performance as Kaikeyi in Ramayan made her a household name in India.
- It was the actresses Padmini and Vyjayanthimala who encouraged her to move to Bombay to make a career in films. While talking about it Padma says,
I used to learn Kathak from the age of seven and dancing actresses like Padmini and Vyjayanthimala initiated the idea of coming to Bombay.”
- When her debut Bhojpuri film failed at the box office, she returned to her hometown Varanasi. Later, at the insistence of Gopi Krishna, she again came to Bombay. She says,
I couldn’t adjust to the film atmosphere and so I went back to Benaras. I returned a couple of months later at the insistence of Gopi Krishna Bhaiya and this time it was to stay.”
- Padma Khanna played the body double of Meena Kumari in Pakeezah (1972).
- She rose to fame after doing Saudagar (1973) alongside Amitabh Bachchan.
- In the initial days of her career, she mostly did soft, gentle village girl roles in films, such as ‘Saaz Aur Awaz,’ ‘Baharon Ke Sapne,’ ‘Aashirwad,’ ‘Rahgir,’ and ‘Heer Ranjha.’
- After doing Johny Mera Naam, she was typecast into vampish/negative roles throughout her career in the ’70s and ’80s.
- After getting married to Jagdish L. Sidana in 1986, she left acting. (Patrika))
- Currently, Padma resides in New Jersey, USA and runs ‘Indianica Dance Academy’ in Iselin, New Jersey.