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Telangana, India

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Shabana Azmi


Shabana Azmi (born 18 September 1950) is an Indian actress of film, television and theatre. Her career in the Hindi film industry has spanned over 160 films, mostly within independent and neorealist parallel cinema, though her work extended to mainstream films as well as a number of foreign projects.


 One of India's most acclaimed actresses, Azmi is known for her portrayals of distinctive, often unconventional female characters across several genres. She has won a record five National Film Awards for Best Actress, in addition to five Filmfare Awards and several international accolades. The Government of India honored her with the Padma Shri in 1998 and the Padma Bhushan in 2012.


The daughter of poet Kaifi Azmi and stage actress Shaukat Azmi, she is an alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India of Pune. Azmi made her film debut in 1974 with Ankur and soon became one of the leading actresses of parallel cinema, then a new-wave movement of art films known for their serious content and realism and sometimes received government patronage.


 Several of her films have been cited as a form of progressivism and social reformism that offer a realistic portrayal of Indian society, its customs, and traditions.


In addition to acting, Azmi is a social and women's rights activist. She is married to poet and screenwriter Javed Akhtar. She is a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA).


 In appreciation of Azmi's life and works, the President of India gave her a nominated (unelected) membership of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.