Shashikala was born in 1933 in Solapur, Maharashtra. At the tender age of 5, she started dancing, singing and acting on stage in many towns in Solapur district. A few years later, her father became bankrupt and they moved to Mumbai. Shashikala wandered around looking for work in films. She earned small amounts till she met Noor Jehan, the reigning screen queen during those years.
Noor Jehan's husband, Shaukat, who was making a movie Zeenat then, in the early 1940s, included Shashikala in a qawwali scene. The film was being made in Urdu, so Shashikala quickly learnt that language. She received 25 rupees for her role. She struggled for a while, and got small roles in movies made by P. N. Arora, Amiya Chakravarti, and a few other producers. She got a role in V. Shantaram’s ...» read full biography