B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Asha Parekh was born on October 2, 1942 in Bangalore to a Gujarati Family. She was the only child of her parents. Asha was enrolled to classical dance traning since she was 5. When Asha grew up, she began performing at various stage shows and private shows. Her first film as a child artiste was Aasman (1952). At one stage show, Asha Parekh caught the attention of none other than Bimal Roy, who decided to cast her in Baap Beti (1954). Baap Beti flopped and after its failure, Asha Parekh decided to resume her schooling.
Asha Parekh’s first film as a heroine was Nasir Hussain’s Dil Deke Dekho (1959), where Asha was paired with Shammi Kapoor. The film was a runaway success, and Asha did not look back then. Asha Parekh was one of the most Popular and successful film stars in the 60s. She gave hit after another every year like Ghunghat (1960), Jab Pyaar Kisi se Hota Hai (1961), Chhaya (1961) and Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hun (1963). Since 1966, Asha Parekh did films that proved her versitality. If she did a romantic comedy Love in Tokyo (1966), she also did a serious film like Upkar (1967). And then, there was a Musical thriller too, Teesri Manzil (1966). While she was consistent at the box-office, Asha also did challenging roles like in Kati Patang (1970) and Caravan (1971) and had her share of critical acclaim too.
With the coming of 70s, Asha Parekh realised her reigning period was over. So she cleverly shifted to character roles and did films like Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978), Sau Din Saas Ke (1980), and Kaalia (1981). After doing a few more character roles, Asha Parekh quit films permanently. She was last seen in Aandolan (1995) She did not marry and is living a lonely but content life at her bungalow in Mumbai.
Asha Parekh won the Filmfare Best Actress Award in 1970 for Kati Patang. She was also awarded the Filmfare Lifetime achievement award in 2002. Asha Parekh was the first female chairperson of Censor Board and held the position from 1998 to 2001. She also produced and directed many TV serials like Kora Kaagaz, Palash ke Phool, Baaje Paayal and Daal Mein Kaala. The Asha Parekh Hospital is named after her, due to her humanitarian contributions.