Neetal wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Simi Garewal (born 1947) is an Indian Hindi movie actress. Born in India, to a Garewal family, her father was a brigadier in the army. This sophisticate spent much of her earlier life abroad. Born to a brigadier father, Simi was shunted to London when she was barely six years old and stayed in the foggy city till she completed her O levels. But the early exposure to Hindi films had already won a convert. Simi remembers seeing the Raj Kapoor classic Awara when she was just five and says it "blew my mind". Her father wanted her to study drama but a determined Simi, who was still in her teens, was keen on coming to India. Her father capitulated after she threatened to go on a hunger fast. In the early 1960s, Simi came down to India with her mother with little more than a working knowledge of Hindi. She grew up in England and developed an impeccable English accent that landed her in an English-language film Tarzan Goes to India in 1962 with Feroz Khan. She came back to India as a teen to become an actress and had to learn Hindi.
Simi and her father stayed at the plush Hotel Ambassador in Mumbai, but Simi had to scrabble hard for success like any other newcomer. She joined the Filmalaya Acting School and jogged Mehboob Khan's memory about a chance meeting between the two years earlier when a childish Simi had professed her eagerness to act. Khan remembered the spunky child and, since he was in the process of wrapping up Son Of India (1962), he offered Simi a small role in the film. In the 1960s and 70s she played in Bollywood movies, working with leading directors such as Raj Khosla in Do Badan,Raj Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker, (1970),Satyajit Ray in Aranyer Din Ratri (Days & Nights in a Forest) and Mrinal Sen in Padatik (The Pedestrian). She also starred in Columbia Pictures' Siddhartha, based on the novel by Herman Hesse, a role in which Garewal did a nude scene that caused some controversy in India. She was once married to Ravi Mohan, which did not last long. In the mid 1970's, she was a guest artiste in the popular film Kabhi Kabhie(1976) made by her brother in law Yash Chopra and a starring role in Chalte Chalte (1976). She made a strong impression in a negative character in Karz (1980). She also starred in the BBC docu-drama 'Maharajas'(1987) based on the book by Charles Allen. But in the early eighties her attention turned to writing and direction, forming her own production company, Siga Arts International. She hosted, produced and directed a TV series for Doordarshan called ‘It’s a Woman’s' World' (1983). She also made documentary for Channel Four UK called 'Living Legend Raj Kapoor'(1984). This was followed by her 3-part documentary on Rajiv Gandhi titled India's Rajiv which also received international acclaim. She also wrote and directed a Hindi feature film Rukhsat and produced television commercials. Today she anchors the popular talk show Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, now in its 10th year.
She won the (1999) Screen Awards for Best Talk Show & Best Anchor, the RAPA(2001) Award for Best Anchor & Talk show. Followed by Indian Television Academy Award (2003) for Best Anchor, the Rotary Award (2003) for Vocational Excellence in Media & Television, also the Indian Filmgoers Association Award (2004) Best Talk Show, among many others. She won the filmfare, best supporting actress for the movie Do Badan and Saathi. Garewal recently appeared on "Say Shava Shava 2008" as a host and judge and is still the producer, host of ‘rendezvous with Simi Garewal’ in star world. Simi Garewal after 'rendezvousing' with celebrities on the small screen is all set to do a comeback in Bollywood with a cameo-role in Shortcut-The Con Is On. The film under Anil Kapoor's production is being directed by Neeraj Vohra.