B’day special: 5 amazing facts about Sharmila Tagore aka Begum Ayesha Sultana

Sharmila Tagore made her acting debut at the age of 14 with the acclaimed Bengali drama The World of Apu in 1959

Mumbai: Evergreen Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore has turned a year older and fabulous on December 8, as the actress is celebrating her 76th birthday today.

The ‘woman of grace’ was born in the Tagore family in 1944 and got married to Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, former captain of the Indian cricket team. Post marriage, she changed her name to Ayesha Begum after converting to Islam.


Sharmila Tagore made her acting debut at the age of 14 with the acclaimed Bengali drama The World of Apu in 1959.

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Some of the hit films of Sharmila Tagore include Aradhana, Safar, Amar Prem, Daag, Avishkaar, Mausam, Chupke Chupke, Waqt, Anupama, An Evening in Paris, Aamne Saamne, Namkeen, Satyakam, and more. However, the actress was last seen in the film titled Break Ke Baad in 2010.

The actress has appeared in two films with her son, Saif Ali Khan – the first being the film Ashiq Aawara, released in 1993, and Eqlavya: The Royal Guard, which also starred and was made by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

On her special day, take a look at few unknown facts about the begum of Pataudi, that might amaze you.

  • Do know Sharmila Tagore calls herself an ‘accidental actress’? Yes, she does, because she never aspire to become an actor and in fact, she wanted to become a dancer.
  • Though Sharmila did a wonderful job after stepping into the tinsel town, in an old interview she revealed that she would always tell herself that she would do just one more film and then quit.
  • She won her first National Award for Best Actress in 1975 – 16 years after joining the industry- with Gulzar directorial, Mausam. Sharmila also received Padma Bhushan in 2013.
  • With her iconic surfing scene in An Evening In Paris, Sharmila Tagore became the first actress in Bollywood to have sported a swimsuit.
  • Sharmila Tagore has appeared in nearly 60 movies. She has also done flicks in Bengali, Marathi, and one in English.

Sharmila Tagore’s roots from Hyderabad

The actress’s mother was an Assamese, Ira Baruah, and her father was a Bengali, called Gitindernath Tagore. As per various reports, Sharmila Tagore is originally from Hyderabad, and back then, her father was associated with the East India Company as he was acting as the Deputy General Manager of the company, Elgin Mills owner.

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