April 24 marks the death anniversary of Pearl Padamsee, a renowned actress, drama instructor, director and theatre visionary. On Pearl Padamsee’s death anniversary let us remember her theatre career.
Padamsee’s Personal Life
Padamsee was the daughter of an Indian Jewish mother and a Christian father. Married first to a Bengali Hindu, then to a well-known Muslim personality, Pearl became the ambassador to Australia and promoted the “English theatre” in Bombay. With Alyque Padamsee, she had a daughter Raell Padamsee, who runs her own theatre company in Mumbai. She also had two children from an earlier marriage, one of them, Ranjit Chowdhry, is an actor. She converted to Christianity during the initial years of her life and is buried at a Christian Cemetery in Bandra.
Padamsee as Master of Theatre
In the 1960s, she ventured into professional acting, and directed and produced plays. In 1977, She made a superb debut in the film Khatta Meetha.
In her commercial career spanning at least two decades, Pearl acted in many wonderful films including ‘Khatta Meetha’,’Baton Baton Mein’, ‘Junoon’, ‘Party’, ‘Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love’ and ‘Such a Long Journey’ to name a few.
Pearl was associated with some of the best-known stage productions in Bombay — Princess, Don’t Drink The Water, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Taming Of The Shrew, Godspell, Betrayal being some of them.
Her after-school theatre workshops for children influenced the lives of many, even those who did not later go into the performing arts.
She was also the founder of ‘Seva Dhan’ which was one of Mumbai’s first drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres.
She died of a cardiac arrest on April 24, 2000 at the age of 69.