Shabana Azmi is one of the leading actresses of parallel cinema and is regarded as one of the finest actresses in India. Her performances in films in a variety of genres have generally earned her praise and awards.
She was born to noted Urdu progressive poet Kaifi Azmi and theatre actress Shaukat Azmi. She made her acting debut with Shyam Benegal’s critically acclaimed film ‘Ankur’ and since then the actress has delivered power-packed performances.
Shabana holds a record of five wins of the National Film Award for Best Actress and several international honors. In 1988, she was awarded Padma Shri by the government of India.
Apart from acting, Azmi is a social and women’s rights activist. She is the wife of poet and screenwriter Javed Akhtar. She is a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA).
In appreciation of Azmi’s life and works, the President of India gave her a nominated (unelected) membership of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.