On her 70th Birth Anniversary, enlightening the life of the gorgeous and stereotype breaking actress of Bollywood, Parveen Babi.
An interior designer initially, Parveen Babi entered the world of modelling in the year 1972 and did not have to wait long for her first Bollywood film Charitra released in the year 1973. Although the film turned out to be a flop at the box office but it marked the inception of the 15-year long career of one of the most glamorous heroine, Hindi Film Industry has ever witnessed.
Parveen Babi’s first major hit was Majboor released in the year 1974 opposite the great Amitabh Bachchan. With chiselled looks and a well-sculpted body, Parveen Babi changed the perception of viewers for Bollywood Indian Actresses. She was the first Bollywood actress to be featured on the front page of the Time Magazine in July 1976. Parveen Babi soon became a fashion icon for the country.
After the release of Deewaar in the year 1975, Babi had entered the league of successful actresses. She starred opposite Amitabh Bachchan in eight films, all of them turning out to be hits or super-hits. She had also shared the screen opposite megastars like Shashi Kapoor for Suhaag(1979), Kaala Patthar(1979) and Namak Halaal(1982), Feroz Khan for Kala Sona (1975) and Sanjay Khan for Chandi Sona(1977). With so many hits under her name, Parveen Babi also became the highest-paid actress in Bollywood. Babi had earned the reputation of a commercially successful actress throughout the ’70s and early ’80s being at par with fellow heroines like Hema Malini, Rekha, Zeenat Aman, Jaya Bhaduri, Reena Roy and Raakhee.
Mega Films of that era, Deewar, Shaan and Namak Halaal were mostly worked around the hero but the attractive avatar of Parveen Babi amplified her roles in these blockbusters and what added to the success were the songs she appeared in. In her acting career which spanned over 10 years, she acted in over fifty films with almost every leading star between 1970 and the early ’80s. Parveen Babi replaced the image of saree wearing Indian women with a glamorous looking woman.
She became even more popular with the popular Hindi songs in which she appeared. The picturization of these songs involved her glamorous outfits and aesthetic film sets that made them the super hits of that era. Songs like “ Jawaani Jaaneman”, “Raat Baki Baat Baki” from Namak Hallal, “Pyaar Karne Wale” from Shaan and “Maara Thumka” from Kranti have been the highlights of her career. Even today old Hindi Song lovers, when they listen to these songs, they remember the performance and gracefulness of Parveen Babi, the Diva. You can now listen to all the blockbuster old Hindi Songs that featured Parveen Babi on Saregama Carvaan.
Unfortunately, Bollywood lost one of its most beautiful and bold star on January 20th, 2005, but even today the magic that Parveen Babi created on the screen as a fashion diva and a glamorous woman has been influencing the new age actresses and fashion enthusiasts all over the world.
All we can say is that Parveen Babi was an artist that influenced Hindi cinema with her boldness and glamour and the legacy lives on.
Listen to all your favourite Parveen Babi tracks celebrating her contributions to Bollywood on Saregama Carvaan.