Uttara Baokar is an Indian stage actress, who also acts in both on films and television. An alumna of National School of Drama, she remained lead actress with the NSD Repertory Company in the 1970s and '80s, a period which saw the revival of Hindi theatre in Delhi, before moving to television and films in late 1980s.
She won the 1989 National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for Mrinal Sen's film Ek Din Achanak. On television, she is most known for the role of Jassi's Bebe in the TV series Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin (2003–2006).
Early life and education
After passing out of NSD, she joined the NSD Repertory Company, and soon established herself as a lead actress. In the coming two decades, she acted in several notable plays as a part of the lead trio of repertory company, which included her fellow NSD classmate Surekha Sikri and Manohar Singh (NSD 1971 batch), who later remained company's head as well. Most notably during this period were lead roles like Padmavati in Mukyhamantri, the Mena in Mena Gurjari, the Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello, the mother in playwright Girish Karnad's Tughlaq, the nautch girl in Chhote Saiyad Bade Saiyad, the lead role of Umrao in "Umrao Jaan". She also worked in Shanta Gandhi's noted production of the Bhavai-based musical Jasma Odhan in 1968, with Manohar Singh, the play, resurrected the Bhavai folk theatre from Gujarat, ran successfully in cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi for many years, and has since become an integral part of Bhavai repertoire.
In 1976, she appeared on debut theatre production of her batch mate at NSD, and later the head of NSD, Amal Allana, the play was playwright Mohan Rakesh’s Adhe Adhure, where she again acted alongside Surekha Sikri, and Manohar Singh. In 1978, still with the Repertory Company she also directed, Jaywant Dalvi's play Sandhya Chhaya, in Hindi translation by Kusum Kumar, with Manohar Singh and Surekha Sikri in the lead roles, which as a later review put it, "overwhelmed the audience emotionally with its tragic intensity.", and in the following year, she acted as Lady Macbeth in Barnam Vana, Hindi version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by B.V. Karanth, where K. K. Raina played the lead role of Macbeth. She won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, given by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama, for Acting (Hindi theatre) in 1984.
She acted in Govind Nihalani's epic four-part mini TV series, set in the partition of India, Tamas (1987), as a Hindu refugee. Thereafter she moved to Mumbai in the 1990s with early TV series like Kavita Choudhary, Udaan (TV series) (1990–1991) on DD National channel, and went on to act in several art films, with director's Govind Nihalani and Shyam Benegal, most notably Mrinal Sen's Ek Din Achanak and Shyam Benegal's Sardari Begum.
- Tamas (1987)
- Ek Din Achanak (1989)
- Udaan (TV series) (1990–1991)
- Rukmavati Ki Haveli (1991)
- The Burning Season (1993)
- Doghi (1995) (Marathi)
- Sardari Begum (1996)
- Thakshak (1999)
- Zindagi Zindabad (2000)
- Kora Kaagaz (2002)
- Vaastupurush (2002) (Marathi)
- Nazarana (2002) (TV series)
- Uttarayan (2003) (Marathi)
- Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin (TV series) (2003–2006)
- Shevri (Marathi Film) (2006)
- Kashmakash Zindagi Ki (TV series) (2006–2009)
- Restaurant (2006) (Marathi)
- Rishtey (TV series) (Season 2)
- Sins (2005)
- Hum Ko Deewana Kar Gaye (2006)
- Dor (2006)
- Aaja Nachle (2007)
- 8 x 10 Tasveer (2009)
- Ha Bharat Maza (2011) (Marathi)
- Samhita (2013) (Marathi)
- 2003: Maharashtra State award: Best Actress: Vaastupurush
- 1989: National Film Award: Best Supporting Actress: Ek Din Achanak
- 1984: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award: Acting (Hindi theatre) 
- "Theatre is revelation". The Hindu. Feb 24, 2008.
- "Alumni List For The Year 1968". National School of Drama Official website.
- "Of days that were...". The Hindu. Jun 30, 2005.
- Brandon, p. 83
- Subramanyam, p. 24
- Subramanyam. p. 29
- "Those lonely sunset days". The Hindu. April 23, 2010.
- Trivedi, p. 185
- Nash, p. 292
- "Marathi cinema gets the sensitive and intelligent film-lover". The Economic Times. 3 May 2008.
- K. Moti Gokulsing; Wimal Dissanayake (17 April 2013). Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas. Routledge. pp. 77–. ISBN 978-1-136-77284-9. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- Filmography[dead link]
- "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees". Sangeet Natak Akademi Official website.
- Nash, Jay Robert (1988). Stanley Ralph Ross, ed. The Motion Picture Guide 1988 Annual: The Films of 1987. Cinebooks. ISBN 0-933997-16-7.
- Brandon, James R.; Martin Banham (1997). The Cambridge guide to Asian theatre. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-58822-7.
- Subramanyam, Lakshmi (2002). Muffled voices: women in modern Indian theatre. Har-Anand Publications. ISBN 81-241-0870-6.
- Trivedi, Poonam; Dennis Bartholomeusz (2005). India's Shakespeare: translation, interpretation, and performance International studies in Shakespeare and his contemporaries. University of Delaware Press. ISBN 0-87413-881-7.