Sandhya Shantaram

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Sandhya Shantaram
Nationality Indian
Other names Sandhya Shantaram
Occupation Actress

Sandhya is an Indian film actress. She is best known for her appearances in various Hindi and Marathi films directed by her husband V. Shantaram, in 1950s-1960s, most notably Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1958), Navrang (1959) and Marathi film Pinjra (1972) "Amar Bhoopali" (1951).


Sandhya was discovered by V. Shantaram.[1] She later married him after Jayashree left him. In 1952 Sandhya debuted as an actress in his Marathi film Amar Bhoopali in the role of a vocalist, the object of poet Honaji Bala's desire.[2] She went on to feature in most of Shantaram's films. In her next film Teen Batti Char Raasta (1953) she played an impoverished girl who is considered unattractive because of her dark skin, but who is secretly a radio star with a beautiful singing voice. For the role Sandhya wore dark makeup.

As she had no formal dance training, she underwent intensive instruction in classical dance from co-star Gopi Krishna for the film Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje. The two play Kathak dancers who are preparing for an important competition, but face opposition from their dance guru when they fall in love. The film was very successful and went on to win four Filmfare Awards as well as the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.[3] Sandhya starred opposite her husband in the film Do Aankhen Barah Haath where she played Champa, a toyseller who fascinates the warden and inmates as she walks outside their jail.[4] In Navrang she played the plain wife of the titular character, a poet, who creates a fantasy image of her as his beautiful and sensuous muse.[5] The film contained the Holi song "Arreh Jaa Reh Hat Natkhat" where Sandhya dances with an elephant wearing ghungroo.

She next starred in Stree (1961), a film version of Shakuntala's story from the Mahabharata. As the epic mentions that Shukunlanta and her son Bharata lived in the wilderness among lions, Shantaram decided to include real lions in some scenes. Sandhya did not have a double for these scenes; she prepared by shadowing a lion tamer and practicing in the cage with the lions.[6] Sandhya's last major role was in the Marathi version of Pinjra; her character falls in love with a schoolteacher played by Shriram Lagoo in his film debut.[7]

In 2009, she made a special appearance at the V. Shantaram Awards ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Navrang.[8]



  1. ^ "Director Vankudre Shantaram". Chicago Tribune. 30 October 1990. p. 11. 
  2. ^ Mujawar, Isak (1969). Maharashtra: birthplace of Indian film industry. Maharashtra Information Centre. p. 98. 
  3. ^ "State Awards for Films: Film in India, 1956" (PDF). Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. 28 April 1957. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Krishnan, Raghu (25 May 2003). "The eyes have it". The Economic Times. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Dinesh Raheja, Jitendra Kothari (1996). The hundred luminaries of Hindi cinema. India Book House Publishers. p. 29. ISBN 81-7508-007-8. 
  6. ^ Heidi Rika Maria Pauwels (2007). Indian literature and popular cinema: recasting classics. Psychology Press. pp. 71–72. ISBN 0-415-44741-0. 
  7. ^ Ramachandran, T.M. (January 1977). "Newfangled Techniques". Film World. 13. 
  8. ^ "Rani Mukherji, Prakash Raj win V Shantaram awards". Indian Express. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 

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