The great-granddaughter of poet Rabindranath Tagore, Sharmila Tagore is one of the few true legendary actors of Indian cinema. Her career in movies spans the art films of Satyajit Ray, Bollywood extravaganzas, classic social dramas, and Indian parallel cinema. She is also considered of the most glamorous figures in the history of Indian Popular cinema.
Excerpt from IndiaInfo article, She was also a style setter. Her butterfly knot blouse, her style of making up, long eyelashes, her curvy dresses all became a fashion statement. In the mean time she also appeared on the cover of a magazine in two piece bikini which became the talk of the town.
Sharmila's and other Bollywood actresses' style and dress had a huge influence on every young Indian woman of the 60s and 70s.
Sharmila was a sensation in 60s and 70s Bollywood. Much could and should be written (*I'm working of a paper right now) about the 'Bikini Photo' showing Sharmila in a two piece Western style bathing suit that was published in Indian magazines in 1966. For many Indian and Islamic conservatives the photo was scandalous. The Photo opened debates on many issues that dealt with sex, gender, and culture. Sharmila and other young Indian woman of her generation wondered what the big deal was? She just wanted to wear the latest vogue fashions.
In the 60s and 70s Sharmila could always be counted on to add 'sizzle' to a Bollywood movie. Her signature Bollywood film was Shakti Samanta's classic "An Evening In Paris" (1967). I've posted an image captures gallery from "An Evening In Paris" below to display the amazing bouffant and style of Sharmila Tagore.
Sharmila Tagore is an actress who balanced her career between 'art films' and popular cinema. In the 1970s she had a screen association with Rajesh Khanna (who was the film heart throb of heart throbs) that produced some of the all time classics of Bollywood social drama with films like "Aradhana" , "Amar Prem" , and "Safar" . With her trademark dimpled cheek, amazing bone structure, and wonderful figure she also headed the glamorous A list of popularity in Bollywood masala entertainers.
On screen Tagore seemed as much at home in a 'sizzling' and 'revealing' item number in a film like "An Evening In Paris" as she was in a quiet nearly silent portrayal as an inhibited youth as in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's "Anupama" .
In 1997 Sharmila Tagore won the award for Lifetime Achievement at the Filmfare Awards. She is truly one of the great actresses of Indian Cinema.