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Parveen Babi’s 70th Birth Anniversary: Watch 6 best movies of the veteran actress to celebrate her legacy

Trigger Warning: This article contains references to suicide.

On the occasion of Parveen Babi’s 70th birth anniversary, we remember the veteran actress as an icon of change and a symbol of modernity in Bollywood during the 70s and early 80s. Parveen Babi with her charm, beauty, and groundbreaking roles, carved a niche for herself in an era dominated by traditional portrayals of women. Here, we pay homage to her legacy by revisiting some of her best performances:-

1. Deewar (1975)

Directed by Yash Chopra, Deewar established Parveen Babi as a modern Indian woman, challenging traditional norms. Her role as Anita, a confident and independent woman became a benchmark for actresses in Bollywood. The film which also starred Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor turned out to be a massive hit at the box office.

2. Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)

In this Manmohan Desai classic, Parveen Babi played Jenny, a character that contributed to the film’s charm and humor. Her performance alongside Amitabh Bachchan was both delightful and memorable. Amar Akbar Anthony became a superhit and so did Parveen Babi.

3. Namak Halaal (1982)

In Namak Halaal, directed by Prakash Mehra, Parveen Babi’s chemistry with Amitabh Bachchan was once again a highlight. Playing the sophisticated hotelier, Raja, her role added largely to the film’s success.

4. Shaan (1980)

Shaan directed by Ramesh Sippy, featured Parveen Babi in an action-packed adventure alongside an ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, and Sunil Dutt. She played the character of Renu who gets entangled in a plot of revenge and crime.

5. Kaala Patthar (1979)

In Kaala Patthar directed by Yash Chopra, Parveen Babi played the role of Anita, a journalist. The film which was inspired by a real-life coal mine disaster, featured her in a strong and ambitious role. Her performance added depth to the film’s narrative and also to the movie’s success.

6. The Burning Train (1980)

The Burning Train was a disaster-action film directed by Ravi Chopra that was lauded for its storyline and ensemble cast, including Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Hema Malini, and Parveen Babi among others. In this high-octane drama, Parveen Babi played Seema, a woman caught during a train journey gone catastrophically wrong. 

More about Parveen Babi’s legacy

Parveen Babi’s contribution to Indian cinema goes beyond her roles. She was a trendsetter who was known for her Westernized looks and bold choices, both on and off-screen. She was among the first Indian actresses to grace the cover of Time Magazine in 1976 and revolutionize the face of Indian cinema in the global eye.

The tragic end of Parveen Babi

Tragically, Parveen Babi’s life off the screen was filled with personal struggles. The actress battled mental health issues, which led to her gradual exit from the film industry and public life. Parveen Babi was found dead in her Mumbai apartment in January 2005, after neighbors reported that she had not collected milk and newspapers from her doorstep for several days. She died of multiple organ failure and complications related to diabetes.

However, Parveen Babi’s legacy lives on through her films. Her portrayals of strong, independent women broke stereotypes and paved the way for future generations of actresses. On her birth anniversary, revisiting these films not only offers a glimpse into her glorious career but also celebrates the spirit of an actress who was far ahead of her time.

Disclaimer: If you know someone who is having suicidal thoughts, anxiety, going through depression, or is suffering from a serious mental illness, reach out to a nearby doctor, mental health expert, or an NGO for immediate help.​ There are several helplines available for the same.

ALSO READ: Parveen Babi was original choice for Jaya Bachchan’s role in Silsila; Ranjeet REVEALS she cried upon exiting film

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