Google Doodle pays tribute to Zohra Sehgal : All you need to know about the 'doyen of Hindi cinema'

Zohra Segal's film Neecha Nagar, the only Indian film to ever win the Palme d'Or, released today in 1946.

FP Staff September 29, 2020 08:51:45 IST
Google Doodle pays tribute to Zohra Sehgal : All you need to know about the 'doyen of Hindi cinema'

The Google Doodle on 29 September paid its tribute to legendary actress and stage veteran Zohra Segal. The illustration, which shows Segal as dancing, has been illustrated by guest artist Parvati Pillai.

A recipient of Padma Shri in 1998, the Kalidas Samman in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2010, Segal appeared in multiple British films, TV shows, and Hindi movies like Dil Se, Veer-Zaara, Cheeni Kum, Kal Ho Na Ho, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham in a career spanning over six decades. like

Segal was born on 27 April, 1912, in Saharanpur, and began her career as a dancer in choreographer Uday Shankar's troupe in 1935. Till 1943, Segal toured across USA, Japan and Europe, performing with Shankar's group.

In 1945, Segal joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association and made her debut in films with IPTA's first film production, Dharti Ke Lal (1946)  directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, and later in Neecha Nagar, also backed by IPTA. Neecha Nagar, Indian Express reports, released on 29 September 1946 at the Cannes Film Festival. The first Indian film to feature in the film festival, Neecha Nagar is also the only Indian film to be ever awarded a Palme d'Or.

The actress relocated to London in 1962, after which she acted in Doctor Who, the 1984 miniseries The Jewel in the Crown and Bend it like Beckham. 

Speaking to Google on why she chose to pay her homage to Segal, Pillai says the actress "overcame social and cultural stereotypes with her sheer tenacity and infectious passion from a very young age. She is an inspiration not just for women everywhere, but for anyone who wants to follow their own path."

Pillai further adds Segal "lived her life to the fullest. In today’s challenging times, it is important to be optimistic and keep smiling.”

Segal passed away on 10 July, 2014 at the age of 102 in New Delhi. Her final big-screen appearance was in 2007, in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya. 

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