On Republic Day, veteran actress Vyjayanthimala was announced as one of the recipients of the coveted Padma Awards for the year 2024. The 90-year-old actress has been bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour awarded for exceptional and distinguished service.
Soon after the news surfaced, veteran actress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Hema Malini shared pictures with Vyjayanthimala and penned an appreciation note.
Calling Vyjayanthimala her 'role model', Hema Malini wrote, "Most memorable day of my life - My meeting my role model, the icon Vyjayanthimala along with her lovely family at her Chennai residence yesterday. She is so full of life, still so full of dance in her. She talks dance, lives dance and has a glow and aura around her."
She added, "I was in as much awe as I was many years ago! Had a nostalgic discussion about her stint in films and her experiences in the industry. One has to learn a lot from her. It was a great moment for me to have been given so much love by this lovely lady - beautiful inside and out."
On the other hand, veteran actress Saira Banu also praised Vyjayanthimala. It may be mentioned that Vyjayanthimala and Saira Banu's husband, late legendary actor Dilip Kumar, shared the screen in several memorable films and their pair was a superhit.
In an interview with ETimes, Saira Banu congratulated Vyjanathimala for the honour. She said, "I am so happy about this. The award is truly well deserved. I have grown up watching her films, and she is akka (elder sister) to me."
Vyjayanthimala is a legendary Indian actress and classical dancer who was prominent in Hindi films during the 1950s and 1960s. She is known for her exceptional dancing skills and versatile performances. Vyjayanthimala made her acting debut in the film industry with the Tamil film Vazhkai in 1949 and later gained popularity in Hindi cinema with movies like Nagin, Madhumati, and Gunga Jumna.
Apart from her successful acting career, Vyjayanthimala is also recognised as a proficient Bharatanatyam dancer. She made significant contributions to both the film and dance worlds and is considered one of the iconic actresses of Indian cinema.