Google on Tuesday paid tributes to the legendary Indian actress and dancer Zohra Sehgal with a special doodle. Illustrated by Parvati Pillai, the doodle showed the iconic actress as dancing in a beautiful pink saree. In the note, Google described Sehgal as "one of the country’s first female actors to truly achieve recognition on the international stage".
Born on April 27, 1912, in Saharanpur, British India as, she attended a prestigious ballet school in Dresden, Germany in her early 20s and later toured internationally with the Indian dance pioneer Uday Shankar. After she returned to India, she joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association in 1945.
Sehgal moved to London, England in 1962 and worked in British television classics like 'Doctor Who' and the 1984 miniseries 'The Jewel in the Crown'.
In the mid-1990s, she returned to India, where she continued acting on the stage and in Bollywood films. In 2002, the year of her 90th birthday, Sehgal appeared in her memorable role in the film 'Bend it Like Beckham'. She also appeared in movies like 'Bhaji On The Beach' and 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'. She last appeared in Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor's debut movie 'Saawariya', a 2007 release.
Zohra Sehgal’s notable early work was a role in the film 'Neecha Nagar' ('Lowly City'), which was released on this day in 1946 at the Cannes Film Festival. Widely considered Indian cinema’s first international critical success, “Neecha Nagar” won the festival's highest honor: the Palme d’Or prize.
Over the years, India has recognized her prolific contributions with some of the nation’s highest awards. Sehgal was honoured the Padma Shri (1998), the Kalidas Samman (2001), and the Padma Vibhushan (2010) by the Indian government.