'She Played Bad Women But Was An Angel,' Dharmendra On One Of His Favouite Co-stars Shashikala - EXCLUSIVE

Veteran star Shashikala breathed her last at the age of 88. Remembering his co-star, Dharmendra called her an 'angel'

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'She Played Bad Women But Was An Angel,' Dharmendra On One Of  His Favouite Co-stars Shashikala - EXCLUSIVE
When the ever-affable Dharmendra returned my call on Sunday evening he was deeply grieved. “I just heard Shashikala is  no more,” he mumbled sadly before I could raise the topic. “We have done some of our best work together. I can’t remember all the films we worked together in. But three of my most favourite films Anupama, Devar and Phool Aur Patthar had Shashikala in very prominent roles,” recalls Dharamji  .

“She was my senior, she had done many films when I started my career. I think the first film we did together was Anpadh where Mala Sinha played the title role. The movie is remembered to this day for Madan Mohan Saab-Lataji’s melodies. I was a nervous  semi-newcomer, Shashikala put me  at  ease. ‘Ae  Dharam, aao  hamare  saath khana khao,’ she  would ask me  to join her  for lunch during shooting.For  a newcomer  such  warmth from a senior is  never forgotten. She taught me  to be  nice to newcomers,” Dharamji.

“She was typecast as a vamp.  And her most famous role as a vamp was with me in Phool Aur Patthar where her  song Zindagi mein  pyar karna seekh le became a big hit specially the  catchphrase ‘Phishigala phishigala’. Hrishikesh Mukherjee changed her image in Anupama one of my most favourite films. She was  nice in a positive  role. I  wonder  why she  didn’t play more positive  roles. She was a gem of a person in real  life. Aise hi unhone  Pran Saab ko typecast kar diya(they similarly typecast Pran).” Dharamji regrets losing contact with Shashikala.

“She cut herself off completely from the film industry and moved to Pune with her family. Luckily she didn’t have to  die  a lonely death  like that other fine  actress Lalita Pawarji whose decomposed  body was  found in her home days after her death. Fame is fine.  But family is more important,” Dharamji signs off thoughtfully.

Image source: YouTube/Shemaroo/SpotboyEarchives
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