Zohra Sehgal, the grand diva of Indian theatre, who essayed character roles with aplomb in an 80-year career, is no more. She was 102. A Padma Vibhushan awardee, she breathed her last after a cardiac arrest.
Sehgal, a vivacious personality, had started career as a dancer with Uday Shankar in 1935. Latre, she appeared in many Bollywood films as a character actor besides television series and plays. She last appeared in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Saawariya" in 2007 A Padma Shri, she also received the Padma Vibhshan in 2010. Sehgal, called the "laadli" of entertainment and the doyenne of Indian theatre, was part of many a film and stage production in the past seven decades.
She starred in "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam", "Dil Se" and "Cheeni Kum" (with Amitabh Bachchan). She was a member of the Indian People's Theatre Association and in 1946 debuted in its first film production "Dharti Ke Lal", which dealt with the Bengal famine. She also acted in another IPTA film - Chetan Anand's "Neecha Nagar". In 2012, her daughter Kiran wrote Sehgal's biography called "Zohra Segal: Fatty". Kiran, herself an Odissi dancer, expressed grief that during her dying days, her mother could not not even get the government flat she has asked for.