'I kept telling myself I’d quit after every film. I saw myself in my first Hindi film Kashmir Ki Kali and I didn’t like myself. I said, one more film and I’m done. But it continued.'
She married Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, in a Nikah ceremony held on 27 December 1969. He was the Nawab of Pataudi and former captain of the Indian cricket team. They had three children: Saif Ali Khan (1970), Saba Ali Khan (1976) and Soha Ali Khan (1978). In September 2011, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi died, at age 70.
Sharmila Tagore, who turns 70 on December 8, looks back with much pleasure and no regrets at a life well lived: “It’s really about taking one day at a time. I try to enjoy every moment of the time I have. I never looked back on my life earlier. Even now, I’m not a great one for retrospection. But now when I see my life, I am very appreciative of all the goodwill and the opportunities. Even before my birthday, the calls and messages started coming. It feels good to be....loved” She visited Pakistan in February, 2016 and attended the Lahore Literature Festival. She also met Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif during her visit.
She has received two Filmfare Awards and two National Film Awards for her performances. In December 2005 she was chosen as an UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She was one of the International Competition's Jury Members at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. She also led the Indian Film Censor Board from October 2004 till March 2011. In 2013, she was awarded PadmaBhushan by the Government of India.
Tagore began her career as an actress in Satyajit Ray's 1959 Bengali film ApurSansar (The World of Apu), as the ill-fated bride of the title character. She later appeared in ShaktiSamanta's Kashmir Ki Kali in 1964. Samanta cast her in many more films, including An Evening in Paris (1967), in which she became the first Indian actress to appear in a bikini, which established Tagore as somewhat of a sex symbol in Hindi films.
Sharmila Tagore had 6 box-office hits with Rajesh Khanna - Aradhana, AmarPrem, Avishkaar, Safar, Daag, ChotiBahu and 3 other films were critically acclaimed but were box-office flops - Maalik, Tyaag and Raja Rani. She starred in Gulzar's 1975 film, Mausam and won the National Film Award for Best Actress. She also played a supporting role in Mira Nair's 1991 film Mississippi Masala. She was the highest paid Bollywood actress from 1970 to 1976 along with Mumtaz. She starred opposite Dharmendra in Devar (1966), Anupama (1966), Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (1968), Satyakam (1969), Yakeen (1969), ChupkeChupke (1975) and EkMahal Ho Sapno Ka (1975); AmitabhBachchan in Faraar (1975); Sanjeev Kumar in Mausam (1975), and Besharam (1978); and Naseeruddin Shah in the Bengali film Mangaldeep (1991).