Star of the week - DEEPTI NAVAL


DOB: 3 February, 1952
Star sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amritsar, Punjab, India
Occupation: Actress, director and writer


• Deepti Naval’s major contribution has been in the area of art cinema, winning critical acclaim for her sensitive and close to life characters that emphasised the changing roles of women in India.

• Deepti also acted in other Indian languages, as with Marhi Da Deeva and Mane, which respectively won the award for Best Feature Film in Punjabi and Best Feature Film in Kannada at the 1990 National Film Awards ceremony.

• She has won multiple awards at film festivals across the world for her work. She was also recognised as the 2007 Tribute Honoree of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

Interesting facts:

• Deepti was born in Amritsar but moved to New York City when her father got a teaching job at City University of New York. She studied fine arts at Hunter College.

• The actress made her debut in 1978 with Shyam Benegal's film Junoon. Two years later, she played a lead role in Ek Baar Phir. Alongside Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi, she became a successful actress in 1980s Parallel Cinema, playing roles in films like Kamla (1984) and Ankahee (1985).

• Starting with Chashme Buddoor in 1981, she was often cast with Farooq Shaikh and they became an iconic on-screen couple of the early 1980s, with films such as Saath Saath, Kissi Se Na Kehna, Katha and Rang Birangi. Three decades later, they were reunited in Tell Me O Kkhuda (2011). Their last film together was Listen... Amaya which released in 2013, the same year Shaikh died.

• Deepti’s career slowed down in the 1990s and she explored other art forms. She came back in the 2000s with social dramas like Bawandar and Firaaq, and won Best Actress awards in several international film festivals for her roles in Leela (2002), Memories in March (2010) and Listen... Amaya.

• During the 2000s, the actress also worked actively on telefilms and serials. She made her theater debut in 2015 with the poetic stage show Ek Mulaqaat in which she played the celebrated Punjabi writer Amrita Pritam.

• Deepti made her directorial debut with Do Paise Ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane Ki Baarish starring Manisha Koirala and Rajit Kapoor. The film won the Best Screenplay Award at the 2009 New York Indian Film Festival, but remains unreleased. She also wrote and directed Thoda Sa Aasmaan, a TV serial about women, and produced a travel show, The Path Less Travelled.

• Deepti is also the author of a collection of short stories, The Mad Tibetan, published in 2011. She is a painter and photographer with several exhibitions to her credit as well.

• Alongside she also runs the Vinod Pandit Charitable Trust, set up in memory of her late companion, for the education of the girl child.

• Deepti was married to the filmmaker Prakash Jha with whom she has an adopted daughter, Disha.