Asha Parekh to receive Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Veteran actor Asha Parekh has been selected for the Dadasaheb Phalke award for the year 2020 and will be handed the award at the National Film Awards ceremony, to be held in New Delhi on Friday.

Making the announcement on Tuesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said, “The Dadasaheb Phalke Selection Jury has decided to recognise and award Asha Parekh-ji for her exemplary lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema.”

On the occasion Thakur also announced that the 68th National Film Awards ceremony will be presided over by President Droupadi Murmu.

In a statement announcing the Phalke award, the I&B Ministry said, “Asha Parekh is a renowned film actress, director and producer and an accomplished classical dancer. Starting her career as a child actor, she made her debut in ‘Dil Deke Dekho’, and has acted in over 95 movies since, including Kati Patang, Teesri Manzil, Love in Tokyo, Aya Saawan Jhoom Ke, Aan Milo Sajna and Mera Gaon Mera Desh.”

In 1992, she was honoured with the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award. She served as the head of the Central Board for Film Certification between 1998 and 2001.

Parekh, 79, started her career as a child artist with the 1952 film ‘Aasmaan’ and acted in Bimal Roy’s ‘Baap Beti’ two years later. She made her debut as a lead actress in Nasir Hussain’s 1959 film ‘Dil Deke Dekho’, starring opposite Shammi Kapoor.

Also a director and producer, Parekh had helmed the acclaimed TV drama ‘Kora Kagaz’ in the late-1990s.

The ministry stated that the jury for the 52nd Dadasaheb Phalke award consisted of five members: singer Asha Bhosle, actor-MP Hema Malini, actor Poonam Dhillon, filmmaker T S Nagabharana, and singer Udit Narayan.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the country’s highest award in the field of cinema, and has been given to Rajinikanth, Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna (posthumously) in recent years.

The winners of the 68th National Film Awards for 2020 were announced in July, with Tamil film ‘Soorarai Pottru’ and Hindi film ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ bagging maximum trophies. ‘Soorarai Pottru’, which bagged five awards, is inspired by events from the life of Deccan Airlines founder G R Gopinath, while ‘Tanhaji’, which traces the life of Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare, won three.

The leading actors of both movies — Ajay Devgn for ‘Tanhaji’ and Suriya for ‘Soorarai Pottru’ — shared the honour for Best Actor. Soorarai Pottru’s honours also include Best Actress for Aparna Balamurali.

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