Remembering Priya Tendulkar on her 15th death anniversary today.
Writer, actor, activist … Priya Tendulkar was a multi-faceted personality. Unfazed by her father Vijay Tendulkar’s celebrity status, she trod her own path, deeply committed to whatever cause she espoused.
Though she had made a brilliant start as an actor in Shyam Benegal’s Ankur (1973), and won awards for her acting performances in both Gujarati and Marathi films, she had no expectations of making it in Bollywood. An occasional presence in Hindi films (Trimurti, Gupt, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, Raat Ke Baad, Kaal Chakra), Priya was best known as a theatre personality, consumer activist and talk show hostess.
Priya Tendulkar rose to fame with Basu Chatterjee’s television serial Rajani (1985). When Padmini Kolhapure opted out of his teleserial Rajani, Basu Chatterji persuaded Tendulkar to essay the role of a crusading housewife who fights the corrupt, inept civic system. Her real-life husband Karan Razdan also played her screen husband in the serial. Her portrayal of Rajani made her a household name all over India.
Her programme, The Priya Tendulkar Show, was immensely popular and won the Screen Videocon Award for Best Talk Show. Priya was known for her aggressive approach towards her guests in talk shows.
With an early role on the stage as the doll in Girish Karnad’s “Hayavadana”, Tendulkar graduated to “Pygmalion”, “Anji”, “Kamla”, “Kanyadaan”, “Sakharam Binder” and to a State Award. Her serials include “Kissa Mian Biwi Ke”, “Swayamsiddha”, “Mahanagar”, “Hakke Bakke”. She had done innumerable plays in Marathi (Pygmalion, Anji, Kamla, Kanyadaan, Sakharam Binder to name a few) and Gujarati films.
Priya Tendulkar passed away following a heart attack on 19 September 2002.
Priya Tendulkar and Farooq Sheikh in a still from the movie Raat Ke Baad (1986).