A revolutionary beauty, Smita Patil was a big star of the seventies and eighties Hindi and Marathi film industry. Smita was a women's rights activist, whose life paralleled her art. The vast majority of her films were largely related to the political film era of the seventies. Her's was a face of beauty dubbed as one of the faces of India's new age of cinema. Other actresses immortal during this era were, Suhasini Mulay and Shabana Azmi.
Born in 1955, Smita Patil graduated from the prestigious Film and Television Institute of Film in Prune. After graduation, Smita took a job as a television new reader. She was also working as a successful photographer when she was "discovered" by director Shyam Benegal. Shyam and Smita would work together many times over the years.
Famous for her roles that portrayed women as capable and not all chasing babies and a band of gold, Smita Patil won the 1977 National Award for Best Actress for her role in the Hindi film Bhumika. She became very popular with coveted directors like Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani and Mrinal Sen. Some of her other groundbreaking films are Umbartha, Bazaar, Nishant, Manthan and Bhavni Bhavni. Smita also appeared in Bollywood commercial ventures. Some of which include, Shakti, Namak-Halaal, Chakra and Arth.
Smita Patil married Hindi film director, Raj Babbar. It was the second marriage for Raj. Smita died in 1986, two days after delivering the couple's son, Prateek Babbar. After Smita's death, Raj reconciled with his first wife. Prateek Patil lives with his grandparents.