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From Hema Malini to Zeenat Aman: Meet Bollywood's Club 60

Last updated on: December 04, 2013 10:50 IST

From Hema Malini to Zeenat Aman: Meet Bollywood's Club 60

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Sukanya Verma in Mumbai

Some years ago, Meryl Streep told Vanity Fair, 'I’m 60, and I’m playing the romantic lead! Bette Davis is rolling over in her grave!'

While we cannot confirm the latter, turning senior citizen has certainly not dampened the Hollywood superstar’s enduring popularity. If anything, the three-time Oscar winner’s career has only grown more fascinating and fulfilling over the years. 
 
Back home, a heroine’s shelf life doesn’t enjoy the same longevity what with most filmmakers deeming her commercially unviable when she enters marriage, motherhood or middle age.  
 
Although the likes of Waheeda Rehman, Sharmila Tagore, Hema Malini, Rekha, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit have keenly challenged this notion, the trend isn’t encouraging enough. 
 
Coming back to Club 60, which happens to be the name of Sanjay Tripathy’s new film, due to release this Friday, wherein a bunch of senior citizens and chums help each other overcome personal crisis, Sarika plays one such character’s (Farooque Sheikh) wife coping with the loss of a loved one. 
 
Even if she is barely in her 50s and playing around the same age in the film, here’s profiling some of the most prominent sexagenarian ladies of Bollywood. 
 
Hema Malini
Age: 65
 
Hindi cinema’s original Dream Girl, Hema Malini captured the hearts of millions with her irresistible good looks and impish charms but emerged as an actress to reckon with under keen direction through memorable roles in Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay, Meera, Khushboo, Lal Patthar, Satte Pe Satta and Kinara
 
An accomplished dancer on stage and screen, the Baghban star also dabbles in direction and politics employing the same self-assured grace and grit with which she conducts her personal and professional life.
 
At 65, she continues to endorse products, play the sparkling showstopper and look so blazingly gorgeous. 

From Hema Malini to Zeenat Aman: Meet Bollywood's Club 60


Image: Hema Malini


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Zeenat Aman

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Age: 62 

Sophisticated in her sexiness, Zeenat Aman’s charisma is much to unique to emulate.
 
From winning beauty pageants to working with top filmmakers in their prime -- Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, B R Chopra, Nasir Hussain and Feroz Khan -- the sultry, sleek Westernized imagery of Bollywood’s beloved Laila made for a welcome change against a crowd of holier-than-thou, sari-clad, girl-next-doors.  
 
Though she bowed out of the limelight long ago, the eloquent stunner made an exception for a role in Sanjay Sharma’s queer drama, Dunno Y…Na Jaane Kyon

Image: Zeenat Aman
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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Mumtaz

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Age: 66
 
Her story is the stuff biopics are made of. Mumtaz started out as a child actor and progressed to work as a junior artist, heroine of B-Grade action movies, second lead and finally, Dilip Kumar’s love interest in the career-changing Ram Aur Shyam.
 
From thereon, Mumtaz never looked back scoring multiple hits with co-stars like Rajesh Khanna (Do Raaste, Sachcha Jhutha, Dushman, Aap Ki Kasam) and Feroz Khan (Aadmi Aur Insaan, Apradh, Nagin). 
 
At the height of success, the chirpy star bid adieu to films to settle in marital bliss only to make a forgettable comeback in David Dhawan’s Aandhiyan
 
Settled in London (her elder daughter Natasha is married to actor Fardeen Khan), Mumtaz’s strength and spirit aided her triumphant battle against cancer.  

Image: Mumtaz


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Saira Banu

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Age: 69
 
Saira Banu has come a long way from the dainty and demure teenager romanced by Shammi Kapoor in her debut, Junglee
 
One of the most fashionable stars of the 1960s, Saira comfortably steered through easygoing confections like Ayee Milan Ki Bela, Shagird, Bluffmaster, Padosan and Jhuk Gaya Aasman with her spontaneous charm. She proved to be equally adept at raising the mercury with her seriously glam avatar in Purab Aur Paschim and Victoria No 203.
 
The actress prefers to downplay her heyday and concentrate on her role as the doting better half of the legendary Dilip Kumar.

Image: Saira Banu
Photographs: Sahil Salvi

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Shabana Azmi

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Age: 63
 
One of the most refreshingly courageous, grounded, cultured and intelligent actresses to descend Hindi cinema, Shabana Azmi embodies the movement and progression her films stood for.
 
Bollywood’s traditional structure took its time to figure out a befitting space for the exceptional talent of films like Mandi, Ankur, Sparsh, Arth and Masoom. Her active social voice and strong ideas on women empowerment is one of her most recognised distinction. 
 
When not actively exercising it, the prolific artist makes time for international assignments like Midnight’s Children and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Anil Kapoor’s 24 remake for small screen or the deliciously manipulative politician in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola.  

Image: Shabana Azmi
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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Sharmila Tagore

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Age: 68
 
She started out as iconic filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s discovery in Bengali films like Apur Sansar and Devi but Sharmila Tagore but became a household name after her dimpled smile debut as Shammi Kapoor's Kashmir Ki Kali
 
Balancing her oomph in sensual attire for An Evening in Paris and Aa Gale Lag Ja with creatively satisfying roles in Satyakam, Aradhana and Anupma worked wonders for her long lasting career, which like her flawless beauty showed no signs of dulling down post marriage (to cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi) or motherhood (Saif, Soha, Sabah).
 
The Padma Bhushan recipient was last seen as Deepika Padukone’s patient mom in Break Ke Baad. 

Image: Sharmila Tagore
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Babita

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Age: 65
 
She may not get any brownie points as a powerhouse performer but Babita’s baby doll persona accentuated by a trendy wardrobe and wild wigs enjoyed a considerable fan-following.
 
And with hits like Farz, Raaz, Kismat, Haseena Maan Jayegi, Kal Aaj Aur Kal to boot, her short and sweet career turned out to be quite a joyride. One she got off to marry Randhir Kapoor and raise daughters, Karisma and Kareena.  
 
While the proud mum is least interested in a comeback, her daughters have taken turns to ace the numero uno slot every actress dreams of. 

Image: Babita
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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Moushumi Chatterjee

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Age: 65
 
The original Balika Badhu made her debut in films with Rajshri’s homely drama. 
 
Moushumi Chatterjee was already married when she began work but it never interfered with her popularity, which soared with films like Anuraag, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Manzil and Angoor
 
Over the years the playful actress has graduated to first play bhabhi (Ghayal), later mom (Santaan) and finally supporting characters. Her curious turn in Aparna Sen’s Goynar Baksho earlier this year met with warm response.

Image: Moushumi Chatterjee
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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Raakhee

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Age: 66
 
Since Kabhi Kabhie to Karan Arjun, Raakhee has played everything from muse to mother. 
 
The light-eyed star’s innings began much before opposite Dharmendra in Jeevan Mrityu. Always prioritising her mettle as an artist instead of getting caught in the limitations of stardom allowed the sombre actress an edge above her competitors. And that’s what makes her work (Daag, Sharmilee, Kaala Patthar, Lal Patthar, Trishul, Kabhi Kabhie, Doosra Aadmi, Rudaali, Shakti), even in two-heroine fare, stand out.  
 
Blissfully cut out from the hullabaloo of filmdom in her farmhouse in Panvel, Raakhee didn’t shy away from playing mom to everyone from Amitabh Bachchan, Sunny Deol, Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar in her flourishing career.

Image: Raakhee
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

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Jaya Bachchan

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Age: 65
 
Audiences fell in love at first sight with the doe-eyed Guddi of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s coming-of-age gem. (Those who missed her adorable teen sister/sister-in-law Bani in Ray’s Mahanagar anyway).
 
Jaya Bhaduri’s disarming simplicity and natural reading of her on-screen characters in films like Parichay, Chupke Chupke, Koshish, Mili, Abhimaan, Bawarchi, Zanjeer, Anamika, Sholay and Kora Kagaz rendered her both accessible and appealing. 
 
Marriage to superstar Amitabh Bachchan brought its own sense of expectation but it never came in the way of her silver screen appearances, which while sporadic (and underutilised) -- Fiza, Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kal Ho Naa Ho hasn’t lost its touch.   

Image: Jaya Bachchan


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