Zohra Sehgal Google Doodle: Iconic Indian actress and dancer Zohra Sehgal was Tuesday honoured by Google, which featured her in a Doodle on its homepage. Sehgal was among the country’s first artists to achieve international recognition. She received some of the nation’s highest awards, including the Padma Shri in 1998, the Kalidas Samman in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2010.
Sehgal was born on April 27, 1912 in Saharanpur, in what is now Uttar Pradesh. She learnt ballet in a prestigious school in Dresden, Germany when she was in her early 20s. She later toured internationally with Indian dance pioneer Uday Shankar.
Years later in 1945, Sehgal joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association and took to acting. Some of her famous films included Neecha Nagar (Lowly City), which was released on this day in 1946 at the Cannes Film Festival. The film won the festival’s highest honour, the Palme d’Or prize.
After Sehgal relocated to London in 1962, she made appearances in British television classics like Doctor Who and the 1984 miniseries The Jewel in the Crown. She also played a role in Bend it Like Beckham.
Sehgal died on July 10, 2014, in New Delhi.
Tuesday’s doodle was designed by guide artist Parvati Pillai. “I grew up watching her as the evergreen granny and have been enthralled by her love for acting and dancing, especially in her twilight years. She taught me what it meant to be passionate about my work and to never be afraid of new challenges,” said Pillai.
“Zohra Sehgal lived her life to the fullest. In today’s challenging times, it is important to be optimistic and keep smiling!” Pillai added.