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The 79-year-old actor, best known for films such as “Dil Deke Dekho”, “Kati Patang”, “Teesri Manzil”, and “Caravan”, is considered one of the most influential actresses of all time in Hindi cinema.

New Delhi: Veteran actor Asha Parekh will be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020, the highest recognition in the field of Indian cinema, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said on Tuesday.

The 79-year-old actor, best known for films such as “Dil Deke Dekho”, “Kati Patang”, “Teesri Manzil”, and “Caravan”, is considered one of the most influential actresses of all time in Hindi cinema.

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

Often regarded as one of the most influential actors in the history of Hindi films, Parekh peaked in the 1960s and 1970s. Asha Parekh started her career as a child actor and was cast by filmmaker Bimal Roy in Maa (1952) when she was 10. After a few films, the actor took a break to complete her education and returned as the lead actress in writer-director Nasir Hussain’s Dil Deke Dekho (1959), which also starred Shammi Kapoor.Asha and Hussain went on to deliver multiple hits together — Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961), Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963), Teesri Manzil (1966), Baharon Ke Sapne (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969), and Caravan (1971). With Raj Khosla’s Do Badan (1966), Chirag (1969) and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978) and Shakti Samanta’s Kati Patang, her screen image underwent a change and she was known for her performances in serious, tragic roles.

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Asha Parekh also worked in Gujarati, Punjabi and Kannada films. In the late 70s and 80s, she was relegated to what was called ‘character roles’ back then. She then took to the medium of television and started her own production company. She directed Gujarati serial Jyoti (1990) and produced shows such as Palash ke Phool, Baaje Payal, Kora Kagaz and Dal Mein Kaala.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is the highest honour in Indian cinema. Previous recipients include Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, Lata Mangeshkar, Mrinal Sen, Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna. Devika Rani was the first winner, while actor Rajinikanth is the most recent winner of the prestigious honour, in 2021.