Achala Sachdev is a legendary film actress. She was born on May 3, 1920 in Peshawar, Pakistan. She moved to Pune after she got married to Clifford Douglas Peters, who owns a factory in the city. The couple met after
Yash Chopra introduced her to Peters. She has one son named Jyotin from her first husband. Jyotin is based in Pennsylvania and works there as a Business Consultant.
In the year 2011, she slipped and accidentally fell in the kitchen and suffered a fracture in her leg. Since then, several emboli were found in her brain, which resulted in total paralysis on her limbs and torso, which even took her vision out. After she got bed-ridden in Pune’s Poona Hospital and Research Centre for almost six months, she died on April 30, 2012 due to respiratory failure.
Prior to the Indian partition, she initially worked at the national public radio broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) in Lahore and later moved to All India Radio in Delhi. She entered the film industry as a child artist and later debuted in the film, Fashionable Wife in the year 1938. Since then, there is no looking back as she acted in more than 250 films. Achala also acted in Yash Chopra’s first production venture, Daag: A Poem of Love in the year 1973. She was later seen in several Yash Chopra’s directorial and production films such as Chandni in 1989 and the box-office hit film, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in the year 1995 as Kajol’s grandmother. She was notable for her roles in Prem Pujari, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Mera Naam Joker and Andaz. In 1953, she acted in English films Nine Hours to Rama, helmed by Mark Robson and The Householder by
James Ivory. But Achala was most remembered for her role as the wife of Balraj Sahani in the 1965 film, Waqt, where she was also featured in the very popular song of the film, Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen.
In 2001, Achala acted as the mother of
Amitabh Bachchan in the blockbuster film, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. She was last seen in the 2002 Bollywood romance film, Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, which stars
Saif Ali Khan and
Esha Deol in the lead roles.
After her husband died, Achala lived in her house alone for almost ten years. A night attendant from the Janseva Foundation is the only one assisting her. Prior to her death, she donated her properties to the Janseva Foundation to start the Achala Sachdev Institute of Education, which will train the individuals from the tribal areas about the basic patient and hospital-related care.