Shashikala Om Prakash Saigal is a Hindi and Marathi actress who has been a part of over 200 Hindi films and 50 Marathi ones. Shashikala belonged to an affluent Marathi family in Solapur, Maharashtra. She faced hard times when her father faced financial problems in her childhood and was then asked by her family to look for roles in movies as she was the best looking amongst her siblings.
For a lot of time, she just kept wandering from one place to another, in search of decent work to provide for her family. Her comfortable time started only when she came across
Noor Jehan, whose husband Shaukat Hussain Rizvi, who gave her a small role in a qawwali sequence in his film Zeenat. She then worked as a child artiste in a lot of movies. She gained instant recognition after bagging the second lead role in Pugree and Arzoo when she was only 16. After being cast as the second lead in several movies and facing a few flops in the 1950s, she decided to take up negative roles in films. She essayed her first negative role in Nau Do Gyarah after which she started getting a lot of offers for negative roles.
In her initial twenties, she got married to Om Prakash Saigal and had two children with him. Sadly, her elder daughter, Rekha, passed away in 1993 because of cancer. Apart from a successful career in films, she has also been a part of various television sitcoms like Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai, Apnaapan,
Son Pari and small supporting roles or special appearances in Pardesi Babu, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,
Chori Chori, Baadshah and
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. She has been nominated eight times for Filmfare Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and has won it twice. The 1960s were her blooming period and were the peak point in her career.
Some notable roles and movies include Arati, Anupama, Jahan Ara, Junglee, Phool Aur Patthar, Devar, Ghar Ghar Ki Kahaani and Choti Bahu. She was honoured with the eminent Padma Shri Award in 2007 and the honorary Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 at V. Shantaram Awards.