Dina Pathak was a veteran film actor prominent for her roles as grand-mother and mother in Bollywood. A doyen of Hindi and Gujarati films and theatre, Dina worked in over 120 films in a career spanning over six decades. Her production 'Mena Gurjari' ran successfully for many years. She was also a director of Gujarati theatre and the President of the 'National Federation of Indian Women'.
The versatile actor Dina was best remembered for her unforgettable roles in the films 'Gol Maal' and 'Khubsoorat'. She was visualized for essaying variety of roles including that of a strict parent, with ease and comfort. Her two daughters Ratna Pathak and Supriya Pathak are successful theatre and film actors who are married to Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapur respectively. Dina Pathak breathed her last in 2002 due to ill health followed by a heart attack.
Dina Pathak was born on 4 March 1922 in Amreli, Gujarat. Since her childhood Dina took keen interest in acting and started acting in plays. At a young age, she joined the Indian National Theatre as an actress. While studying in Bombay, Dina involved herself in student activism. At that time Bhavai theatre was used to create awareness among people which led to her association with Indian People's Theatre Association after which she played an important role in reviving the Gujarati theatre. Dina married Baldev Pathak and two beautiful daughters, Supriya Pathak and Ratna Pathak were born to the couple.
Dina started her acting career with theatre. She had an extremely successful theatre life in the 1940s. Her play 'Mena Gurjari' is still one of most famous plays of her life.
Dina made her film debut with the Gujarati film 'Kariyawar' but again retreated back into theatre. She continued theatre and joined Shanti Bardhan's Ballet troupe and Indian People's Theatre Association. Later Dina established her own theatre group 'Natmandal' in Ahmedabad.
Dina later made a comeback into films with 'Uski Kahani' for which she was awarded the Bengal Journalists Association Award. The films that followed are Satyakam, Saat Hindustani and The Guru. Starting 1970s, Dina became a favorite name in the field of art and commercial films. Her portrayal of motherly and grandmotherly roles in several films won her the title the Grand-Old-Mother of Hindi films.
Dina's successful films include Mausam, Kinara, Kitaab, Chitchor, Gharaonda, Mirch Masala, Tamas, Ijaazat, Bhumika and Bollywood/Hollywood for which she was nominated at the 23rd Genie Awards. Her notable Gujarati films included Malela Jeev, Moti Baa and Bhavni Bhavai. Her well-known plays include Doll's House, Dinglegar, Hayavadana and Vijan Sheni.
One of the well known characters that Dina played was for the classic comedy film 'Gol Maal', where she essayed the character of Kamala Shrivastava, playing mother to Amol Palekar. This role of Dina is still remembered by audiences for the classic comedy and the sweetness with which she acted. Her role in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Khoobsurat' is also one of her successful characters. Dina's strong performance as the mother in the film 'Umrao Jaan' and her role as the matriarchal supporter of young vulnerable women in Mirch Masala are also here successful characters. Dina also had good stint with television. She appeared on the popular TV series 'Malgudi Days' and 'A Passage to India'.
Ill Health and Death:
Dina had not been keeping well for a long time and died of a heart attack on 11 October 2002 in Bandra, Bombay; at her daughter’s residence.
Awards and Recognition:
For her contribution to theatre Dina Pathak was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1980.
Children: Supriya Pathak, Ratna Pathak
Grandchildren: Vivaan Shah, Imaad Shah, Sanah Kapoor, Ruhaan Kapoor
Siblings: Shanta Gandhi, Tarla Mehta
(FAN OF Mrs. DINA PATHAK)
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