A major loss to the world of Bollywood occurred today as veteran actress Sadhana (full name Sadhana Shivdasani), who was a popular actress in Bollywood in the 1960s and 1970s, passed away Friday morning. The actress had been diagnosed as having a tumor and had sadly been battling cancer for a very long time. In fact, last year in December, she had undergone an emergency surgery due to a bleeding oral lesion. The surgery had been successful at that time, but it seems that her health continued to be problematic. One of her close family friend’s confirmed the news to media and confirmed her passing to IANS, “Sadhana breathed her last at her home this morning.” May she rest in peace.
Sadhana is best known for her roles in movies like Hum Dono, Love in Simla, Mere Mehboob, Raj Kumar, Waqt, Woh Kaun Thi, among others. She was dubbed “Mystery Girl” due to her three suspense thriller films namely Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967). Her fringe haircut – the Sadhana cut – caught on with the masses as did her dress sense. She was a style icon on par with Hollywood’s Audrey Hepburn. The popularity of her hairstyle in India was the equivalent of Jennifer Aniston’s from Friends! Sadhana soon retired from film as she was diagnosed with thyroid disorder. She was treated for it in Boston. Sadhana stopped making public appearances as she wanted everyone to remember her as the stunning film icon, but she remained in touch with her actress friends like Asha Parekh, Helen and Waheeda Rahman. Sadhana directed a film in 1989 starring Dimple Kapadia.
In 2002, Sadhana did make an appearance at the IIFA’s where she received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Sadhana is actresses Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor’s aunt. Their mother, Babita, is Sadhana’s cousin. During her later days, her niece Geeta and Aftab Shivdasani took care of her and even paid her hospital bills. Sadhana married her Love in Simla director Ram Krishna Nayyar (RK Nayyar) on March 6, 1966 after their love bloomed during the shooting. They remained married for thirty years, until his death in 1995 due to asthma. The couple had no children.
Sadhana’s cremation will take place tomorrow from her residence. It is a sad day for Bollywood and truly is the end of an era.