NEW DELHI: Veteran Bollywood actress Asha Parekh will be honoured with the Dada Saheb Phalke award for the year 2020, the highest recognition in the field of Indian cinema, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said on Tuesday. Asha Parekh, 79, will be presented with the award during the 68th National Film Awards ceremony, to be held on Friday.
The five-member Dada Saheb Phalke Award committee -- comprising Asha Bhosle, Hema Malini, Poonam Dhillon, Udit Narayan, and TS Nagabharana , decided on Parekh's name for the honour, Thakur told reporters in his constituency Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.
Asha Parekh, whose career spans close to five decades, started her acting career at the age of 10 as a child artist and went on to act in over 95 films as a leading lady in Bollywood. She is considered one of the most influential actresses of all time in Hindi cinema.
She started her career as a child artist with the 1952 film "Aasmaan" and went on to star in Bimal Roy's "Baap Beti" two years later. Parekh made her debut as a leading lady in Nasir Hussain's 1959 movie "Dil Deke Dekho", in which she starred opposite Shammi Kapoor and was a leading heroine of her times. Parekh had studied Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Kathakali much before she even thought of becoming an actor, she revealed in her book 'Asha Parekh – The Hit Girl,' released in 2017. She also dabbled in direction and had helmed the acclaimed TV drama "Kora Kagaz" in the late 1990s. She was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award of the country, in 1992.