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Mystery girl Sadhna passes away at 74 in Mumbai

“She was admitted to the hospital day before Thursday due to high fever. She was okay... She had her tea in the morning at around 7.30 am and suddenly I got a call from her secretary at around 10 am that she collapsed and passed away. It was sudden and shocking... We were to meet her at 5 pm today (Friday). It’s sad,” Sadhna’s close associate and advocate Ameet Mehra said.

Earlier, reports suggested that the 74-year-old effervescent actress died at her residence. Her last rites will be held tomorrow at a crematorium in Santacruz.

Sadhna Shivdasani, who popularised the fashionable ‘Sadhna cut’, was one of the top most charming leading ladies of the 1960s and 70s.

Although her prime career spanned over a decade-and-a-half, she was paired opposite all big heroes of her time including Joy Mukherjee, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar, Manoj Kumar and Dev Anand with whom she shared screen space in Hum Dono 

and Asli-Naqli. Also, she worked with top notch directors of that era be it Bimal Roy in Parakh or Hrishikesh Mukherjee in Asli-Naqli.

Her memorable roles include those in Love in Shimla, Hum Dono, Asli Naqli, Arzoo, Mere Mehboob, Waqt and Woh Kaun thi.

Born in a Sindhi family, Sadhna was named after her father’s favourite actress-dancer Sadhna Bose. Her father was the brother of actor Hari Shivdasani, father of actress Babita.

Sadhna aspired to be an actress since childhood and it was her father who helped her to chase her dreams of becoming an actress.

In 1955, she played a chorus girl in the song Mur mur ke na dekh mur mur ke in Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420. She joined producer Sashadhar Mukherjee’s acting school along with her debutant co-star and Mukherjee’s son Joy.

Filmmaker R K Nayyar, whom Sadhna married later, directed the romantic movie Love in Shimla starring Sadhna and Joy Mukherjee in 1960. The film also introduced the actress’s iconic hairstyle. Her remarkable double role in suspense thriller Woh Kaun Thi, opposite Manoj Kumar, earned her first Filmfare nomination as Best Actress.

She had acted in several mystery films, earning the nickname “Mystery girl”. Not only her films but the songs from her movies too are remembered like Abhi Na Jaao Chodkar, Lag Ja Gale, Jhumka Gira Re, Tu Jaha Jaha Chalega, Mera Saaya Sath Hoga amongst others.

Sadhna retired from acting nearly four decades back as she did not want to be cast as a side-kick or do character roles and chose to lead a reclusive life away from the limelight. She was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the IIFA in 2002 for her contribution towards the film industry. 
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