Sulabha Deshpande is a renowned Indian film, television and theatre actress. She has acted in many Hindi & Marathi plays and serials. She has even acted in over 80 movies till date.
Early Life & Background
Sulbha was born in 1937 in Mumbai. She completed her studies from the Siddhartha College in Mumbai. After completing her education, Sulbha started working as a teacher in ‘Chhabildas Boys High School’ in Mumbai.
First assignment/ First major break
As an actor, Sulabha started her career with the theater group ‘Rangayan’. However, she was acclaimed after winning awards for her plays like ‘Madhlya Bhintee and ‘Sasaa Ani Kasav’.
Journey in the industry
While teaching in ‘Chhabildas School’, Sulabha got her first got chance to relate with the theatre related activities. Well-known play writer Vijay Tendulkar asked Sulabha to write a few plays for the students of her school. In 1960s, Sulabha joined the theatre group ‘Rangayan’, which was founded by noted theatre personalities like Vijaya Mehta, Vijay Tendulkar, Arvind Deshpande and Shriram Lagoo.
After joining ‘Rangayan’, Sulabha started her acting career with various stage shows. However, she gained popularity after winning state-level competitions for her plays like ‘Madhlya Bhintee’ and ‘Sasaa Ani Kasav’. After ‘Rangayan’, Sulabha along with her husband Arvind Deshpande and Arun Kakade formed a theatre group ‘Awishkar’ in 1971. After the popularity of ‘Awishkar’, she established ‘Chandrashala’, which was the children’s theatre wing of ‘Awishkar’. She directed plays like ‘Baba Harvale Ahet’, ‘Raja Ranila Ghaam Hava’ and ‘Pandit Pandit Tujhi Akkal Shendit’. She also directed a dance play ‘Durga Jhali Gauri’ along with a cast of seventy children. At first, Awishkar was associated with the ‘Chhabildas School’, but after 18years, Sulabha associated the group with ‘Mahim Municipal School’. In this school, she used to hold annual school production of ‘Durga Jhali Gauri’ with a new cast of students every year. Popular Bollywood actors like Nana Patekar and Urmila Matondkar were the students of ‘Chandrashala’.
While working for ‘Awishkar’, Sulabha portrayed the character of Leela Benare in the popular play ‘Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe’ in 1967. In 1971, Satyadev Dubey made the film on this play with the same name and Sulabha continued playing a lead role of Leela Benare in the movie as well. This was the debut movie of the actors like Amrish Puri & Amol Palekar. After the success of the movie, Sulabha started working in Hindi and Marathi movies.
In 1974, Sulabha acted in the Hindi movie ‘Jadu Ka Shankh’. Later, she worked with the director Shyam Benegal in his movies like ‘Bhumika- The Role’ and ‘Kondura’, which was also made in Telugu language. Sulbha has also worked with the noted directors like Saeed Akhtar Mirza in the film ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai’ in 1980, Gulzar in the movie ‘Ijaazat’ in 1987 and Priyadarshan in the movie ‘Virasat’ in 1997. She has also worked in other Hindi movies like ‘Gaman’, ‘Vijeta’, ‘Bheegi Palkein’ and a few more. In 1978, Sulbha directed a Hindi children’s movie ‘Raja Rani Ko Chahiye Pasina’.
Sulabha has also acted in popular Marathi movies. She acted in the super-hit Smita Patil’s Marathi movie ‘Jait Re Jait’ in a supporting role. Later in 2009, she played the role of Bau Aaji in the film ‘Vihir’. She was also seen in the recent movies like ‘Haapus’, ‘Mala Aai Vhhaychy’ and ‘Investments’.
Apart from films & theatre, Sulabha has also done many Hindi & Marathi television serials. In 1986, she acted in the Hindi serial ‘Chhoti Badi Baatein’. Later, she was also seen in the episodes of Zee TV’s show ‘Rishtey’ in both the seasons. She also worked in the shows like ‘Tanha’, ‘Woh’ and ‘Badalte Rishte’. In 2008, she played the role of Shakuben in NDTV Imagine’s show ‘Ek Packet Umeed’. She also played a comedy role in Sab TV’s ‘Mrs.Tendulkar’.
Recently, she played a small role of Sridevi’s mother-in-law in the blockbuster Bollywood movie ‘English Vinglish’, which was directed by Gauri Shinde. She also played the role of Dadi in Sony TV’s serial ‘Kehta Hai Dil Jee Le Zara’, starring Sangeeta Ghosh and Ruslaan Mumtaz.
Sulbha was married to Arvind Deshpande, who was a noted theatre actor and director. Arvind Deshpande died in 2011.
Name of Films
Some of the popular movies of Sulabha Deshpande
|Shantata! Court Chalu AheJaadu Ka Shankh
Zindagi Aur Tufan
Bhumika: The Role
Arvind Desai Ki Ajab Dastaan
Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyu Ata Hai?
Hech Maze Maher
Khoon Bhari Mang
Ghar Ho To Aisa
Ek Phool Teen Kante
Daughters Of The Century
Behind The Mirror
Mala Aai Whaychay
Janki Krishna Acharya
Name of Serials
|Choti Badi BaateinRishtey (Season:1)
Ek Packet Umeed
Kehta Hai Dil Jee Le Zara
Mother of Woh
Name of Dramas
Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe
Raja Ranila Ghaam Hava
Durga Zali Gauri
Baba Harvle Aahet
Pandit Tuzi Akka Shendit
Raja Rani Ko Chahiye Pasina
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Ganpatrao Joshi Puraskar
Rangbhoomi Jivan Gaurav Puraskar
Sarvshreshtha Kalagaurav Puraskar- Sanskruti Kaladarpan