Simi Garewal

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"Namak Haram" [1973]

Today Simi Garewal is known as 'The Woman In White' and the host of the wildly popular television interview show, "Rendezvous with Simi Garewal" where she plays the chic interview host inviting filmi stars and the super rich for a bit of tea and gossip.

For Bollywood in the 1960s and 70s Simi Garewal was the epitome of Indian genteel sophistication and restraint. Her image as the cool and controlled beauty of Hindi Popular Cinema never won her the kudos of the front benchers and she was not a song and dance girl, but Simi worked with all the heavy weight actors and India's best directors during her career. Her signature role was as the school teacher that the young Rishi Kapoor has a crush on in Raj Kapoor's "Mera Naam Joker" (1970).

Simi Garewal was an anomaly of sorts, not the usual Bollywood story. She was born in India but raised in England, the daughter of a military brigadier. As a child living as a NRI she was obsessed with becoming a Bollywood star. As a teen, barely knowing Hindi, she came back to India with her Mother to fulfill her dream of stardom. In a chance meeting with Mehboob Khan (director of Mother India) she convinced the director to put her in his next film and Simi's film career was born.

 

 

 

 

"Siddhartha" (1972)

Simi Garewal thought besides her cool and sophisticated Bollywood image worked in a handful of 'art film' projects. In 1969 she played a rural tribal girl in Satyajit Ray's Bengali film "Aranyer Din Ratri". She also appeared with Shashi Kapoor in the 1971 'crossover' film, Conrad Rooks' "Siddhartha". Simi played the love interest to Shashi's Siddhartha and caused a sensation in India when she appeared topless in the film.

As her film career started to wan Simi gravitated to the other side of the camera and tried her hand at Bollywood film direction and then had some success as a documentary film maker. Today Simi Garewal has her own production company of which "Rendezvous with Simi Garewal" is the most successful offshoot.

 

 

 

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first uploaded:08.20.03

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