Sharmila Recalls Famous 1966 Bikini Shoot: ‘People Don’t Let Me Forget It’


Mumbai: Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, known for her unconventional choices, opened up on her life and journey in the film industry during an online session recently.

One of the first mainstream female Bollywood artists to pose in a bikini on a magazine cover, Sharmila said: “My life choices, looking back, have been unconventional. Like the bikini shot for Filmfare (in 1966), that people don’t ever let me forget.”

Having made her debut with Apur Sansar in 1959, Sharmila never shied away from doing different kinds of roles which others wouldn’t have the courage to take up.

Sharmila recalled the story of the bikini shoot several years later, in an interview to Filmfare, Hindustan Times reported.

“Oh God, how conservative our society was back then! I’ve no idea why I did that shoot. It was just before I got married. I remember when I showed the two-piece bikini to the photographer, he asked me, ‘Are you sure about this?’ In some of the shots, he even asked me to cover my body. He was more worried than I was, but I had no qualms doing that shoot. Only when people started reacting strongly to the cover, was I taken aback. I was puzzled as to why they didn’t like the picture. I thought I looked nice. Some called it a deliberate move to grab eyeballs; others termed me as ‘astutely uncanny’. I hated that. Maybe, there was an exhibitionist in me, as I was young and excited to do something different.”

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