Shanta Apte


Born: Dudhni, Bombay Presidency, British India


Shanta Apte (1916-1964) was an Indian singer-actress who worked in Marathi and Hindi cinema. Renowned for her roles in films like Duniya Na Mane/Kunku (1937) and Amar Jyoti (1936) under the Prabhat Films banner, she was active in Indian cinema from 1932-58. Aptes impact on Marathi cinema paralleled that of Kanan Devis in Bengali cinema. Along with Kanan Devi, Apte is cited as one of the great singing stars from before the playback singing era. Apte began her career in films playing the role of a young Radha in the Marathi film Shyamsunder (1932). She joined Prabhat Films acting in her first Hindi language film Amrit Manthan in (1934).She brought a change in the static style of song renditions in films with her spontaneous gestures and eye movements. A woman of rare mettle she staged a hunger strike in 1939 at the Prabhat Studios gate following a disagreement regarding a clause in her contract. Cited as a domestic guerrilla following her roles in films like Kunku/Duniya Na mane, she became an inspirational role-model for a generation of college students.Claimed to be the highest paid female screen star in Marathi-language cinema, her star status with the audiences as early as 1937 was acknowledged by the cine-magazine editor Baburao Patel in the December 1937 issue of Filmindia, in an editorial titled India Has No Star.She was also one of the earliest Indian cinema actor to write her autobiography Jau Mi Cinemat (Should I join Films) in Marathi.

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