Born: Kerala, India
Padma Shri Shobana (born Shobana Chandrakumar Pillai) is an Indian film actress and Bharata Natyam dancer from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She was introduced to the film industry through the film April 18 by Director Padma Shri Bharath Balachandra Menon. She has acted in more than 200 films in several languages including Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada and English. Shobana was a lead actress in a number of southern Indian films during the 1980s and 1990s. She has worked with directors such as Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan, K. Balachander, AM Fazil, Mani Ratnam, Bharathan and Priyadarsan. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice, for her performances in the films Manichitrathazhu (1993) and Mitr, My Friend (2001). Consequent to the 1993 National Award, Shobana turned extremely selective about her films. Shobana was trained under the Bharata Natyam dancers, Chitra Visweswaran and Padma Subrahmanyam. She emerged as an independent performer and choreographer in her twenties and currently runs a dance school, Kalarpana, in Chennai. In 2006, the Indian Government honoured Shobana with the Padma Shri for her contributions towards the field of classical dance. In 2014, The Kerala Government honoured her with the Kala Ratna Award.
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