Shabana Azami was born on 18 September 1950 in Hyderabad, India and her father Kaifi Azmi is a well-known poet and lyricist. Her Shaukat Azmi was a theatre actress and did a few movies also.
Her brother, Baba Azmi is a well-known cinematographer. Her parents had a lively social life, and their home was mostly filled with people and activities. The environment in her home instilled a sense of respect for family, social and human values; both of her parents every time supported her in the procedure of her growth of a passion for intellectual encouragement and evolution.
She did her graduation in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and after that, she joined the course in acting at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. She was ranked at the top of the list of successful candidates for the 1972 batch of FTII. Her debut movie was Ankur in 1972 which was directed by the veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal and she got her first National Award for her debut movie which is a very rare feat. Though, her first film she signed was Faasla directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas which was released in 1974. She got lots of appreciation for both movies. She won the national award successively for three years from 1983 to 1985 for Arth, Khandhar, and Paar. Her fifth National Award was for the movie Godmother directed by Vinay Shukla in 1999 a record by any female actress still unbroken.
She married famous writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar on 9 December 1984. It was Javed Akhtar’s second marriage, the first was with Honet Irani, a Bollywood scriptwriter It makes Shabana the stepmother of Farhan and Zoya Akhtar.
Shabana Azmi undoubtedly is one of the best actresses of India ever who won many awards including five National Film Awards for Best Actress, five Filmfare Awards, and numerous international honours among other accolades. In 1998, she was honoured by the Government of India with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour in the country, and in 2012, she received Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour.
She acted in more than 100 movies and some of her famous movies are Mandi, Ankur, Khandhar, Paar, Godmother, Masoom, Ek Doctor ki Maut, Fire, and many more. But she was not confined only to offbeat movies as she has done commercial movies like Amar, Akbar, Anthony. Amrit,Main Azad Hoon, Mriyudand etc. She also played a negative role in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Makdee in 2002. She won Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for the movie Neerja in 2016 starring Sonam Kapoor in the lead. She made her OTT debut with the Netflix movie Kaali Kuhi. Her forthcoming movie is Karan Johar directed movie Rock Aur Rani ki Prem Kahani where she is sharing space with the lead Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt along with Dharmendra and Jaya Bachchan.