Noted filmmaker-actor Smita Talwalkar passes away

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 06 Agustus 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Inspiring, unfailingly positive and someone who forged a personal connect with every person she worked with, is how colleagues and friends remember the late actor-filmmaker Smita Talwalkar. She passed away on Wednesday morning at Jaslok Hospital, leaving behind a legacy of not only plays, films and television serials, but also personal memories. Talwalkar was 59, and was being treated for ovarian cancer.

"She was like a mother to me," recalls actor Pushkar Shrotri. "We worked on so many productions together, but I was lucky to know her on a personal level as well." The veteran used to often cook for the unit, right from personally purchasing the ingredients to ensuring everyone had had their fill. "She knew we would have gotten bored with the food we got on the sets so she often made fish curry," Shrotri says. "We would go shopping for the fish together. She called me Mumma's boy!"

Known for her acting in movies like 'Tu Saubhagyavati Ho' and 'Chaukat Raja', Talwalkar had started her careeer as a newsreader on television. She was also among the most successful producers of the Marathi film circuit, with two National awards to her credit. The television serials she produced, such as 'Avantika', 'Gharkul' and 'Unch Majha Zoka', found several loyalists.

Actress Mrunal Kulkarni, who played the protagonist in the breakthrough serial 'Avantika' credits Talwalkar for being a constant inspiration, both professional and personal. "She acted in the first film I directed, and though she was a veteran, she never made me feel like I was falling short in any way," Kulkarni says. "She encouraged me and talked about how there needed to be more female directors in the industry."

The Asmita Chitra Academy Talwalkar set up helped nurture budding talent through the children's acting classes. "She worked across theatre, films and serials, and her contribution is immense," says Arun Kakade, co-founder of Aawishkar theatre group. "It is a great loss to the industry."

Whether it was production problems or her failing health, Talwalkar believed in fighting back, and with a smile, Shrotri adds. "That is just one of the things we will remember about her."

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