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5. Smita Patil -- Charandas Chor, Manthan

Patil first stepped into cinema with Shyam Benegal's Charandas Chor, a children's film adapted from the eponymous play by Habib Tanvir. In this classic folk tale, Patil delightfully played a lovelorn princess -- and clearly Benegal realised he had found another muse.

A long collaboration followed, and while Charandas might have had her in a supporting role, she soon found a full-fledged leading role in Benegal's compelling Manthan, one that immediately marked her out as one of the country's premiere actresses.

Also Read: The Best of Smita Patil

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