Smita Patil (October 17, 1955 -13 December 1986) was a leading Indian actress from the 1970s to the 1980s in both Hindi and Marathi cinema. Along with actresses like Shabana Azmi, she was one of the potent quartet representing India's parallel cinema. In a succession of landmark films like Manthan (1977), Bhumika (1977), Aakrosh (1980) and Chakra (1981). Patil was also an active feminist (in a distinctly Indian context) and a member of the Women's Centre in Mumbai. She was deeply committed to the advancement of women's issues, and gave her endorsement to films which sought to explore the role of women in traditional Indian society, their sexuality, and the changes facing the middle-class woman in an urban milieu.
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