Shanta Apte

Shanta Apte

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Category: Cinema

Shanta Apte Profile

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Shanta Apte Biography

Shanta Apte was a singer-actress of Indian cinema in the 1930s and 1940s. She acted in Hindi and Marathi films and has also done a Tamil film – Savithri (1941), where the legendary singer and Indian Nightingale M. S. Subbulakshmi also worked. For the movie, Duniya Na Mane (1937) she sang an English song. Shanta has been a graceful film and stage actress.Through her behavior she has created sensations, no other early stars have made before.


Though she was not publically known to be married, after 10 years of her death, a stage artiste Nayana Apte has confessed that she is the daughter of Shanta. She also said that her mother quit acting in 1947 following her marriage to a landlord. Shanta left her husband three months after her marriage, as she was not allowed to work in movies. By that time she was already pregnant. Shanta delivered her daughter in Andheri and never met her husband after.


Shanta was born to a station master who was interested in music and a good singer as well. She was born at Neera. Shanta Apte learnt singing in childhood and got appreciation as a singer during Ganapati festivals in Pune. When talkies were born in India, there was huge demand of singing actresses. During her teens, Shanta played the lead role of Radha in the mythological film - “Shayam­sunder”, opposite Shahu Modak. Though its Hindi version was a flop, Marathi version became the first talkie to run for 25 weeks at one theatre in Mumbai. But later she couldn’t get more film roles.


She entered film studio for the first time as someone told her that she would get opportunity to learn music there. She joined Prabat studio three years after her debut movie. Her first film for Prabhat was “Amrit­manthan”, where she played hero’s sister. Raat Ayi Hai Naya Rang Jamane Ke Liye – pictured on her was a hit. Later she worked in the movies - “Amar­yoti”, “Rajput Ramani”, “Duniya Na Mane”, “Wahan”, “Gopal Krishna”, “Amarjyoti”, “Du­niya Na Mane” etc. “Duniya Na Mane” is her most memorable role. Apte was perhaps the first star to write a book. The book was titled “Jaoo Mi Cinemat”.

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Updated: October 10, 2014


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