Her zest for life, wit and charm, which have continued to inspire generations, remain unmatched, say entertainment industry veterans.
Sehgal, who has starred in films like “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”, “Dil Se” and “Cheeni Kum”, was last seen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's “Sawariyaa” (2007). She was born on April 27, 1912, in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, third of her seven siblings - and grew up in Chakrata, now in Uttarakhand (near Dehradun).
She began her career as a dancer with Uday Shankar in 1935 and performed across Japan, Egypt, Europe and the US. She married scientist, painter and dancer Kameshwar Sehgal in August 1942. The couple had two children, Kiran and Pavan.
Considered the doyenne of Indian theatre, Sehgal acted with Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) and Prithviraj Kapoor's Prithvi Theatre for fourteen years.
She was active in theatre mostly, but also did a few films in between. She choreographed for a few Hindi films as well, including Guru Dutt's “Baazi” (1951) and the dream sequence song in Raj Kapoor's film “Awaara”.
Sehgal moved to London on a drama scholarship in 1962, where she appeared in many TV productions including “The Jewel in the Crown”, “Tandoori Nights” and “My Beautiful Laundrette”.