- Birthday: 18. September 1950
- Birthplace: Hyderabad, India
- Awards: 1975 – National Film Award for Best Actress, Ankur, 1983 – National Film Award for Best Actress, Arth, 1984 – National Film Award for Best Actress, Khandhar, 1985 – National Film Award for Best Actress, Paar, 1999 – National Film Award for Best Actress, Godmother, 1978 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Swami, 1984 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Arth, 1985 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Bhavna, 2006 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, 1993: Best Actress award for Libaas in North Korea, 1994: Best Actress award for Gautam Ghose’s Patang at the Taorima Arte Festival in Italy, 1996: Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress for Fire at the Chicago International Film Festival, 1996: Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film, for Fire in L.A. Outfest, Azmi won the award for Best Actress (Hindi) at the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards (BFJA) for Ankur in 1975, Paar in 1984, Ek Pal in 1987, and Godmother in 1999. She won the Best Supporting Actress (Hindi) award for Tehzeeb in 2003., 1998: Star Screen Award Best Supporting Actress for Mrityudand, 2004: Zee Cine Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role- Female for Tehzeeb, 2005: Star Screen Awards – Best Performance in an Indian Film in English for Morning Raga, 1988: Awarded the Padma Shri from the Government of India, 1988: Yash Bhartiya Award by the Government of Uttar Pradesh for highlighting women’s issues in her work as an actress and activist, 1994: Rajiv Gandhi Award for "Excellence of Secularism", 1999: Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image, Significant Contribution to Indian Cinema, 2002: Martin Luther King Professorship award by the University of Michigan conferred on her in recognition of her contribution to arts, culture and society, 2003: She was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the Jadavpur University in West Bengal in 2003, 2006: Gandhi International Peace Award, awarded by Gandhi Foundation, London, 2007: She was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Art by Chancellor of the University Brandan Foster by the Leeds Metropolitan University in Yorkshire, 2012: Awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, 2012: She was honoured by Walk of the Stars as her hand print was preserved for posterity at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai, 2013: Awarded the Honorary Fellowship by the National Indian Students Union UK, 2013: She was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by Simon Fraser University, 2014: She was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by TERI University on 5 February 2014
Shabana Azmi (Hindi: शबाना आज़मी; Urdu: شبانہ اعظمی; born 18 September 1950) is an Indian actress of film, television and theatre. Born to two members of the Communist Party of India who were both leading lights of IPTA, Azmi made her film debut in 1974. She soon became one of the leading actresses of Parallel Cinema, a left wing "New Wave" movement which received tremendous government patronage during the regimes of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. During those years, Azmi was showered with honours and awards, including a record of five National Awards, four Filmfare Awards and several international honours. Her films, of which there are around 120, are among the best examples of a form of Progressivism which reveled in reviling and deriding Indian society, its customs and traditions, thereby securing the appreciation of international audiences and Indian "intellectuals" of a left wing persuasion. Since 1988, she has acted in several foreign projects, but made no mark in that field.
In addition to acting, Azmi is a social and women's rights activist. A champion of liberalism and modernity, she had a prolonged affair with the poet and screenwriter Javed Akhtar, the married father of two young children, who divorced his wife in order to marry Azmi. Herself a barren Muslim woman, she is a "Goodwill Ambassador" of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) which seeks to spread contraception and abortion in India in order to limit that country's population. In appreciation of Azmi's life and works, the Congress party's government gave her a nominated (unelected) membership of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.