Shabana Azmi is an Indian actor working in Hindi film, television and theatre. One of India’s most acclaimed actors, she is known for her portrayals of distinctive, often unconventional female characters across several genres. She has won a record five National Film Awards for Best Actress in addition to five Filmfare Awards and several international honours. She is a Padma Shri and Padma Bushan awardee. The daughter of poet Kaifi Azmi and stage actress Shaukat Azmi, she is an alumna of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. She became known as one of the leading actors of parallel cinema in the Seventies. In addition to acting, Azmi is a social and women’s rights activist. She is married to poet and screenwriter Javed Akhtar. She is a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA). In appreciation of Azmi’s life and works, she was made a nominated (unelected) member of the Rajya Sabha.