Achala Sachdev was an Indian actress who mostly worked in Bollywood’s classic films. She is best known for playing the role of Balraj Sahni’s wife in the Bollywood film “Waqt” (1965). She is also popular for playing the role of Kajol‘s grandmother in “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995).
Achala Sachdev was born on Monday, 3 May 1920 (age 91 years at the time of death) in Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, British India (now in Pakistan). Her zodiac sign is Taurus. When she was in her teens, she started working as a child actress.
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Not much is known about her parents. Achala was introduced to Clifford Douglas Peters (a mechanical engineer who had a factory in Bhosari named Morris Electronics, producing small electronics parts such as diodes) through Yash Chopra on the sets of a film in Mumbai. Peters first wife had passed away by then and Achala herself was a divorcee. The couple ended up tying the knot with each other. After her marriage with Peters, Sachdev shifted to Pune along with her husband. They lived in a bungalow in Bhosari for a while and then shifted to Hadapsar. Her husband passed away in 2002.
Achala had a son named Jyotin from her first husband who lived in the US. She once visited him in the US in 2006 for her granddaughter’s marriage. She also had a daughter, who lived in Mumbai but was not in touch with her.
As a Radio Jockey
Achala Sachdev started her career as a radio jockey at All India Radio, Lahore (before the partition of India). She then began working at All India Radio, Delhi.
As an Actress
Achala started her career as an actress in 1938 with the Hindi film “Fashionable Wife.” Next, she appeared in Bollywood films like “Rahi” (1952), “Sabse Bada Rupaiya” (1955), “Sampoorna Ramayana” (1961), “Dil Ek Mandir” (1963), and “Sangam” (1964). In 1965, she gained huge popularity by playing the role of Balraj Sahni’s wife in the Bollywood film “Waqt,” wherein the hit song ‘Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen’ was picturised on her.
Some of her most notable works include “Mera Naam Joker” (1970), “Daag: A Poem of Love” (1973), “Chandni” (1989), and “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995).
She had also worked in the English films “Nine Hours to Rama” (1963) and “The Householder” (1963).
After her husband, Clifford Douglas Peters, died, Achala lived alone in Pune. On 8 September 2011, she suffered a fracture in her leg when she slipped in the kitchen and fell. Following the incident, Achala was shifted to Poona Hospital and Research Centre by her attendant but discharged soon. On 21 October 2011, she was again admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with multiple emboli in her brain leading to quadriplegia – total paralysis of all four limbs and torso. The condition further resulted in total paralysis and the loss of her vision. Achala breathed her last breath on 30 April 2012. Amar Ujala
- In her career span of around 74 years, Achala had worked in more than 250 films.
- The last film in which she worked was Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). Achala played a cameo in the film.
- Achala loved meditating. After her husband’s death in 2002, Achala spent most of her time meditating and listening to meditation music and discourses.
- Five years before her death, Achala gifted her flat in Pune to the Janseva Foundation, a charitable organization. In return, the founder and chairman of the organisation, Dr Vinod Shah, took the responsibility of taking care of her as long as she was alive.
- Reportedly, none of the Bollywood celebrities visited her when she was admitted and undergoing treatment in a hospital in Pune before her death. Hindustan Times