Achala Sachdev (3 May 1920 – 30 April 2012) was an Indian film actress who appeared in classic films of Bollywood. She was from Peshawar who started her career as a child actor. She later became known for mother and grandmother roles in Hindi films. Her most memorable roles were as Balraj Sahni’s wife in the 1965 film Waqt and Kajol’s grandmother in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995).
Achala Sachdev was born on 3 May 1920 in Peshawar.
Achala worked for All India Radio, Lahore before the partition of India, and then at Delhi All India Radio. Achala made her film debut with Fashionable Wife (1938), and acted in over 130 Hindi films. She has acted in many Yash Raj Films, starting with Yash Chopra’s first production Daag: A Poem of Love (1973) and films such as Chandni (1989) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). Her other noted films were Prem Pujari, Mera Naam Joker, Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Andaz, apart from acting in English films such as the Mark Robson’s Nine Hours to Rama (1963) and Merchant Ivory’s The Householder (1963). However, her most noted role remains as Balraj Sahani’s wife in Waqt (1965), wherein the hit song Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen was picturised on her.
Achala became a resident of Pune after marrying Clifford Douglas Peters, who had a factory in Pune’s Bhosari industrial estate, named Morris Electronics, producing small electronics parts such as diodes. The factory was later sold to the Piramal Group. In an almost filmy turn, Sachdev was introduced to Peters by Yash Chopra on the sets of a film in Mumbai. Peter’s first wife had died by then and Sachdev herself was a divorcee. They married. Peters, a mechanical engineer, had a factory in Bhosari and the couple lived in a bungalow in the same area for some time before shifting to Hadapsar. After Peters died, Achala lived alone. Five years before her death, she gave away her flat in Pune to the Janseva Foundation, a charitable organization, on the condition that they should take care of her as long as she lived.
In September 2011, Achala slipped and fell in her kitchen. She sustained a fracture in her leg. After that, she was diagnosed with multiple embolisms in her brain. This resulted in total paralysis and the loss of her vision. She was survived by son Jyotin.
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