Shobana Chandrakumar Pillai is an Indian actress and Bharatanatyam dancer. She acts predominantly in Malayalam films along with Telugu and Tamil films with few Hindi, Kannada and English films. She has won two National Film Awards, one Kerala State Film Awards, two Filmfare Awards South, with 14 Nominations for Best Actress Category in three different south Indian languages, Tamil Nadu State's Kalaimamani Award in 2011 and numerous other awards.Shobana established herself as a leading actress in 1980s and 1990s. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice, for her performances in the Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu (1993) and the English film Mitr, My Friend (2001). Subsequent to the year 1999, Shobana turned extremely selective about her films.Shobana was trained under the Bharata Natyam dancers Chitra Visweswaran and Padma Subrahmanyam. She emerged as an independent performer and choreographer in her twenties and currently runs a dance school, Kalarpana, in Chennai. In 2006, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri for her contributions towards the arts.In 2014, the Kerala State Government honoured her with the Kala Ratna Award. In 2019, she was bestowed an honorary doctorate from Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute. In 2022, she was bestowed an Doctor of Letters degree from Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit.
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