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Who is A Suitable Boy star Tabu?

Are you watching the BBC drama?

Francesca Shillcock

A Suitable Boy premiered on the BBC last month and has proved hugely popular with both viewers and critics ever since. The drama, which tells the story of Lata Mehra (Tanya Maniktala) on her quest to find love, has been adapted for TV from the 1993 best-selling novel of the same name by Vikram Seth.

MORE: Viewers are loving BBC's A Suitable Boy series more than the novel

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WATCH: A Suitable Boy official trailer

As well as the gorgeous backdrop and gripping storyline viewers are loving the cast, in particular Bollywood star, Tabu. So who is the actress? Here's all you need to know...

MORE: Will there be a series two of A Suitable Boy?

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Tabu in A Suitable Boy

Who is Tabu?

Known as a Bollywood legend, Tabu (born Tabassum Fatima Hashmi) has appeared in many films throughout her thirty-plus year career. She has mostly starred in Hindi-language movies, and impressive credits and talent has cemented her as one of Indian's most highly-regard actors.

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Tabu plays Saeeda Bai

She has received a number of awards for her work including the National Film Award for Best Actress twice and four awards for Critics Best Actress, along with many others in different categories, at the Filmfare Awards. In 2011, Tabu was awarded the Padma Shri, which is considered India's fourth highest civilian award, by the Indian government for her work in the arts.

What else has Tabu been in?

Tabu began her acting career in the eighties and started out having a number of small roles in films and TV shows. She came into prominence in the early nineties for her leading role in a film named Vijaypath, for which she received the Best Female Debut Award at the Filmfare Awards. Throughout the rest of that decade, the star became more and more prominent and in the year 1996 she had eight film releases alone.

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Tabu is known as a Bollywood legend

In 2007, Tabu starred in her first Hollywood film, The Namesake, alongside Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, Jurassic World) which proved a big hit. And five years later, she appeared in her second Hollywood film, Academy Award-winning Life of Pi, once again working with Irrfan Khan as well as Rafe Spall and others. More recently, Tabu starred in one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time, Andhadhun, playing the role of the murderer Simi Sinha.

Who does Tabu play in A Suitable Boy?

In A Suitable Boy, Tabu plays Saeeda Bai. Saeeda a musician with whom Lata's brother-in-law, Maan Kapoor (played by Ishaan Khatter) falls in love with. However, the actress was nearly cast as a different character altogether. Tabu revealed to Radio Times that that the director, Mira Nair, was at first considering her for the role of Lata's overbearing mother, Rupa. She said: "Initially [Mira Nair] was thinking [about casting me in a different role] but she was always very clear, she said, 'I want you to play Saeeda Bai,'".

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