Seema Biswas is an Indian actress who shot into prominence with the
role of Phoolan Devi in Shekhar Kapur's film Bandit Queen (1994).
Biswas was born on January 14, 1965 in Guwahati, Assam, to Jagdish and
Meera Biswas. Her mother was a history teacher and a pioneering figure
for female theater artistes in Assam, an early influence; and she came
into contact with artists like Bhupen Hazarika, Phani Sarma and
Bishnuprasad Rabha early in life.
She took to theater at a tender
age. She studied Political Science at Nalbari College, and later joined
the National School of Drama at Delhi. After completing her studies at
NSD, she joined the NSD Repertory Company. She staged a performance of
a play titled Khubsurat Bahu (NSD Repertory Company) following which
Shekhar Kapur offered her a role in Bandit Queen. Although she had
earlier acted in Assamese cinema this was her first big break into
Hindi cinema, and she arrived with a bang.
Biswas won the 1996 National Film Award for Best Actress for her role
in the film. She has a reputation for performing strong character roles.
Biswas won the 2006 Best Actress Genie Award for her role as Shakuntala in Deepa Mehta's Water (2005).
firmly in theatre, she refuses to be typecast, and have worked in a
variety of films and character roles. She has also worked in a number
of Malayalam, and a Tamil film.