Merle Oberon, a black-and-white Hollywood actress, is a forgotten icon in India, where she was born.
Oberon was an Anglo-Indian who was born in Bombay in 1911 and is most known for playing the lead in the classic Wuthering Heights. She maintained her background a secret throughout her existence as a star in Hollywood's Golden Age, passing herself off as white.
Mayukh Sen, a writer and professor located in the United States, first came across Oberon's name in 2009 when he learned that he was the first actor of South Asian ancestry to be nominated for an Academy Award.
As he watched her films and learned more about her background, his interest intensified. "As a queer person, I understand the sense of having to conceal a part of your identity in order to survive in a hostile culture that isn't ready to accept who you are," he says. Sen is currently writing on a biography of Oberon, which will be told from a South Asian perspective.