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A FLASHBACK (ICONIC ACTRESS)

Nirupa Roy

Nirupa Roy, born as Kokila Kishorechandra Bulsara on 4 January 1931, was an Indian actress who appeared in Hindi films. She known for portrayal of the Indian mother. She has played leading roles in her early years in the film industry. She started playing mother roles during the 1970s and 1980s. She acted in more than 275 films in her acting career spanning >50 years. She was referred to as the “Queen of Misery” in Hindi film industry.

She was married to Kamal Roy at the age of 15 and moved to Mumbai. The couple have two sons, Yogesh and Kiran. She changed her first name after entering the film industry. Actress Shyama was her good friend.

Nirupa was a Gujarati and taught children Gujarati before she acted in films. She was regarded as the greatest “Mother” of all time in Bollywood.

In 1946, her husband responded to an advertisement in a Gujarati paper which mentioned that they are looking for actors. She was auditioned and was selected. Thereafter, she started her acting career with the Gujarati film “Ranakdevi”. In the same year, she acted in her first Hindi film “Amar Raj”.

“Do Bigha Zameen” (1953) is among her popular movies. She largely played mythological characters in the films during 1940s and 50’s. Her image of a goddess was so strong and people would visit her home and seek her blessings. She has played in the movies with many co-stars, among them are Trilok Kapoor (with whom she played in eighteen movies), Bharat Bhushan, Balraj Sahni and Ashok Kumar.

In the 1970s, her role as mother of the characters played by Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor made her name synonymous to the impoverished suffering mother. Her role in Deewaar (1975) and its dialogues with reference to a mother and son are used as clichés. She died in 2004 due to cardiac arrest in Mumbai on 13 October 2004 at the age of 73. She has received Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for the movies, “Munimji” (1956), “Chhaya” (1962), and “Shehnaai” (1965). In 2004, she was also awarded with Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Ankur Kalita