15 iconic on-screen mothers of Bollywood

Updated: 15 August, 2020 15:03 IST | Nikita Wagh
  • Rakhee Gulzar

    Rakhee: Insistent upon playing good roles rather than star status, the actress raised eyebrows when she didn't hesitate to play frequent co-star Amitabh Bachchan's mother in films such as Laawaris (1981) and Shakti (1982). Towards the late 1980s and early 1990s she portrayed strong character roles as the bereaved and bitter elderly mother widowed at the hands of the villains or a woman with principles in films like Ram Lakhan (1989), Baazigar (1993), Khalnayak (1993), Karan Arjun (1995) among others.

  • Nirupa Roy

    Nirupa Roy: Referred to as The Queen of Misery in Hindi film circles, her role as a mother to characters played by Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor made her name synonymous to the impoverished suffering mother in the 1970s. Her dialogue Mujhe Khareedne ki Koshish Mat Karna in 1975's Deewar is one of her most memorable lines.

  • Nargis Dutt

    Nargis Dutt: The actress won plaudits from critics and audiences alike for her role as Radha in the 1957 critical and commercial success Mother India.

  • Lalita Pawar

    Lalita Pawar: The actress was known to play the wicked, scheming mother who got into a particularly nasty mood as a mother-in-law. Her character gave entertaining twists and turns to the story. Notable films where she portrayed a mother include Sau Din Saas Ke, Hum Dono, Daag among many others.

  • Reema Lagoo

    Reema Lagoo: The actress who carved out a niche for herself in Hindi and Marathi cinema was best known for her performances as Juhi Chawla's mother in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) and Salman Khan's mother in 1989 hit Maine Pyaar Kiya. She also found success on the small screen in comic TV serials like Shrimaan Shrimati and Tu Tu Main Main.

  • Achala Sachdev

    Achala Sachdev: The veteran actress is most memorable for her role as Balraj Sahni's wife in the 1965 film Waqt in which the song Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen was picturised on her. She also portrayed Kajol's grandmother in the 1995 hit Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge.

  • Nutan

    Nutan: The role of the iconic Bollywood mother is synonymous with Nutan's name. The actress played the character excellently in 1980s films such as Meri Jung (1985), Naam (1986) and Karma (1986). She won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for Meri Jung.

  • Rohini Hattangadi

    Rohini Hattangadi: Rohini Hattangadi played the mother, and even the grandmother, in quite a few films. In the 1988 film Shahenshah, Hattangadi played Amitabh Bachchan's mother and repeated the role in 1990 in Agneepath. The veteran actress also played a step-mom in the film Hero Hiralal and Rishi Kapoor's mother in Damini. But Hattangadi's stint as the mother was highly praised in Shahenshah and Agneepath as compared to the other movies.

  • Dina Pathak

    Dina Pathak: The late actress became a favourite of art and commercial films alike during the 1970s and 1980s playing powerful motherly and grandmotherly roles. It was in these films that she became recognised as the Grand-Old-Mother of Hindi cinema. Her portrayal as a middle-aged woman pretending to be Amol Palekar's mother in Golmaal and a strict matriarch of a large family in Khoobsurat won her accolades. Apart from these roles, she was also a renowned theatre actress in her early years.

  • Leela Chitnis

    Leela Chitnis: She has been credited to have created the archetype of the Hindi Film mother. Chitnis played the mother of the later leading men including Dilip Kumar, often playing an ailing mother or a mother going through hardships and struggling to bring up her offspring.

  • Farida Jalal

    Farida Jalal: She played doting and sometimes comic motherly roles in films like Raja Hindustani, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, for which she won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. She is also known for he role as Suhasini in the hit 1990s TV serial Dekh Bhai Dekh.

  • Anjana Mumtaz

    Anjana Mumtaz: The actress is best remembered for playing the arch-typical mother in many Bollywood films of the 1980s and 90s. She starred in films such as Chamatkar, Phool Aur Kaante, Tirangaa, Saajan Chale Sasural, Dhadkan, amongst others. Son Ruslaan Mumtaz made his debut in 2007 with Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar.

  • Waheeda Rehman

    Waheeda Rehman: After a stellar career as a leading lady from the 1950s till the early 1970s, she became known for playing elderly mother and grandmother roles in films like Coolie (1983), Om Jai Jagadish (2002) and Rang De Basanti (2006) among many other films.

  • Kirron Kher

    Kirron Kher: She is known for portraying on-screen mother roles with a touch of humour. Be it Hum Tum, Rang De Basanti, Dostana or Khoobsurat. She won our hearts with her hilarious dialogues and comic timing. She has also pulled off roles having serious undertones with as ease, like in Fanaa and Veer Zaara.

  • Jaya Bachchan

    Jaya Bachchan: After a gap of film appearances for 18 years, she returned to acting with Govind Nihalani's Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998), a film in which she portrays the role of a grieving mother whose son dies in the Naxal movement in West Bengal. In 2000 she starred in Fiza for which she received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her work. She also starred in Karan Johar's family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) with her husband. She then starred in Karan Johar's next film, Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). She played the role of Preity Zinta's mother, Jennifer, for which she again received a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.

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About The Gallery

Sometimes they play nice, sometimes they play the bad guys. Whichever role they play in movies, it just makes the movie more entertaining and enthralling. On one such on-screen mom, Rakhee Gulzar, on her birthday on August 15, we remember actresses who are renowned for portraying mothers on-screen in Bollywood over the years.

First Published: 14 June, 2019 12:27 IST