Jaya Bachchan

Jaya Bachchan (née Bhaduri; born on 9 April 1948) is an Indian film actress and politician. She is currently the Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha from the Samajwadi Party, notably serving four terms since 2004. She is recognised as one of the finest Hindi film actresses of her time, particularly known for reinforcing a naturalistic style of acting in both mainstream and "middle-of-the-road" cinema.[2][3] During her career, she won nine Filmfare Awards: including three for Best Actress and three for Best Supporting Actress, which makes her the overall most-awarded performer in the female acting categories, along with Nutan. She was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. In 1992, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.[4]

Jaya Bachchan
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Assumed office
July 2004
ConstituencyUttar Pradesh
Personal details
Jaya Bhaduri

(1948-04-09) 9 April 1948
Jabalpur, Central Provinces and Berar, Dominion of India
(Present day: Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, Republic of India)
Political partySamajwadi Party
Amitabh Bachchan (m. 1973)
RelationsSee Bachchan Family
ChildrenShweta Bachchan Nanda
Abhishek Bachchan
ResidenceJalsa Bungalow,
Awards• 9 Filmfare Awards
Padma Shri (1992)

Making her film debut as a teenager in Satyajit Ray's Mahanagar (1963), Bachchan's first screen role as an adult was in Guddi (1971), directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, with whom she would collaborate in several films. She was noted for her performances in films including Uphaar (1971), Koshish (1972) and Kora Kagaz (1974), among others. She appeared alongside her husband Amitabh Bachchan in films such as Zanjeer (1973), Abhimaan (1973), Chupke Chupke (1975), Mili (1975) and Sholay (1975).

Following her marriage to actor Amitabh Bachchan and the birth of their children, Bachchan restricted her work in films. After her appearance in the Silsila (1981), she took an indefinite sabbatical from films. She returned to acting with Govind Nihalani's Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa in 1998. Since then, she has appeared in several critically and commercially successful films such as Fiza (2000), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), all which garnered her critical acclaim, as well as several awards and nominations.


Jaya Bachchan, an alumna of the Film and Television Institute of India, started her career with a supporting role in Satyajit Ray's Bengali film, Mahanagar (1963) at the age of 15, with Anil Chatterjee and Madhabi Mukherjee. After that, she had appeared in two Bengali films: a 13-minute short film, Suman,[5] and a Bengali comedy Dhanyee Meye (1971), as Uttam Kumar's sister-in-law.[6]

Inspired by her experience with Ray, she decided to join the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune to learn acting and passed with the gold medal.[7] She was also picked out to play the eponymous role of Guddi in the 1971 Hrishikesh Mukherjee film, Guddi in which she played a school girl obsessed with film star Dharmendra.[8] Guddi was a success,[6] and she moved to Bombay and soon picked other roles, however her role of a 14-year-old schoolgirl, aided by her petite looks, created the girl-next-door image for her, which she was often associated with through the rest of her career. Though she tried to break out of the mould with glamorous roles as in Jawani Diwani, (1972)[2] and a negative character of the heroine faking amnesia, in Anamika (1973), she was mostly recognised for roles of the sort which were credited with epitomising middle-class sensibility, which she played amiably in films of "middle-cinema" directors such as Gulzar, Basu Chatterjee and indeed Hrishikesh Mukherjee.[9] These films include Uphaar (1971), Piya Ka Ghar (1972), Parichay (1972), Koshish (1972) and Bawarchi (1972), performed with marked sensitivity.[8][10] By now, she was a popular star.[6]

In Gulzar's Koshish (1973), Bhaduri and Sanjeev Kumar played a deaf couple who struggle through their difficulties as handicapped people. She described the film as "a learning experience" which motivated her to do social work in future.[11]

She first acted with her future husband Amitabh Bachchan in the film Bansi Birju (1972), followed by B.R. Ishara's Ek Nazar also in the same year.[6] Amitabh had undergone a string of flops and when most lead heroines refused to work with him in the Salim-Javed scripted Zanjeer (1973), she stepped into the film. The film turned out to be a hit and gave rise to Amitabh Bachchan's angry-young-man image.[12] This was closely followed by their pairing in films such as Abhimaan (1973), Chupke Chupke (1975) and Sholay (1975).

Her daughter Shweta was born while Jaya and Amitabh were working on Sholay. Following this, she retired from films and focused on raising her children. Her last film as a lead actress was Silsila (1981), opposite her husband. During the late 1980s, she wrote the story for the film Shahenshah (1988), which starred her husband in the lead.

After a gap in film appearances of 18 years, she returned to acting with Govind Nihalani's Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998), a film about the Naxalite movement. 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) playing Preity Zinta's mother, Jennifer Kapur, for which she again received a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.[13] She appeared with her son Abhishek in the films Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007) and Drona (2008).

In 2011, she appeared in the Bangladeshi film Meherjaan starring with Victor Banerjee and Humayun Faridi. The film is based on a Bangladesh-Pakistan love story in the backdrop of the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities. It is the story of Meherjaan (played by Jaya Bachchan), a Bangladeshi woman who falls in love with a Pakistani army officer, who refuses to join the war and saves her from being raped by other Pakistani troops, who do not however spare her cousin Neela and kill her father.[14]

Political career

Bachchan was first elected in 2004 as the Member of Parliament from the Samajwadi Party, representing Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha till March 2006.[15] She got a second term from June 2006[16] till July 2010 and in February 2010 she stated her intent to complete her term.[17] She was re-elected in 2012 for the third term and again in 2018 for her fourth term in the Rajya Sabha from Samajwadi Party.


Bachchan's speech during the musical launch of the film Drona (2008 film) in the second half of 2008 was criticised by some sections of politicians in Maharashtra. In response to the film's director, Goldie Behl, making his introductory speech in English, she said in Hindi, "Hum UP ke log hain, isliye Hindi mein baat karenge, Maharashtra ke log maaf kijiye". (Translation: "We are people from UP, so we will speak in Hindi. People of Maharashtra, please excuse us.") Subsequently, she encouraged actress Priyanka Chopra to speak in Hindi.[18] Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray commented that she had no business referring to all the people of Maharashtra in her statement. He threatened to ban all Bachchan films unless she apologised in a public forum for hurting the sentiments of Maharashtrians. MNS workers began to attack theatres screening The Last Lear, which starred her husband. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also criticised her statement, "After making all your success and fortune in Mumbai, if you feel like saying that we are from UP, it's very unfortunate". Amitabh Bachchan tendered an apology for her statement on her behalf.[19]

Personal life

She was born to Taroon Kumar Bhaduri, a famous author and poet. TK Bhaduri wrote a famous book Obhishopto Chambol (Cursed Chambal), an account of his experiences as a journalist/writer in the area. This book provided the raw material and inspiration to almost all dacoit-related films made by the Hindi film industry in India.

On 3 June 1973 she married actor Amitabh Bachchan. The couple has two children: Shweta Bachchan-Nanda and Abhishek Bachchan, who is also an actor. Shweta is married to industrialist Nikhil Nanda, grandson of the Kapoor family in Delhi, and has two children, Navya Naveli and Agastya Nanda,[20] while Abhishek Bachchan is married to actress Aishwarya Rai, and has a daughter, Aaradhya Bachchan.[21]

Awards and recognition

Civilian Award

Filmfare Awards



  • 1972 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Guddi
  • 1972 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Uphaar
  • 1974 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Koshish
  • 1976 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Mili
  • 1982 – Filmfare Best Actress Award for Silsila

International Indian Film Academy Awards


Other Film Awards


Honours & Recognitions


YearFilmRoleOther notes
1963MahanagarBaniBengali film
1971GuddiKusum/GuddiNominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1971Dhanyee MeyeMonashaBengali film
1971UphaarMrinmayi/MeenuNominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1971JananiUnknownBengali film
1972Jawani DiwaniNeeta Thakur
1972BawarchiKrishna Sharma
1972Bansi BirjuBansi
1972Piya Ka GharMalti
1972Ek NazarShabnam
1972KoshishAarti MathurNominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1972ShorRaat Ki Rani/Rani
1972Jai Jawan Jai MakanUnknown
1973Gaai Aur GoriNeeta Thakur
1973PhagunKrishna Sharma
1973AbhimaanUma KumarFilmfare Best Actress Award
1974Dil Diwana
1974Kora KagazArchana GuptaFilmfare Best Actress Award
1974Naya Din Nai Raat
1974Doosri Sita
1975MiliMili KhannaNominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1975Chupke ChupkeVasudha Kumar
1977Abhi To Jee LeinJaya
1978Ek Baap Chhe Bete
1979NaukerGeetaFilmfare Best Actress Award
1981SilsilaShobha MalhotraNominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1995AkkaUnknownMarathi Film (Appearance with Amitabh Bachachan)
1998Hazaar Chaurasi Ki MaaSujata Chatterji
2000FizaNishatbi IkramullahFilmfare Best Supporting Actress Award
2001Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...Nandini RaichandFilmfare Best Supporting Actress Award
2002Koi Mere Dil Se PoochheMansi Devi
2002DeshSuprabha DeviBengali film
2003Kal Ho Naa HoJennifer KapurFilmfare Best Supporting Actress Award
2007Laaga Chunari Mein DaagSabitri Sahay
2008Lovesongs:Yesterday, Today & TomorrowMridula Chatterjee
2008DronaQueen Jayanti
2010Aap Ke Liye HumUnknown
2011MeherjaanMeherBengali, Bangladeshi film
2013Sunglass / Taak JhaankBengali / Hindi
2016Ki & KaCameoHindi


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