Neena Gupta

Neena Gupta (Hindi: नीना गुप्ता; born 4 June 1959) is an Indian actress and television director. Known for her work in both art-house and commercial films, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing a young widow in Woh Chokri (1994). In 2018, she gained wide recognition for starring as a middle-aged pregnant woman in the comedy-drama Badhaai Ho, for which she won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress and received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.[1][2][3]

Neena Gupta
Neena Gupta at Nishka Lulla and Masaba's designs preview at Oakwood Premier
Born (1963-07-04) 4 July 1963
EducationDelhi University, National School of Drama
OccupationActress, television director
Years active1982–present
Spouse(s)Vivek Mehra
ChildrenMasaba Gupta

Gupta's television appearances include a leading role in the drama series Saans (1999) and as the host of the Indian version of the television quiz show The Weakest Link, named Kamzor Kadii Kaun.[4]

Early life and education

Neena Gupta was born in New Delhi to R.N.Gupta and attended the Lawrence School, Sanawar.[5] Gupta did her Master's Degree and M.Phil. in Sanskrit, and is an alumnus of National School of Drama, New Delhi.


Movie career

Gupta has made appearances in several international films, such as Gandhi (1982), in which she played the niece of Mahatma Gandhi, and Merchant Ivory films, The Deceivers (1988), Mirza Ghalib (1989) In Custody (1993), and Cotton Mary (1999). She also made an impression in Indian parallel cinema such as Mandi (1983), Rihaee (1988), Drishti (1990) and Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (1992). These performances further established her profile in Indian movies alongside her arthouse film contemporaries Rekha, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Dimple Kapadia. Despite this, Gupta never had a major commercial hit and found it difficult to find more dramatic roles: "I made a few mistakes in the beginning of my career. I didn't have anybody to guide me. I didn't have a secretary. I didn't call up directors, or meet people asking for roles. Also, because of the media, there is a perception that I am a strong woman. Unfortunately, in our society, that goes against you. So, I got negative, vampish roles only. Plain and simple female roles never come my way because of my image, which is very wrong. My personal life got typecast into my professional life."[6]

Her appearance in Hindi movies was especially noted in the satirical movie, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro in which she played the role of a secretary to Pankaj Kapoor. She also starred along with Madhuri Dixit in Khalnayak (1993); she was featured in the popular song "Choli Ke Peeche" in the movie. She has made television movies, Lajwanti and Bazar Sitaram (1993), which won the 1993 National Film Award for Best First Non-Feature Film. In 1994, Gupta's breakthrough came in the acclaimed drama Woh Chokri as a recently widowed daughter-in-law; this performance won her a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 2017, Gupta made headlines when she shared a post on Instagram asking for work: "I live in Mumbai and working as a good actor looking for good parts to play." Fed up with the lack of roles being written for middle-aged women in Bollywood, Gupta later reflected, "After that Instagram post, I got many offers -- five, in fact, and I accepted all of them. There is no shame in saying you don't have work."[7] One of the offers she accepted was Amit Sharma's comedy-drama Badhaai Ho (2018), which emerged as the 9th highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2018. Her performance as a middle-aged pregnant mother earned widespread critical acclaim, with various critics and publications citing her performance as the film's highlight and one of the best of her career. Rajeev Masand credited Gupta for bringing "real empathy" to the part, while Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV described her portrayal as "outstandingly measured."[8][9] Acting opposite Ayushmann Khurana as her son, Gupta received various accolades for her performance including the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress, the Screen Award for Best Actress (Critics), and the BFJA Award for Best Supporting Actor - Female.[10] At 60, she became the second-eldest Best Actress nominee in Filmfare Award history after Sharmila Tagore.

Gupta will next appear in Rohit Shetty's action film Sooryavanshi, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari's sports comedy-drama Panga, and will reunite with Ayushmann Khurana for Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.

Television career

Her big break on television came with Khandaan (1985), Yatra (1986), Gulzar's Mirza Ghalib (1987), a TV miniseries, followed by Shyam Benegal's Bharat Ek Khoj (1988) and later Dard (1994), Gumraah (1995), Shrimaan Shrimati (1995), Saans, Saat Phere: Saloni Ka Safar (2005), Chitthi (2003), Meri Biwi Ka Jawab Nahin (2004). She has also acted in the TV serial, Buniyaad.

She also hosted the Indian version of the TV series The Weakest Link, Kamzor Kadii Kaun and appeared in Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin which gave her considerable popularity.

She has directed successful TV series, such as Saans (1999), Siski in (2000) and Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr. She played the role of Shubha, one of the four women main leads in Ladies Special, a daily soap on Sony TV. She is now seen in Dil se Diya Vachan as a doctor by profession and mother-in-law of the lead character Nandani which airs on Zee TV

She also ran a theater production company, 'Sahaj Productions' with actor, Rajendra Gupta, and acted as well as produced the Hindi play Soorya Ki Antim Kiran Se Soorya Ki Paheli Kiran Tak. She has also had some roles in Rishtey which was aired on Zee TV during 1999-2000.

Personal life

She was in a highly publicised relationship with former West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards in the 1980s, with whom she has a daughter, Masaba Gupta, a designer.[11] Neena never married Richards and chose to raise Masaba as a single-mother in India. It was at that time she chose to move the family from New Delhi to Mumbai.[12] On 15 July 2008, Neena married New Delhi-based Vivek Mehra, a chartered accountant and Partner with PwC India in a secret ceremony in the United States.[13][14][15]



Denotes films/shows/series that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Notes
1982 Saath Saath
1982 Aadat Se Majboor
1982 Gandhi as Abha
1982 Yeh Nazdeekiyan
1982 Jaipur Junction
1982 Aadharshila
1983 Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron as Priya
1983 Mandi as Vasanti
1984 Utsav as Madanika
1984 Laila as Salma
1985 Agnidaah as Sunita
1985 Trikaal as Milagrenia
1987 Taniya
1987 Susman as Mandira
1988 Rihaee as Sukhi
1988 The Deceivers as Gopal's Wife
1989 Batwara
1990 Kaarnama as Vyjayanti
1990 Swarg as Naina
1990 Drishti as Revati
1991 Vasthuhara as DamayanthiMalayalam film
1991 Aadhi Mimansa
1992 Aham Malayalam film
1992 Zulm Ki Hukumat as Yeshwant's wife
1992 Balwaan
1992 The Seventh Horse of the Sun Satti
1992 Yalgaar as Kaushalya Kumar
1992 Angaar Majid's Wife(uncredited)
1992 Kal Ki Awaz Mrs. Fahmida Nooruddin Ahmed
1993 Khalnayak Champa Didi
1993 Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda
1993 Veerta as Uma
1993 Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee as Street Singer(in song "Shayarana Si Hai Zindagi")
1993 Bhagavad Gita (film) as DrupadiNational Film Award for Best Feature Film
1993 Aankhen Chief minister's wife(uncredited)
1994 Woh Chokri National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress
1994 Jazbaat
1994 Eena Meena Deeka
1994 Sone Ki Sita
1994 Anth Mrs. Vikas Saxena
1994 In Custody as Sarla
1995 Nazar
1995 Dushmani: A Violent Love Story
1997 Uff! Yeh Mohabbat as Billo
1997 Jeeo Shaan Se
1999 Cotton Mary Blossom (Mary's sister)
2002 Raat Ke Saudagar
2004 Meri Biwi Ka Jawab Nahin as Savitri
2005 Nazar as Jogan
2009 Teree Sang as Paaki M. Puri
2009 The White Elephant
2010 Veer Mangla
2010 Hello Zindagi
2010 Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke Mrs. S. Tripathi
2010 Chhevan Dariya (The Sixth River) Gurjeet Kaur
2012 Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baaki Hai as Mymmyji
2013 Issaq as Amma
2015 Alone as Sanjana's Mother
2015 The Threshold Rinku
2018 Veere Di Wedding Mrs. Sharma
2018 Mulk Tabassum
2018 Badhaai Ho Priyamvada KaushikFilmfare Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated Filmfare Award for Best Actress
2019 Music Teacher Madhavi
2019 Gwalior Manju Mishra
2019 The Last Color Noor
2020 Panga
2020 Sooryavanshi Veer's Mother
2020 Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan


Awards and nominations

1993 Bazaar Sitaram National Film Awards Best First Non-Feature Film Won [17]
1994 Woh Chokri Best Supporting Actress Won [18]
1999 Saans Screen Awards Best Actress (Television) Won [19]
2019 Badhaai Ho Screen Awards Best Actress (Critics) Won [20]
Lions Gold Awards Best Actor In Comic Role (Female) Won [21]
Zee Cine Awards Best Extraordinary couple of the year (shared with Gajraj Rao) Won [22]
Filmfare Awards Best Actress Nominated [23]
Best Actress (Critics) Won
News18 Reel Movie Awards Best Actress Nominated [24]
2019 The Last Color India International Film Festival of Boston Best Actress Won [25]


  1. "Nominations for the 64th Vimal Filmfare Awards 2019". Filmfare. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  2. "My Acting Career Suffered Because of My Public Image, Says Badhaai Ho Actress Neena Gupta". News18. 17 February 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. "Winners of the 64th Vimal Filmfare Awards 2019". Filmfare. 23 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  4. Bold and dutiful MALA KUMAR, The Hindu, 16 December 2005.
  5. Nisheeth Sharan’s "Grillopollis" hosts Sanawar’s reunion over its first preview dated 23 October 2010 at, accessed 11 March 2012
  11. "The Tribune...Sunday Reading".
  12. "Neena Gupta: I want to tell all women that if you want to live in India and in society, you have to marry – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  13. "Neena Gupta gets married". DNA India. 24 July 2008.
  14. Neena Gupta thrilled with marriage, but says "Masaba is priority", IANS, 29 July 2008.
  15. Neena Gupta opens up... TANVI TRIVEDI, TNN, The Times of India, 22 November 2008.
  16. Desk, Entertainment (13 October 2017). "Neena Gupta On Masaba Mantena's Open Letter : I'm Very Happy With Her Response And Liked The Way She Wrote It". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  17. "41st National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  18. "41st National Film Awards (PDF)" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  19. "Award Winners". Screen. Archived from the original on 22 October 1999. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  20. "Star Screen Awards 2018 | Winners". Hindustan Times.
  21. "Lions Gold Awards 2019 | Winners List". Times Now.
  22. "Zee Cine Awards 2019: Full list of winners out".
  23. "Nominations for the 64th Vimal Filmfare Awards 2019 |". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  24. "Nominations FOR Reel movie Awards 2019". News18. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  25. "Won FOR Indian International Film Festival of Boston 2019". ABPLIVE. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
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