Nirupa Roy

Nirupa Roy (born Kokila Kishorechandra Bulsara; Gujarati: નિરુપા રોય; 4 January 1931 – 13 October 2004) was an Indian actress who had appeared in Hindi films. Noted for her portrayals of tragedy and sorrow, Roy was idolized for her acting ability,[1] and was often called the "Queen of Misery" in Hindi film circles. Roy was active from 1946 to 1999, and was best known renowned for playing motherly roles.[2][3] Roy appeared in over 250 films, and won three Filmfare Awards throughout her career, as well as being nominated for one. In 2004, Roy received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nirupa Roy
Roy in Do Bigha Zameen (1953)
Kokila Kishorechandra Bulsara

(1931-01-04)4 January 1931
Died13 October 2004(2004-10-13) (aged 73)
Other namesQueen of Misery, Tragedy Queen, Mother
Years active1946-1999
Spouse(s)Kamal Roy (m. 1946)
AwardsFilmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Munimji (1956)
Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Chhaya (1962)
Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Shehnai (1965)
Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (2004)

Early life

Roy was born as Kokila Kishorechandra Bulsara in Kalwada, Valsad, Gujarat. She married to Kamal Roy at the age of 15, and promptly moved to Mumbai. Upon entering the film industry, she changed her name to Nirupa Roy.


In 1946, Roy and her husband responded to an advertisement in a Gujarati paper looking for actors. She was selected and started her acting career with the Gujarati film Ranakdevi. The same year she acted in her first Hindi film Amar Raj. One of her popular films was Do Bigha Zamin (1953). She largely played mythological characters in the films of the 1940s and 50s. Her image of a goddess was very strong and people would visit her home and seek her blessings. Among her co-stars were Trilok Kapoor (with whom she played in eighteen movies)[4]), Bharat Bhushan, Balraj Sahni, and Ashok Kumar.

In the 1970s, her role as mother to 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.

Personal life and death

Family and marriage

In her marriage with Kamal Roy, she had two children, named Yogesh and Kiran Roy.[5] In the years following her death, they engaged into a dispute over Roy's property and belongings, which has received much attention throughout news and media.[6][7]

Death and legacy

On 13 October, 2004, Roy suffered a cardiac arrest in Mumbai, and died at the age of 73.[8]

Several tributes and articles have been made in Roy's memory.[9] Her dialogues from the film Deewaar became iconic,[10] and her acting in the film along with her other notable films are considered to be a landmark in Hindi cinema.[11]


Selected filmography[12]

1946 Amar Raj Debut film
1951Ram Janma
1953Do Bigha Zamin
1954Durga Puja
1955Garam Coat
1963Kaun Apna Kaun Paraya
1963Mujhe Jeene Do
1964Phoolon Ki Sej
1967Ram Aur Shyam
1968Ek Kali Muskai
1968Raja Aur Runk
1969Aansoo Ban Gaye Phool
1969Pyar Ka Mausam
1970Maa Aur Mamta
1970Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani
1970Purab Aur Paschim
1971Ganga Tera Pani Amrit
1972Jawani Diwani
1973Kuchhe Dhaage
1977Amar Akbar Anthony
1982Teesri Aankh
1988Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswati
1993Aasoo Bane Angaarey
1999Jahan Tum Le Chalo
1999Lal Baadshah

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1956 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Munimji Won
1962 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Chhaya Won
1965 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Shehnai Won
1975 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Deewaar Nominated
1986 Filmfare Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Herself Won


  1. "Remembering Nirupa Roy, the Iconic 'Mother' of Bollywood". The Quint. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  2. "Happy Mother's Day 2019: Iconic mothers who graced screens of Indian cinema - News Nation". Retrieved 19 November 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  3. "Mothers Day Special: Bollywood's Most Iconic Screen Mothers". Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  4. Rishi, Tilak (2012). Bless You Bollywood!: A Tribute to Hindi Cinema on Completing 100 Years. Trafford. p. 100. ISBN 9781466939639.
  5. "Nirupa Roy". The Independent. 2 November 2004. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  6. Sayed, Nazia SayedNazia; Jan 10, Mumbai Mirror | Updated:; 2018; Ist, 05:57. "Battle between Nirupa Roy's sons gets uglier". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 19 November 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. "Deewar's Maa Nirupa Roy's Sons Fight Over Her Property". Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  8. MumbaiJanuary 4, Indo-Asian News Service; January 4, 2019UPDATED:; Ist, 2019 15:20. "Javed Akhtar on Nirupa Roy 87th birth anniversary: She looked like Goddess in mother roles". India Today. Retrieved 19 November 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  9. "Tribute to legendary actress Nirupa Roy". The Siasat Daily - Archive. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  10. "Mother's Day 2019: Entertain your Maa with 13 famous Bollywood 'Mom Dialogues'". Latest Indian news, Top Breaking headlines, Today Headlines, Top Stories at Free Press Journal. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  11. Arora, Sakshi (4 January 2019). "Remembering Nirupa Roy, Indian cinema's 'Goddess' who became its most popular mother". ThePrint. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  12. "Nirupa Roy". IMDb. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
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