Sushma Seth

Sushma Seth (born 20 June 1936)[2] is an Indian stage, film and television actress. She started her career in the 1950s, and was a founder member of the Delhi-based theatre group Yatrik. Her first movie was Junoon in 1978. She is known for playing a mother and grandmother role in movies and on television, and notable for her role as Dadi in the pioneering TV soap Hum Log (1984–1985).[3] She has worked with famous directors like Dev Raj Ankur, Ram Gopal Bajaj, Manish Joshi Bismil and Chander Shekhar Sharma.[4]

Sushma Seth
Sushma Seth in 2013
Born (1936-06-20) 20 June 1936
Years active1956–present[1]
RelativesCharu Sija Mathur (sister)
Rajkumar Singhajit Singh (brother-in-law)
Divya Seth (daughter)

Early and personal life

Brought up in Delhi, she is the elder sister of Manipuri dancer Charu Sija Mathur,[5] the wife of Padma Shri awardee Rajkumar Singhajit Singh. She completed her schooling at Convent of Jesus and Mary, New Delhi. Thereafter she did a teachers training diploma in home science, Lady Irwin College, New Delhi, Associate in Science diploma, Briarcliff College, New York, and later, Bachelor of Fine Arts, from Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, United States.[6]

Sushma Seth and her husband, businessman Dhruv Seth, have three children.[5] Among them is actress Divya Seth, who acted alongside her mother in Hum Log and Dekh Bhai Dekh.[7]


Seth started her career on stage in the 1950s. With Joy Michael, Rati Bartholomew, Roshan Seth and others, she was one of the founders of the Delhi-based theatre group Yatrik in 1964.[8] In addition to acting, she has directed many plays.[1] In the 1970s, she founded and ran the Children's Creative Theatre, an ensemble that put up plays and conducted workshops for children.[9]

She made her big screen debut with Shyam Benegal's 1978 period film Junoon, in which she played Shashi Kapoor's aunt. She has starred in some of the biggest hits in the Indian industry including Silsila,Prem Rog, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Chandni, Deewana, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kal Ho Naa Ho. She also appeared in the Punjabi film Chann Pardesi (1980).

She received a nomination for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in the 1985 B. R. Chopra film Tawaif. She has played the mother and grandmother of many Bollywood performers including Rishi Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor and Preity Zinta.

Seth appeared in the TV sitcom Dekh Bhai Dekh (1993), directed by Anand Mahendroo, where she played the matriarch of the Divan family.[10] She has also worked with theatre directors like Ram Gopal Bajaj and Manish Joshi Bismil. She is notable for her performance on the TV soap Hum Log, telecast in the early 80s on Doordarshan, in which she played Daadi (the grandmother). Seth was so popular that her character, who was shown suffering from throat cancer, had to be extended on viewer's demand.

Since the early 2000s, Seth has been working with an NGO called Arpana, directing plays and dance dramas. She has written a play called Sitaron Ke Paas inspired by the life of astronaut Kalpana Chawla.[1][11]




  1. "Stage plays performed from 1956-1990". Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  2. Saxena-Malvankar, Nidhi (11 August 1995). "Grace personified". Screen Channel. "She's 59 and a grandmother of one".
  3. Sinha, Meenakshi (12 August 2010). "I am still called Hum Log's dadi: Sushma Seth". The Times of India.
  4. "Films yes, but she roots for theatre". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 5 February 2007.
  5. Gupta, Monika & Cardozo, William M (May 2008). "The Star Mum". City Cheers.
  6. "Educational Qualifications".
  7. Mishra, Garima (7 July 2009). "An episode in history". The Indian Express. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  8. "Yatril Theatre Group". Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  9. Dhar, Aarti (24 December 2000). "Sushma returns to children". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  10. "THE LONG RUN". Screen. 16 October 2009. Archived from the original on 23 October 2010.
  11. "I never overplayed anything: Sushma". The Times of India. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
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