Most famous for co-starring with superstar Amitabh Bachchan over several films, Roy essayed the role of a mother in Bollywood films in a way that became her own — an image of a suffering motherhood that not only played an essential part in the narrative, but also pushed it forward.
Such was her image that even when filmmakers and actors and stories changed, Roy remained the primary choice for the protagonist’s mother in Bollywood films.
On her death anniversary we going to tell you some Lesser known facts about her…
- Meet Kokila Kishorechandra Bulsara
Nirupa Roy got married at the age of 15 and landed in Mumbai with her husband. She was called Kokila Kishorechandra Bulsara. She changed her name to Nirupa Roy when she joined movies. The couple had replied to a Gujarati newspaper advert. She got selected and made her acting debut with a Gujarati film called Ranakdevi.
2. Oh My Goddess!
Nirupa Roy had a successful initial career playing goddesses in a lot of mythological films. So she was everything from Sita, Parvati to Meerabai and Savitri. Such was her portrayals that it is said people used to visit her to seek blessings.
3. And it all began with Dev Anand
As per reports, the first time she played a hero’s mother was for Dev Anand in Munimji (1955). She was 24, seven years younger than her on-screen son!
4. Mere Paas Maa Hai wasn’t meant for her
Deewar’s scene where Shashi Kapoor’s four words silenced Amitabh Bachchan raving about his many riches is legendary. Kapoor’s words were, ‘Mere Paas Maa Hai.’ But Nirupa Roy wasn’t the first choice. The role was offered to Waheeda Rehman first but Yash Chopra got cold feet because he had cast her as Bachchan’s Kabhi Kabhie. He feared the audience won’t accept her as Bachchan’s mother if Kabhie Kabhi released first. Vyajanthimala too was offered the role but she turned it down.
5. Die or Not to Die
Apparently, in Bimal Roy’s iconic Do Bigha Zameen, Nirupa Roy was supposed to die at the end. But the director’s wife found it to be very regressive as the character played by Balraj Sahani wins his land as he loses his wife. This prompted Roy to change the ending and Nirupa Roy was saved.