About Reena Roy

Reena Roy (born January 7, 1957) was one of the top Hindi film actresses in India.
She performed leading roles in many films from 1972 to 1985.

Reena Roy''s career in films started off inauspiciously with B. R. Ishara''s "Nayi Duniya Naye Log" with another newcomer Danny Denzongpa, but it was shelved temporarily.
Undeterred, B. R. Ishara cast both actors again in "Zaroorat" (1972), along with another newcomer Vijay Arora, and the racy film got her some attention.The film had all the hot scenes and thought-provoking bold lines Ishara was famous for, and Reena became known as the ''zaroorat'' girl.

But she had to struggle for the next four years in B films that had feeble scripts and faltering leading men. The bright spot during this period came with her lively performance in "Jaise Ko Taisa"(1973), and her rain-soaked dance to the song "Ab ke Sawan" with Jeetendra raised temperatures.
She had to wait two more years for another break. At the outset "Kalicharan" (1975) didn''t seem like it had the makings of a hit. Subhash Ghai, a failed actor, was making his directorial debut, and Shatrughan Sinha, an actor known for his villainous roles, was making his first mark as a hero. But the film defied everyone''s expectations and became a surprise hit, and Reena as Shatrugan''s love interest got attention from audiences and from Shatrughan himself.

They became an off-screen pair as well, and they signed several films together.Reena Roy also made several films with Sunil Dutt. The successes of "Zakhmee" (1975) and "Kalicharan" led to her star vehicle "Nagin" (1976). Playing the title role of "female snake with mythological powers", she avenges the death of her lover by ruthlessly murdering five men. The film became a huge hit, and Reena received her first Filmfare nomination as Best Actress.

She was now one of the top heroines in Hindi films. Inspired by "Nagin"''s success, director, Rajkumar Kohli, cast Reena again in his next star-studded horror movie, "Jaani Dushman" (1979).
Thereafter, the Kohli-Roy combination continued to give Bollywood cinema some its greatest multi-starrer blockbusters, including "Muqabla" (1979), "Badle Ki Aag" (1982), and "Raaj Tilak" (1984).
Shatru and Reena became the hottest pair  (partly due to their off-screen involvement) after "Kalicharan," and had delivered yet another blockbuster thriller, Subhash Ghai''s "Vishwanath" (1978).
But it was Reena''s chemistry with Jeetendra in marital dramas like "Badaltey Rishtey" (1978) and "Pyaasa Sawan" (1982) that set her career soaring. The duo produced three of their greatest classics together - "Apnapan" (1977), "Aasha" (1980) and "Arpan" (1983).

Reena Roy''s poignant dance in Aasha to the melody of "Shisha Ho Yah Dil Ho" immortalized her as an icon of desire and tragedy. Her dark-shaded role in "Apnapan," as the selfish gold-digger who abandons her husband and child and later wanting them back, won her the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award, beating out icons Nutan and Asha Parekh. (This was the precursor to the type of role that Meryl Streep played two years later in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)).

As legend has it, Reena supposedly rejected the Award on basis that she is the heroine of the film, not the supporting actress! And finally, her screen image as a sacrificing symbol of Indian womanhood is glorified in the very popular, "Arpan."

After the box office success of "Aasha," for which she received her second Filmfare nomination as Best Actress, Reena entered the 1980''s as a leading lady in demand, securing herself critical roles with phenomenal superstars like Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, and Vinod Khanna. She was the defiant widow who reforms the egotistical Rajesh Khanna of "Dhanwan" (1981); the beautiful actress who dies on stage performing her last ''mujra'' for Dharmendra in "Naukar Biwi Ka" (1983); and the talented psychiatrist determined to cure Vinod Khanna in the comical, "Jail Yatra" (1981).

 Top directors like Prakash Mehra, Raj Khosla and Sultan Ahmad grabbed her for quality roles. Manmohan Desai''s grand extravaganza, "Naseeb" (1981) gave her the chance to steal scenes from the legendary Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, and of course, Shatrughan Sinha.

 Her off-screen relationship with Shatrughan ended as he married a woman named Poonam in 1981.Reena Roy now concentrated on her career, as she was providing Hema Malini and Rekha stiff competition for the No. 1 position by the early 1980s. In 1982 alone, she had thirteen releases, by far more than any other star.

She was now demanding equal footing with Hema, and effectively stealing the thunder from Rekha in emotional melodramas like "Prem Tapasya" (1983) and "Asha Jyoti"(1984). Her characters became more versatile, as did her dances. She effortlessly danced the classical ''natyam'' in "Rocky" (1981)), just as easily as the "Disco Station" number in "Hathkadi" (1982). She was the sophisticated model in Karishmaa (1984) who was equally seductive as the village belle in "Dharam Kanta" (1982).

She met the challenging demands of her extraordinary double role in the Muslim social, "Ladies Tailor" (1981), and held her own opposite the talented Sanjeev Kumar.

At the pinnacle of her popularity, Reena''s strong desire to prove herself got her involved in a number of women-oriented films. Enacting the role of a tormented daughter-in-law in "Sau Din Saas Ke" (1980), she defies conventions to oppose her tyrant mother-in-law. With an author-backed role in "Bezubaan" (1982), she gave a realistic portrayal of a woman whose past returns to threaten her present married life.

But it was "Lakshmi" (1982) that glorified the presence of Reena Roy in Bollywood cinema. Playing the role of a misfortunate tawaif, she dances to her never-ending tragedies. However, the film failed at the box office.

 But she found comfort in the sensational success of her other home production - the musical comedy, "Sanam Teri Kasam" (1982), opposite Kamal Hassan and produced by her sister Barkha Roy.In 1983-at the height of her fame-Reena Roy decided to quit films to marry Pakistani cricketer, Mohsin Khan. Her last shooting was for a tragedy "Inteha" (1984), in which she is raped and tormented by Raj Babbar. The film didn''t do well.

One of Reena''s last releases was J.P. Dutta''s war-torn Ghulami (1985). Her husband tried to become a film star in Bollywood but failed, as did the marriage to Reena. She initially lost custody of her daughter Sanam in the divorce. However, after her ex-husband remarried a younger woman who didn''t want to raise a child, Reena regained custody.

Reena returned to Bollywood in 1992. In a supporting role as a sister-in-law (''bhabhi''), "Aadmi Khilona Hai" (1993) greeted the arrival of the mature Reena Roy. Her unhappiness showed in her significant weight gain. And the insignificant roles that were to follow proved even to her die-hard fans that Reena''s film career came to an end.

Her last film appearance was in J.P Dutta''s Refugee (2000). She has since turned to acting in television serials, such as "Eena Meena Deeka," produced by her sister Barkha. After the serial ended, both sisters opened an acting school together in 2004. Reena also has campaigned for the Indian National Congress.

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