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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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,
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.
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).
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.
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
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
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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