Reena Roy

Reena Roy (born 7 January 1957), is a Hindi Bollywood actress who has performed leading roles in many films from 1972 to 1985 and was a leading actress of that era. She was one of the higher-paid actresses of her time, known for playing glamorous and female-oriented roles. She is the recipient of a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress, for her performance in film Apnapan (1977), and has received nominations in the Filmfare Best Actress Award category for Nagin (1976) and Aasha (1980).

Reena Roy
Evelyn-Sharma-snapped-attending-the-Knight-Frank-India-event-2 (cropped).jpg
Roy in 2018
Saira Ali

(1957-01-07) 7 January 1957 (age 64)
Years active1972–1985, 1999–2000
Height169 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Spouse(s)Mohsin Khan (divorced)

Early life and backgroundEdit

Reena Roy was born Saira Ali, the third daughter of Sadiq Ali, a small-time actor and Sharda Rai, who acted in film Bawre Nain and later produced the film Gunehgar Kaun. She has three siblings who all disowned their father after the parents divorced. Her mother renamed all the four children after the divorce. She was renamed Roopa Rai, which was changed to Reena Roy by the producer of her first film, Zaroorat.[1] She started acting in films in her teens. She disputed reports that her decision to enter films was to financially support her mother and siblings.[2]

Career in Hindi films as a leading actressEdit

Success and public recognition (1970–1979)

Reena Roy's career in films started off with B. R. Ishara's Nai Duniya Naye Log along with another newcomer Danny Denzongpa, but when it was shelved, an undeterred, B. R. Ishara cast them both in Zaroorat (1972), along with yet another newcomer Vijay Arora. The racy film got Reena due attention and she came to be known as the "Zaroorat Girl". Yet, she struggled for the next four years in B-grade 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 Mein Jee Dare" with Jeetendra raised temperatures. The success of Zakhmee (1975) with Sunil Dutt helped her bag bigger films with better heroes.

1976 was her breakthrough year when both Nagin and Kalicharan were declared blockbusters and her lively performances got her rave reviews. At the outset Kalicharan (1976) did not seem to have of a big hit. Subhash Ghai, a failed actor, was making his directorial debut, and Shatrughan Sinha, an actor known for his villainous roles, was making the hero. But the film defied expectations and became a surprise hit. In Nagin (1976), she played a "female snake with mythological powers", who avenges the death of her lover by ruthlessly killing five men, in a role that had been refused by several top actresses of the era. Not only was the movie a big hit she also received her first Filmfare nomination in the best actress category.

Subhash Ghai's Vishwanath (1978), another blockbuster thriller followed, and they established Shatrughan Sinha - Reena Roy as a hit-pair. The press also publicized their off-screen relationship, which ended when Shatrughan married his long time girlfriend Poonam Sinha in 1981. Following the success of "Nagin", director Rajkumar Kohli, cast her again in Jaani Dushman (1979). Thereafter, the Rajkumar Kohli - Reena Roy combination continued to give blockbusters like Muqabla (1979), Badle Ki Aag (1982), Naukar Biwi Ka (1983) and Raaj Tilak (1984).

Reena's appearance with Jeetendra in marital dramas such as Badaltey Rishtey (1978) and Pyaasa Sawan (1981) also set kept her career soaring. The duo produced three classics of their respective careers together - Apnapan (1977), Aasha (1980) and Arpan (1983). Her role in Apnapan as the selfish gold-digger who abandons her husband and child, won her the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award, beating top actresses like Nutan, Asha Parekh, and Rekha.[3] The role was similar to what Meryl Streep would portray later in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)).

Established actress (1980–1985)

After the box office success of Aasha (1980), for which she received her second Filmfare nomination as Best Actress, Reena Roy became a leading lady in demand. Top directors such as J. Om Prakash, Prakash Mehra, Raj Khosla and Sultan Ahmed grabbed her for crucial roles, making her one of the highest-paid actresses of the early 1980s.

Though she competed professionally with Rekha, off-screen they were good friends. Rekha helped Reena improve her costume sense and hair style. Reena Roy and Rekha did many hit films together, both playing diametrically opposite roles, such as Nagin (1976), Jaani Dushman (1979), Prem Tapasya (1983), Asha Jyoti (1984) and Karmayogi (1978). Reena played second fiddle to Queen Bee Hema Malini in Naseeb (1981), Baghavat (1982), Andhaa Kaanoon (1983), Raaj Tilak (1984) and Hum Dono (1985). Asha Parekh, Parveen Babi and Sulakshana Pandit co-starred with her in several multi-starrers. She acted with Moushumi Chatterjee in Pyaasa Sawan and Shabana Azmi in Jwalamukhi.

Jeetendra and Reena Roy have worked in 22 films together and in 17 movies they were paired romantically. 12 of the 17 films where she was heroine to Jeetendra were super-hits.

Reena Roy and Shatrughan Sinha have worked as a romantic pair in 16 films and 11 were hits. Jwalamukhi, where she replaced Parveen Babi and looked jaded and ill-fit for the role, was one of their biggest flops together.

Rajesh Khanna and Reena Roy delivered four moderately successful films together – Dhanwan (1981), Dharam Kanta (1982), Asha Jyoti (1984) and Hum Dono (1985).

She acted with Amitabh Bachchan in the Punjabi films Sat Sri Akal (1977) and Vilayati Babu (1981). She was never cast as his romantic lead in Hindi films though. She played the role of Amitabh Bachchan's foster sister in Manmohan Desai's multi starrer Naseeb, where she was again paired with her then beau Shatrughan Sinha.

Reena Roy gave stiff competition to Hema Malini and Rekha for the No. 1 position in the early 1980s. In 1982, she had thirteen releases, more than any other actress. According to she had the most successful year in 1982 with 8 major grossers. According to boxofficeIndia she had the most hits along with Hema Malini. Her characters became more versatile, as did her dances. She danced the classical Bharatnatyam in Rocky (1981), just as easily as the "Disco Station" number in Haathkadi (1982). She was the sophisticated city model in Karishmaa (1984) and the rustic village girl in Dharam Kanta (1982). She met the challenging demands of her double role in the Muslim social Ladies Tailor (1981), acting opposite the versatile 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. The role of a tormented daughter-in-law in Sau Din Saas Ke (1980), who defies convention and opposes her mother-in-law. The author-backed role in Bezubaan (1982), the portrayal of a woman whose past returns to threaten her married life (though her poor dress sense got her some brickbats). In Lakshmi (1982), an unfortunate tawaif, who dances her way to never-ending tragedies. While this film her home production, failed at the box office, she was successful with her other one — the musical Sanam Teri Kasam (1982), opposite Kamal Hassan and produced by her sister Barkha Roy. Her last films as heroine were Inteha with Raj Babbar and J. P. Dutta's blockbuster Ghulami, where she was paired with Dharmendra.

Personal lifeEdit

She has two more sisters, Barkha and Anju and a brother, Raja. In 1983, at the height of her fame, Reena Roy decided to quit the film industry to marry Pakistani cricketer Mohsin Khan. The couple later divorced. Reena initially lost custody of her daughter Sanam,[4] (Mohsin Khan calls her Jannat, but Reena and her sister Barkha call her Sanam, named after their hit film Sanam Teri Kasam (1982). After her ex-husband remarried, Reena regained custody.


Reena returned to Bollywood in 1992, in a mature supporting role as a sister-in-law ('bhabhi') in Aadmi Khilona Hai (1993) but could not repeat her success of the early days of her career. 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, the sisters opened an acting school in 2004. Reena Roy has also campaigned for the Indian National Congress.[5]


Year Title Role Language Notes
1972 Zaroorat Anju
Milap Rani 'Chalava'/Rukmani
Jangal Mein Mangal Leela
1973 Nai Duniya Naye Log Sandhya
Jaise Ko Taisa Roopa
1974 Madhosh Minal
Goonj Meena
1975 Vardaan Lata
Umar Qaid
Rani Aur Lalpari Lalpari
Apne Dushman Reshma 'Reshu'
Zakhmee Nisha Ganguly
1976 Sangram Poonam
Gumrah Reena
Barood Sapna — Bakshi's Assistant
Nagin Nagin (female serpent)
Kalicharan sapna Mathur
Udhar Ka Sindur Rekha
1977 Zamaanat Reshma
Taxi Taxie Neelam
Sat Sri Akal Shree
Paapi Aasha
Jagriti Barkha
Daku Aur Mahatma Kiran
Apnapan Kamini Agarwal
Jadu Tona Varsha
Jay Vejay Maharani Ambika
1978 Karmayogi Kiran
Daku Aur Jawan Ganga
Chor Ho To Aisa Champa
Vishwanath Soni
Aakhri Daku
Badalte Rishtey Savitri Devi
Bhookh Bina
1979 Muqabla Laxmi 'lacho'
Heera-Moti Neelam
Gautam Govinda Dancer
Jaani Dushman
1980 Khanjar Nisha/Preeti
Yari Dushmani Pammi
Sau Din Saas Ke Durga
Ganga Aur Suraj Poonam
Kashish Docter Seema
Aasha Asha
Be-Reham Kiran
Jawalamukhi Anju
1981 Vilayati Babu Billo
Dushman Dost
Naseeb Julie
Ladies Tailor Niqat
Rocky Lajwanti/Hirabai
Dhanwan (1981 film) Asha
Pyaasa Sawan Manorama
Jail Yatra Shanu
1982 Main Intequam Loonga Mala Bajpai
Lakshmi Lakshmi
Kachche Heere Rani
Jeeo Aur Jeene Do Renu
Do Ustad Roopa
Dard Ka Rishta Asha
Baghavat Channo
Hathkadi Rosie
Sanam Teri Kasam Nisha
Badle Ki Aag Geeta
Insaan Sona
Dharm Kanta Bijli
Deedar-E-Yaar Qawalli Singer
Bezubaan Kalpana
1983 Andhaa Kanoon Meena Srivastav
Arpan Shobha
Prem Tapasya Devi
Naukar Biwi Ka Sandhya
1984 Yaadon Ki Zanjeer Usha
Raaj Tilak Madhumati
Maati Maangey Khoon Sharda
Asha Jyoti Jyoti
Inteha Anita
Karishmaa Nisha
1985 Kali Basti Lajjo — Gangaram's sister
Ghulami Moran
Ek Chitthi Pyar Bhari Aarti Saxena
Hum Dono Rani
1986 Mangal Dada Lakshmi
1987 Faqeer Badshah Dancer
1988 Dharam Shatru Renu
Do Waqt Ki Roti Shalini aka Shalu
1993 Bedardi Preeti N. Saxena
Aadmi Khilona Hai Ganga Verma
1995 Policewala Gunda Sudha
Janam Kundli Rita R. Mehra
Kalyug Ke Avtaar Reena
1996 Smuggler Usha
Rajkumar Rani Maa
Ajay Durga
1997 Jeena O Shaan Se Lata
1999 Gair Sharda Oberoi
2000 Refugee Amina Mohammad

Awards and nominationsEdit


External linksEdit