Neena Gupta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Neena Gupta
Neena Gupta at Nishka Lulla and Masaba's designs preview at Oakwood Premier
Gupta in 2012
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
EducationNational School of Drama
Alma materUniversity of Delhi (BA, MA, MPhil)
  • Actress
  • television director
Years active1982–present
Amlan Kusum Ghose
(m. 1977; div. 1978)
Vivek Mehra
(m. 2008)
PartnerViv Richards (1980s)
ChildrenMasaba Gupta

Neena Gupta is an Indian actress and television director who works in Hindi films and television along with few Malayalam films. She has received several awards including two National Film Awards, a Filmfare Award and two Filmfare OTT Awards.

Known for her work in both art-house and commercial films, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing a young widow in Woh Chokri (1994). In 2018, she saw career resurgence for starring as a middle-aged pregnant woman in the comedy-drama Badhaai Ho, for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics) and received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.[1][2][3]

Gupta's television appearances include a leading role in the drama series Saans (1999) and as the host of the Indian version of the television quiz show The Weakest Link, named Kamzor Kadii Kaun.[4] In June 2021, publisher Penguin Random House India released her autobiography Sach Kahun Toh.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Neena Gupta was born in Calcutta, India to R. N. Gupta, a LL.B.-graduate and an officer in the State Trading Corporation of India, and Shakuntala Devi Gupta (née Kinra) a former teacher with double masters degrees in Sanskrit and political science.

She grew up in the Karol Bagh area of New Delhi, doing her elementary schooling at the Bal Bharti School and secondary schooling at Vidya Bhawan. She went on to get her Bachelor of Arts from Janki Devi Memorial College, Delhi University and her Master of Arts in Sanskrit from Delhi University. She also earned an MPhil from the same university for her thesis on 'Stage Techniques in Sanskrit Drama: Theory and Practice'. Midway through her PhD in Sanskrit, she gave up her research due to difference of opinion between her guide and her.

She was active in the theatre scene while at university, forming a close friendship with fellow actor-director Satish Kaushik, who encouraged her to follow his lead and join the National School of Drama. Gupta enrolled at NSD in 1977, studying under the tutelage of such greats as Ebrahim Alkazi and B.V. Karanth and graduated top of her class in 1980. Her contemporaries at the institute include Alok Nath and Annu Kapoor.[6]


Film career[edit]

Gupta has made appearances in several international films, such as Gandhi (1982), in which she played the niece of Mahatma Gandhi, and Merchant Ivory films, The Deceivers (1988), Mirza Ghalib (1989), In Custody (1993), and Cotton Mary (1999). She also made an impression in Indian parallel cinema such as Mandi (1983), Rihaee (1988), Drishti (1990) and Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (1992). These performances further established her profile in Indian movies alongside her arthouse film contemporaries Rekha, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Dimple Kapadia. Despite this, Gupta never had a major commercial hit and found it difficult to find more dramatic roles:[7]

I made a few mistakes in the beginning of my career. I didn't have anybody to guide me. I didn't have a secretary. I didn't call up directors, or meet people asking for roles. Also, because of the media, there is a perception that I am a strong woman. Unfortunately, in our society, that goes against you. So, I got negative, vampish roles only. Plain and simple female roles never come my way because of my image, which is very wrong. My personal life got typecast into my professional life.[7]

Her appearance in Hindi movies was especially noted in the satirical movie, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro in which she played the role of a secretary to Pankaj Kapoor.[8] She also starred along with Madhuri Dixit in Khalnayak (1993); she was featured in the popular song "Choli Ke Peeche" in the movie.

Gupta starred in several television films, including Lajwanti (1993) and Bazar Sitaram (1993), the latter of which won her the National Film Award for Best First Non-Feature Film of a Director. The following year, she achieved her breakthrough as a newly widowed daughter-in-law in the acclaimed drama Woh Chokri (1994), which won her the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Career resurgence (2017–present)[edit]

In 2017, Gupta made headlines when she shared a post on Instagram asking for work: "I live in Mumbai and working as a good actor looking for good parts to play." Fed up with the lack of roles being written for middle-aged women in Bollywood, Gupta later reflected, "After that Instagram post, I got many offers -- five, in fact, and I accepted all of them. There is no shame in saying you don't have work."[7]

One of the offers she accepted was Amit Sharma's comedy-drama Badhaai Ho (2018), in which she starred alongside Gajraj Rao, Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra. The film, which told the story of a middle-aged couple who get pregnant, much to the disappointment of their children, saw her play a middle-aged pregnant mother, It received widespread critical acclaim upon release, with various critics and publications citing Gupta's performance as the film's highlight and one of the best of her career. Film critic Rajeev Masand credited Gupta for bringing "real empathy" to the part, while Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV described her portrayal as "outstandingly measured."[9][10] For her performance, she received several accolades including the Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Critics), the Screen Award for Best Actress (Critics), and the BFJA Award for Best Supporting Actress (Hindi).[11] At 60, she became the second-eldest Best Actress nominee in Filmfare Award history after Sharmila Tagore. Badhaai Ho also emerged as a major commercial success at the box-office, grossing over ₹221.44 crore (US$32.38 million) worldwide, thus ranking as the ninth-highest-grossing Hindi film of the year.[12]

In 2020, Gupta appeared in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari's sports comedy-drama Panga, and reunited with Khurana for the social romantic comedy-drama Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, earning positive reviews for her performance in both films, earning her first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. Gupta appeared alongside Manoj Bajpayee and Sakshi Tanwar in the thriller Dial 100.[13]

In 2021, Gupta starred in the black comedy-drama Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar alongside Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Jaideep Ahlawat and Raghubir Yadav, as the wife of Yadav's character. Her performance, and the film, received critical acclaim and earned her a second consecutive nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Television career[edit]

Her big break on television came with Khandaan (1985), Yatra (1986), Gulzar's Mirza Ghalib (1987), a TV miniseries, followed by Shyam Benegal's Bharat Ek Khoj (1988) and later Dard (1994), Gumraah (1995), Shrimaan Shrimati (1995), Saans, Saat Phere – Saloni Ka Safar (2005), Chitthi (2003), Meri Biwi Ka Jawab Nahin (2004). She has also acted in the TV serial, Buniyaad.

She also hosted the Indian version of the TV series The Weakest Link, Kamzor Kadii Kaun and appeared in Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin which gave her considerable popularity.

She has directed successful TV series, such as Saans (1999), Siski in (2000) and Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr. She played the role of Shubha, one of the four women main leads in Ladies Special, a daily soap on Sony TV. She is now seen in Dil Se Diya Vachan as a doctor by profession and mother-in-law of the lead character Nandani which airs on Zee TV.

She also ran a theatre production company, 'Sahaj Productions' with actor, Rajendra Gupta, and acted as well as produced the Hindi play Soorya Ki Antim Kiran Se Soorya Ki Paheli Kiran Tak. She has also had some roles in Rishtey which was aired on Zee TV during 1999–2000.

She made an appearance in Amazon Prime's Panchayat as Manju Devi Pradhan. She appeared in season 2 of the same in 2022 as the same character.

She has also been a part of Masaba Masaba, a Netflix show based on her and her daughter Masaba Gupta, who is a designer by profession.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Neena Gupta and Vivek Mehra in 2013

Gupta married Amlan Kusum Ghose, studying at IIT-Delhi, while still a bachelor's student. The marriage was short-lived with both mutually and amicably deciding to part ways within a year.[14] She was briefly engaged to Shaarangdev Pandit, the son of Pandit Jasraj.[15][16][17] She was in a relationship with former West Indies cricketer Vivian Richards in the late 1980s. Though they never married, they have a daughter named Masaba Gupta born in 1989.[18] Since Richards was already married, Gupta decided to raise Masaba on her own as a single mother. In 2008, Gupta married New Delhi–based chartered accountant Vivek Mehra in a private ceremony in the United States.[19][20][21][22]



Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Notes
1982 Saath Saath Neena
Aadat Se Majboor
Gandhi Abha
Yeh Nazdeekiyan
Jaipur Junction
1983 Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron Priya
Mandi Vasanti
1984 Utsav Madanika
Laila Salma
1985 Agnidaah Sunita
Trikaal Milagrenia
1987 Taniya
Susman Mandira
1988 Rihaee Sukhi
The Deceivers Gopal's Wife
1989 Batwara Devan's wife
1990 Kaarnama Vyjayanti
Swarg Naina
Drishti Revati
1991 Aadhi Mimansa Odia /Hindi Film
Vasthuhara Damayanthi Malayalam film
1992 Aham Mother Nobble Malayalam film
Zulm Ki Hukumat Yeshwant's wife
Balwaan Ratna
Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda Satti
Yalgaar Kaushalya Kumar
Angaar Majid's Wife (uncredited)
Kal Ki Awaz Mrs. Fahmida Nooruddin Ahmed
1993 Khalnayak Champa Didi
Veerta Uma
Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee Street Singer (in song "Shayarana Si Hai Zindagi")
Bhagavad Gita Drupadi
Aankhen Chief minister's wife (uncredited)
1994 Woh Chokri Geeta Devi
Jazbaat Maya
Eena Meena Deeka
Sone Ki Sita
Anth Mrs. Vikas Saxena
In Custody Sarla
1995 Nazar
Dushmani: A Violent Love Story
1997 Uff! Yeh Mohabbat Billo
Jeeo Shaan Se
1999 Cotton Mary Blossom (Mary's sister)
2002 Raat Ke Saudagar
2004 Meri Biwi Ka Jawaab Nahin Savitri
2005 Nazar as Jogan
2009 Teree Sang Paaki M. Puri
The White Elephant
Kitani Mohabbat hai Savita Punj
2010 Veer Mangla
Hello Zindagi
Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke Mrs. S. Tripathi
Chhevan Dariya (The Sixth River) Gurjeet Kaur
2012 Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baaki Hai as Mymmyji
2013 Issaq as Amma
2015 Alone as Sanjana's Mother
The Threshold Rinku
2018 Veere Di Wedding Mrs. Sharma
Mulk Tabassum
Badhaai Ho Priyamvada Kaushik
2019 Music Teacher Madhavi Netflix film
The Last Color Noor
2020 Panga Jaya's mother
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan Sunaina Tripathi
2021 Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar Aunty
Sardar Ka Grandson Sardar Kaur Netflix film[23]
Chhatrasal Narrator
Dial 100 Seema Pallav ZEE5 film[24]
83 Raj Kumari Nikhanj Cameo appearance
2022 Goodbye Gayatri Bhalla [25]
Uunchai Shabina Siddiqui [26]
Vadh Manju Mishra
2023 Shiv Shastri Balboa Elsa
Mrs. Chatterjee vs Norway Vasudha Kamat
Lust Stories 2 Dadi Netflix Anthology film
Ishq-e-Nadaan Charulata
Mast Mein Rehne Ka Mrs. Handa Prime Video film
2024 Kaagaz 2


Year Title Role language Notes Ref.
1985 Khandaan Hindi [27]
1986 Yatra [28]
1987 Gul Gulshan Gulfaam
1988 Mirza Ghalib Nawab Jaan
1989 Dard Also Director [29]
Daddy Vimla Television film
Chanakya Shweta
1994 Junoon Reema
1994–1995 Daane Anaar Ke
1998–1999 Saans Priya Kapoor Also writer and director [30]
1999 Pal Chhin Director [31]
2000 Siski Anoushka Saxena[32] Also director [32]
2000–2004 Son Pari Producer [33]
2001–2002 Kamzor Kadii Kaun Host [33]
2002 Saanjhi Kanak Also writer [33][34]
2002–2004 Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr Producer [35]
2004 Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin Nandini
2005–2009 Saat Phere – Saloni Ka Safar Manorama "Manno" Narendra Singh
2009 Ladies Special Shubha Joshi
2010–2011 Dil Se Diya Vachan Dr. Kalyani Rajadhyaksha
2018 Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain Writer [36]
2019 Made in Heaven Veenu Roshan Guest
2020-present Panchayat Manju Devi [37]
2020 PariWar Kadambari Hotstar web series
2020-present Masaba Masaba As herself Netflix web series
2023 Charlie Chopra Janki SonyLIV web series
TBA 1000 babies TBA Malayalam Hotstar web series

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Category Result Ref.
1993 Bazar Sitaram National Film Awards Best First Non-Feature Film of a Director Won [38]
1994 Woh Chokri Best Supporting Actress Won [39]
1999 Saans Screen Awards Best Actress (Television) Won [40]
2019 Mulk International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated [41]
Badhaai Ho Best Actress Nominated
Screen Awards Best Actress (Critics) Won [42]
Lions Gold Awards Best Actor (Female) Won [43]
Zee Cine Awards Best Actress (Critics) Nominated [44]
Extraordinary Couple of the Year (shared with Gajraj Rao) Won
Filmfare Awards Best Actress Nominated [45]
Best Actress (Critics) Won
2020 Panchayat (Season 1) Filmfare OTT Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [46]
2021 Masaba Masaba Nominated [47]
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated [48]
2022 Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar Nominated [49]
Panchayat (Season 2) Filmfare OTT Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [50]
2023 Vadh Filmfare Awards Best Actress (Critics) Nominated [51]


  1. ^ "Nominations for the 64th Vimal Filmfare Awards 2019". Filmfare. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  2. ^ "My Acting Career Suffered Because of My Public Image, Says Badhaai Ho Actress Neena Gupta". News18. 17 February 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Winners of the 64th Vimal Filmfare Awards 2019". Filmfare. 23 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  4. ^ Bold and dutiful MALA KUMARThe Hindu, 16 December 2005.
  5. ^ "Everything is out of my system now: Neena Gupta on her autobiography - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Alumni". Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  7. ^ a b c "The Neena Gupta Interview You Must Read!". Rediff.
  8. ^ "Older woman becomes useless: Neena Gupta". Hindustan Times. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Baby bother! « Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else". Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Badhaai Ho Movie Review: Neena Gupta Is Outstanding In A Wonderful Cast".
  11. ^ "Powerbrands BFJA". index.html.
  12. ^ "Badhaai Ho - Movie - Box Office India". Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  13. ^ Vasudevan, Aishwarya (1 December 2020). "Neena Gupta, Manoj Bajpayee, Sakshi Tanwar team up for thriller 'Dial 100'". DNA India. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  14. ^ Gupta, Neena (2021). Sach Kahun Toh: An Autobiography. Ebury Press, Penguin Random House India Private Limited. ISBN 978-9-391-14975-8.
  15. ^ "Force Of Nature: Neena Gupta | Verve Magazine". 20 December 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Neena Gupta: I want to tell all women that if you want to live in India and in society, you have to marry - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  17. ^ "No one like Neena Gupta". DNA India. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  18. ^ Patil, Vimla (28 February 1999). "Saans: A breath of fresh air". The Tribune.
  19. ^ Ganguly, Prithwish (24 July 2008). "Neena Gupta gets married". DNA India.
  20. ^ "Neena Gupta thrilled with marriage, but says "Masaba is priority"". Sify. Indo-Asian News Service. 29 July 2008. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  21. ^ Trivedi, Tanvi (22 November 2008). "Neena Gupta opens up..." The Times of India. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Neena Gupta On Masaba Mantena's Open Letter : I'm Very Happy With Her Response And Liked The Way She Wrote It". 13 October 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  23. ^ Sharma, Priyanka (27 February 2021). "Arjun Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh starrer Sardar Ka Grandson to premiere on Netflix". The Indian Express. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Manoj Bajpayee begins shoot of a thriller with Neena Gupta and Sakshi Tanwar". Mid Day. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  25. ^ "Neena Gupta to play Amitabh Bachchan's wife in Goodbye". Mid Day. 7 April 2021. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  26. ^ "Parineeti Chopra plays the role of a tourist guide in Nepal in Sooraj Barjatya's Uunchai; film shot at world's most DANGEROUS airport". Bollywood Hungama. 9 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  27. ^ Chopra, Anupama (3 May 1999). "Actress Neena Gupta's trademark sauciness remains intact but the hard edges have softened". India Today. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  28. ^ Pal, Chandrima. "The DD Files: Shyam Benegal's 'Yatra' packed all of India in a train".
  29. ^ "Guts, grit and a shy interior".
  30. ^ Patil, Vimla (28 February 1999). "Saans: A Breath of Fresh Air". The Tribune.
  31. ^ "Pal Chhin: Life's meaningful moments". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 11 October 1999. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  32. ^ a b "And now Neena's third avtaar". The Express Tribune. 31 December 2000. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  33. ^ a b c "After 'Saans', 'Saanjhi' dissects another love triangle". Indian Television Dot Com. 24 December 2001.
  34. ^ "Marital woes". The Express Tribune. 3 February 2002. Retrieved 20 April 2021.
  35. ^ "Neena Gupta returns to Star Plus with college romance series". Indian Television Dot Com. 25 July 2002.
  36. ^ "Alt Balaji's Kehne Ko Humsafar Hai marks Neena Gupta's comeback as a writer". India Today. 11 June 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  37. ^ "Jitendra Kumar reunites with Neena Gupta in web series Panchayat. Watch trailer". India Today. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  38. ^ "41st National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  39. ^ "41st National Film Awards (PDF)" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  40. ^ "Award Winners". Screen. Archived from the original on 22 October 1999. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  41. ^ "IIFA 2019 nominations: Andhadhun grabs maximum nods, Raazi and Padmaavat follow". The Indian Express. 28 August 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  42. ^ "Star Screen Awards 2018 complete winners list: Alia Bhatt wins Best Actress, Rajkummar Rao and Ranveer Singh are Best Actors". Hindustan Times. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  43. ^ Sharma, Ramnish (18 January 2019). "Lions Gold Awards 2019 complete winners list: Varun Dhawan, Janhvi Kapoor win big". Times Now. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  44. ^ "Zee Cine Awards 2019: Full list of winners out". Free Press Journal. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  45. ^ "Nominations for the 64th Vimal Filmfare Awards 2019". Filmfare. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  46. ^ "Flyx Filmfare OTT Awards 2020: Complete winners' list". The Times of India. 19 December 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  47. ^ "My Glamm Filmfare OTT Awards 2021 - Nominations". FilmFare. 2 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  48. ^ "Filmfare Awards : Thappad announced Best Film, Irrfan Khan wins posthumous award; see full list". Firstpost. 28 March 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  49. ^ "Nominations for the 67th Wolf777news Filmfare Awards 2022". Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  50. ^ "Winners Of The Danube Properties Filmfare OTT Awards 2022". Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  51. ^ "68th Filmfare Awards 2023: Check out the official nominations list". The Times of India. 27 April 2023. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 31 December 2023.

External links[edit]