7 January 1957
|Years active||1972–1985, 1999–2000|
|Height||169 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Spouse(s)||Mohsin Khan (divorced)|
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).
Early life and background
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. 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.
Career in Hindi films as a leading actress
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. 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.
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.
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 Ibosnetwork.com 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.
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, (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.
|Jangal Mein Mangal||Leela|
|1973||Nai Duniya Naye Log||Sandhya|
|Jaise Ko Taisa||Roopa|
|Rani Aur Lalpari||Lalpari|
|Apne Dushman||Reshma 'Reshu'|
|Barood||Sapna — Bakshi's Assistant|
|Nagin||Nagin (female serpent)|
|Udhar Ka Sindur||Rekha|
|Sat Sri Akal||Shree|
|Daku Aur Mahatma||Kiran|
|Jay Vejay||Maharani Ambika|
|Daku Aur Jawan||Ganga|
|Chor Ho To Aisa||Champa|
|Badalte Rishtey||Savitri Devi|
|Sau Din Saas Ke||Durga|
|Ganga Aur Suraj||Poonam|
|Dhanwan (1981 film)||Asha|
|1982||Main Intequam Loonga||Mala Bajpai|
|Jeeo Aur Jeene Do||Renu|
|Dard Ka Rishta||Asha|
|Sanam Teri Kasam||Nisha|
|Badle Ki Aag||Geeta|
|1983||Andhaa Kanoon||Meena Srivastav|
|Naukar Biwi Ka||Sandhya|
|1984||Yaadon Ki Zanjeer||Usha|
|Maati Maangey Khoon||Sharda|
|1985||Kali Basti||Lajjo — Gangaram's sister|
|Ek Chitthi Pyar Bhari||Aarti Saxena|
|Do Waqt Ki Roti||Shalini aka Shalu|
|1993||Bedardi||Preeti N. Saxena|
|Aadmi Khilona Hai||Ganga Verma|
|Janam Kundli||Rita R. Mehra|
|Kalyug Ke Avtaar||Reena|
|1997||Jeena O Shaan Se||Lata|
Awards and nominations
- Nominated — Filmfare Award for Best Actress — Nagin (1976)
- Won — Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award — Apnapan (1977)
- Nominated — Filmfare Award for Best Actress — Aasha (1980)