Sushma Seth in 2013
|Relatives||Charu Sija Mathur (sister)
Rajkumar Singhajit Singh (brother-in-law)
Sushma Seth (born c. 1935-1936) is an Indian stage, film and television actress. She started her career in the 1950s, and was a founder member of the Delhi-based theatre group Yatrik. Her first movie was Junoon in 1978. She is known for playing the mother and the grandmother in movies and television, and is best remembered for her role of Dadi in the pioneering TV soap Hum Log (1984–1985). She has worked with famous directors like Dev Raj Ankur, Ram Gopal Bajaj, Manish Joshi Bismil, Chander Shekhar Sharma.
Early and personal life
Brought up in Delhi, she is the elder sister of renowned Manipuri dancer Charu Sija Mathur, the wife of Padma Shri awardee Rajkumar Singhajit Singh. She completed her schooling from Convent of Jesus and Mary, New Delhi. Thereafter she did a teachers training diploma in home science, Lady Irwin College, New Delhi, Associate in Science diploma, Briarcliff College, New York, USA and later Bachelor of Fine Arts, from Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, USA.
Seth started her career on stage in the 1950s. With Joy Michael, Rati Bartholomew, Roshan Seth and others, she was one of the founders of the Delhi-based theatre group Yatrik in 1964. In addition to acting, she has directed many plays. In the 1970s, she founded and ran the Children's Creative Theatre, an ensemble that put up plays and conducted workshops for children.
She made her big screen debut with Shyam Benegal's 1978 period film Junoon, in which she played Shashi Kapoor's aunt. She has starred in some of the biggest hits in the Indian industry including Silsila,Prem Rog, Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Chandni, Deewana, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kal Ho Naa Ho. She also appeared in the legendary Punjabi film Chann Pardesi (1980).
She received a nomination for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in the 1985 B R Chopra film Tawaif. She has played the mother and grandmother of many Bollywood stars including Rishi Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor and Preity Zinta.
Apart from acting in Bollywood films, she has also appeared in TV series like the sitcom Dekh Bhai Dekh (1993), directed by Anand Mahendroo, where she played the matriarch of the Divan family. She has also worked with eminent theatre directors like Ram Gopal Bajaj and Manish Joshi Bismil. Her most memorable role, however, remains for the TV soap Hum Log, telecast in the early 80s on Doordarshan, in which she played Daadi (the grandmother). Seth was so popular that her character, who was shown suffering from throat cancer, had to be extended on viewer's demand.
Since the early 2000s, Seth has been working with an NGO called Arpana, directing plays and dance dramas. She has even written a play called Sitaron Ke Paas inspired by the life of astronaut Kalpana Chawla.
- Junoon (1978) ... Javed's chachi
- Chann Pardesi (1980) ... Jassi (Punjabi movie)
- Kalyug (1981) ... Savitri
- Silsila (1981)
- Swami Dada (1982) ... Seema's mom
- Prem Rog (1982) ... Badi Maa
- Romance (1983) ... Mrs. Roy
- Naukar Biwi Ka (1983) ... Sandhya's foster mom
- Salma (1985) ... Mrs. Bakar Ali
- Khamosh (1985) ... Leela
- Tawaif (1985) ... Nadira
- Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985) ... Naren's Grandmother
- Meraa Ghar Mere Bachche (1985)
- Wafadaar (1985) ... Mrs. Namdev
- Faasle (1985)
- Alag Alag (1985) ... Neeraj's mom
- Maa Kasam (1985) ... Thakurain
- Palay Khan (1986) ... Fatima Khalim
- Nagina (1986) ... Rajiv's mother
- Kala Dhanda Goray Log (1986) ... Mrs. Durga
- Janbaaz (1986) ... Laxmi Singh
- Pyar Kiya Hai Pyar Karenge (1986) ... Annapurnadevi
- Naache Mayuri (1986)
- Mard Ki Zabaan (1987)
- Khudgarz (1987) ... Sita Sinha
- Avam (1987) ... Durga Jagrathan
- Apne Apne (1987) ... Mrs. Kapoor
- Dharamyudh (1988) ... Kundan's mother
- Aurat Teri Yehi Kahani (1988) ... Jamunabai
- Aakhri Adaalat (1988) ... Mrs. Kaushal
- Hum Farishte Nahin (1988) ... Supriya
- Waaris (1988) ... Paro's mom
- Suryaa: An Awakening (1989) ... Salma Khan
- Mitti Aur Sona (1989) ... Mrs. Yashoda Bhushan
- Gharana (1989) ... Shraddha
- Kasam Suhaag Ki (1989)
- Bade Ghar Ki Beti (1989) ... Mrs. Din Dayal
- Toofan (1989) ... Devyani
- Chandni (1989) ... Mrs. Gupta
- Jawani Zindabad (1990) ... Sharda Sharma
- Jaan-E-Wafa (1990)
- Amiri Garibi (1990) ... Sona's Aunt
- Shankara (1991) ... Rani Maa
- First Love Letter (1991) ... Uma Devi
- Khoon Ka Karz (1991) ... Savitri Devi
- Ajooba (1991) ... Zarina Khan
- Do Matwale (1991) ... Amar's Mother
- Maa ... Heerabai
- Heer Ranjha (1992) ... Heer's mom
- Suryavanshi (1992) ... Rajmata
- Sarphira (1992) ... Mrs. B.K. Sinha
- Inteha Pyar Ki (1992) ... Mrs. Shankar Dayal Walia
- Deewana (1992) ... Laxmi Devi
- Bol Radha Bol (1992) ... Sumitra Malhotra
- Dil Aashna Hai (1992) ... Mrs. Baig
- In Custody (1993) ... Safiya Begum
- Pyaar Ka Tarana (1993)
- 1942: A Love Story (1993) ... Gayatridevi Singh
- Tejasvini (1994) ... grandma
- Daraar (1996) ... Mrs. Malhotra
- Kareeb (1998) ... Lata
- Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998) ... Seema's mother
- Daag: The Fire (1999) ... Dai
- Taal (1999) ... Mrs. Mehta
- Chal Mere Bhai (2000) ... Grandmother
- Dhadkan (2000) ... Ram's stepmother
- Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke (2000) ... Yogi's mom
- Shikari (2000) ... Rajeshwari's mother
- Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya (2000) ... Manisha's Mother
- Moksha: Salvation (2001) ... Ritika's grandmother
- Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) ... Kaur, Nandini's mother
- Tujhe Meri Kasam (2003) ... grandmother
- Rasikan Re (2003)
- Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) ... Lajoji
- Pal Pal Dil Ke Ssaat (2009)
- Student Of The Year (2012)
- Shaandaar (2015)
- Staying On (1980) ... Codcod Menektara
- Hum Log (1984) ... Dadi
- Dekh Bhai Dekh (1993) ... Dadiji
- Amma and Family(1995) ... Ammi
- Ret Par Likhe Naam
- Yeh hui Na baat
- "Stage plays performed from 1956-1990". Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- Saxena-Malvankar, Nidhi (11 August 1995). "Grace personified". Screen Channel. "She's 59 and a grandmother of one".
- Sinha, Meenakshi (12 August 2010). "I am still called Hum Log's dadi: Sushma Seth". The Times of India.
- "Films yes, but she roots for theatre". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 5 February 2007.
- Gupta, Monika & Cardozo, William M (May 2008). "The Star Mum". City Cheers.
- "Educational Qualifications".
- Mishra, Garima (7 July 2009). "An episode in history". The Indian Express. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- "Yatril Theatre Group". Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- Dhar, Aarti (24 December 2000). "Sushma returns to children". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- "THE LONG RUN". Screen (magazine). 16 October 2009.
- "I never overplayed anything: Sushma". The Times of India. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2015.