Veteran Bollywood actress Reema Lagoo passed away at the age of 59 after reportedly suffering from cardiac arrest. After the actress complained of chest pain on Wednesday night, she was rushed to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in Andheri, Mumbai where she breathed her last.
Reema Lagoo is arguably the most famous ‘mother’ of Hindi cinema. She has played the mother’s role of almost all the Bollywood top actors and actresses. She first shot to fame after playing the role Juhi Chawla’s mother in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. After which, she played the role of Madhuri’s mother in Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! and played Sridevi’s mother in Gumraah.
Among actors, she played Salman Khan’s mother in films like Maine Pyar Kiya and Saajan. Shahrukh’s mother in Dharma production’s film Kal Ho Na Ho and Sanjay Dutt’s mother in Vasstav. She was often referred as the “new-age mother” of Bollywood. In her illustrious acting career of almost four decades, she has won herself nominations for Best Supporting Actress four times. She was the number one choice of almost all film makers for mother’s role.
Reema Lagoo was born on 21 June 1958 as Nayan Bhadbhade. Her mother was actress Mandakini Bhadbhade who was known for the drama Lekure udand Jaahalee on the Marathi stage. Lagoo’s acting abilities were noted when she was a student at the Huzurpaga HHCP High School in Pune. She took to acting professionally after completing her secondary education. Starting 1979, she was employed with the Union Bank of India for ten years in Mumbai, when, alongside appearances in television and films, she participated in the inter-bank cultural events.
She went on to play supporting roles with some of the biggest names in the Hindi film industry, mostly as the mother of the lead characters. She first rose to prominence with the Hindi film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) where she played Juhi Chawla’s mother. She was seen in a controversial role in Aruna Raje’s Rihaee (1988). She then starred in the blockbuster film Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) as Salman Khan’s mother and then in Saajan (1991), also a superhit success at the box office. She starred in action drama and crime thriller Gumrah (1993) as Sridevi’s mother , Jai Kishen (1994) as Akshay Kumar’s mother and Rangeela (1995) as Urmila Matondkar’s mother. Her Gumrah (1993) was seventh-highest grosser of the year at the box office, Jai Kishen (1994) was a commercial success (declared ‘semihit’). Rangeela (1995) was highest grosser of the year at the box office.
Most prominently, she has starred in some of the biggest hits in the Bollywood industry including the Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), Yeh Dillagi (1994), Dilwale (1994), Rangeela (1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). She has been credited in the media as a coming of a “new-age mother” in Hindi cinema.
Though mostly playing a middle-aged mother in films, she has also played other roles earlier in her career. She played the role of a dancer in Aakrosh (1980) and a cold-hearted businesswoman in Yeh Dillagi (1994).
Lagoo also had a notable presence in Marathi cinema. She was awarded the Maharashtra State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 2002 film Reshamgaath. Her role in in Janma (2011), which she referred to as “one of the best roles in her career”, received praise. Recognizing her contribution to Marathi cinema, she was awarded the V Shantaram Award by the government of Maharashtra.
Lagoo also had a fairly successful career as a television actor in both Hindi and Marathi languages. She debuted on television in 1985 with the Hindi series Khandaan. Her roles in Shriman Shrimati as Kokila Kulkarni and as Devaki Verma starring opposite Supriya Pilgaonkar in Tu Tu Main Main won praise, with the latter winning her the Indian Telly Award for Best Actress in a Comic Role.
Lagoo has appeared on the Marathi show Maanacha Muzra, which honours Marathi personalities.
She took the name Reema Lagoo after her marriage to Marathi actor Vivek Lagoo. The couple separated a few years later. They have a daughter, Mrunmayee, who is also a stage and film actress, and a theatre director.