When we talk about Bollywood, we often talk about the main leads, the filmmakers, music composers, or even the singers, but we hardly value the efforts of the actors playing character roles in Bollywood films.
While all the character roles portrayed in Bollywood are special in their own way, the one that stands out from the rest is the mother’s role.
Despite a lot of experiments and portrayals of different shades, the mother’s character has always been a one of respect, care, nurture, and love in Bollywood cinema. All thanks to the actresses who have justified their character and let out the most realistic emotions whenever they donned the character in Bollywood films.
Today, I am going to share the list of Best Bollywood Moms ever seen in the history of Indian cinema.
Best Actresses as Mothers in Bollywood Films
She was the Zohra Jabeen in the song from the film Waqt where she plays an unfortunate mother who loses everyone except one child after an earthquake.
Besides Waqt, she has worked in many different films either as a mother or grandmother. Her notable appearances other than Waqt include Arzoo, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.
If there’s a title of Best Bollywood Mom in Hindi cinema, then the title would be bestowed upon Nirupa Roy. She was the first option for the role of a mother in almost every film of the 70s and 80s.
She has been the reel-life mother of Amitabh Bachchan for more than a decade. As praise for excellent character portrayal of an Indian mother, she was credited with the title of Queen of Misery.
The Mausiji of the epic Hindi film Sholay, Leela Mishra was also one of the notable character actors during the classic era of Bollywood.
While she portrayed the roles of an aunt more than a mother, she often had the tone and persona of an Indian mother of the 70s. Besides Sholay, some of her notable appearances include Amar Prem, Mehbooba, Nadiya Ke Paar, Baton Baton Mein, and Geet Gaata Chal.
After Nirupa Roy, it was Sulochana Latkar who was cast as a mother during the 70s and 80s. Similar to Nirupa Roy, Sulochana Latkar also portrayed the roles of either a widowed mother of the main lead in the films who has experienced a lot of atrocities and miseries in life.
Some of her notable appearances include Majboor, Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Aasha, and Johny Mera Naam.
Nutan is not essentially a character actress as she started off as a lead actress in Bollywood. She has also bagged five Filmfare Awards for Best Actress. However, as she advanced into her career in Bollywood.
She started getting character roles as a mother in various films due to aging and other factors. Her biggest blockbuster films as Bollywood mother include Subhash Ghai’s Meri Jung and Karma.
Remember the strict mother in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Khubsoorat? Well, it was portrayed by Dina Pathak. She is one of the noted veteran actors in the Gujarati and Hindi film industry.
Unlike other notable moms discussed above, Dina Pathak was bold and sometimes funny in her avatar as Bollywood mother. Other than Khubsoorat, she is also remembered for roles in Gol Maal, Koshish, Umrao Jaan, Mirch Masala, and Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho.
Another brilliant actress and gorgeous diva in Bollywood who started off as main lead in many films in the 50s and 60s is Waheeda Rehman. As years passed on and age took over, she eventually appeared in several films as Bollywood mother.
In her second innings in Bollywood, she impressed her fans being an Indian mother in notable films like Mashaal, Kabhi Kabhie, Rang De Basanti, Chandni, and also played a grandmother in critically acclaimed film Delhi 6.
The 90s saw an interesting change in trends for the Bollywood moms as two of the best actresses defined the character in their own way. One of them is Farida Jalal. She is the most versatile actresses to play Indian mother as she has portrayed the character in every possible shade except negative.
Her cool avatar in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is still my favorite. She also impressed her audience with a notable performance in the epic romance saga Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
While Farida Jalal was the fan favorite for the role of the mother in Bollywood, Reema Lagu was the official mother in almost all the Rajshri films in the 90s and early 21st century.
Whether it’s Maine Pyar Kiya or Hum Aapke Hain Koun, she justified her role of an Indian mother with grace and simplicity. While she often played the lovable, down to earth mother in many films, we saw a negative shade explored in her performance as the modern day Kaikeyi in Hum Saath Saath Hai.
Aruna Irani began her career donning character roles even when she was young. As she grew older, she started getting offers for motherly characters in the 90s and later years. She created her own identity as Indian mother and often played gray shades in films like Beta for which she also won a Filmfare award.
While playing some comic roles here and there, she constantly played motherly roles in some of the notable movies like Raja Babu, Doodh Ka Karz, and Suhaag, One of the notable appearances in a motherly avatar was also witnessed in Yash Chopra’s Dil To Pagal Hai, where she plays the elderly dance teacher of the female lead Madhuri Dixit.
“Mere Karan Arjun Aayenge” is the phrase popularized by Rakhee Gulzar as the unfortunate mother of two children who die at the hands of evil Thakur. Rakhee is another main lead actress turned supporting actress in her second innings in Bollywood.
She portrayed the mother character much similar to the ones portrayed by Nirupa Roy in the 70s. However, her portrayal was a bit more obsessive than others.
She was the strict mom in Saugandh who prepares her son to fight against the enemies, whereas she also played a persistent mother who believes that her dead sons would return to finish of Thakur once and for all.
Smita Jayakar is another example of modern day mothers in Bollywood. While she has performed as a mother in several Bollywood films, her notable performance came in Sarfarosh and later in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.
In addition to that, we also loved her as the cool mom in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani who often becomes the shield for her son against the father.
The coolest of all moms in Bollywood history is Kirron Kher. Remember her role in Dostana or Hum Tum? Her typical Punjabi Mom avatar doesn’t only please the audience but also make them desire if their moms too were as cool as her.
Some of her notable appearances as a mother were in films like Devdas, Main Hoon Na, Khoobsurat, Rang De Basanti, and Fanaa.
One of the most loved and respected personalities in Bollywood; Jaya Bachchan also makes it to our list of best onscreen mothers of all time.
While she started her career as the main lead, she quit films post marriage. However, she returned for motherly characters and made her mark in films like Kal Ho Na Ho, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and Fiza.
Ratna Pathak Shah
The wife of Mr. Naseeruddin Shah and notable television star, Ratna Pathak Shah didn’t do much in films until Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.
Since that film, she was cast in major roles as mother and she gave some notable performances in films like Golmaal 3, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, Khoobsurat, and Kapoor & Sons.
Also Read: Best Woman Centric Bollywood Movies
Well, Shefali Shah is another Television prodigy who made her mark in Bollywood in her motherly characters.
While she hasn’t played many motherly characters to be precise, she made her presence felt in that avatar in films like Waqt: The Race Against Time and Dil Dhadakne Do.
Over to you
We love our moms but you must agree that while watching these Bollywood moms, you do compare their antics with your moms such that you can relate to the events in your life.
Moms are the best gifts in life and Bollywood has done an impressive role in keeping these characters pure and beautiful all together.