Nirupa Roy, a veteran Bollywood actress, died on Oct. 13 of a heart attack. She was 73.
Born Kokila Kishorechandra Balsara in Valsad, India, Roy was only 15 years old when she made her screen debut in Gujarati-language films. She played several goddess roles as a young woman and was often called Parvati by her friends and colleagues.
Over the course of her five-decade career, Roy appeared in more than 280 films. Known for her convincing portrayals of motherly characters, she became a star in the 1953 Hindi movie “Do Bigha Zameen” (A Small Plot of Land). Roy won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress award three times and received the Filmfare Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2003.
Outside of Bollywood, Roy’s maternal instincts were questioned in court. In 2001, Roy, her husband Kamal Roy and her son Kiran Roy were arrested for alleged cruelty and dowry harassment against her daughter-in-law Una Roy. Nirupa Roy denied the charges; her son and his wife later filed for divorce.