Art & Culture

Reema Lagoo - mother of all superstars

Vinayak Chakravorty
Vinayak ChakravortyMay 19, 2017 | 10:55

Reema Lagoo - mother of all superstars

Generations of filmi fans grew up adoring her as Salman Khan’s mother in Maine Pyar Kiya. Reema Lagoo was last among Bollywood’s long line of archetypal mother figures, without whose presence melodrama seemed incomplete.

Lagoo’s "superstar kids" included Shah Rukh Khan, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Kajol and Akshay Kumar, and her popularity carried forward a formulaic legacy set to template by on-screen mothers as Sulochana, Nirupa Roy, Achala Sachdev, Raakhee Gulzar and her own contemporary Farida Jalal.

For all her widespread fame as mother to new-age superstars, Lagoo was only 59, when she breathed her last around 3.15am on May 18 owing to cardiac arrest. She was rushed to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Hospital after complaining of chest pain. Rishi Kapoor, Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, Kajol, Sonali Kurkani and Rakesh Bedi attended her last rites.


While Lagoo made a mark as a new-age mother in Hindi films, she also did notable work on TV and Marathi screen and stage. Her big screen debut happened in the 1979 Marathi film Sinhasan, while her Bollywood debut was a prop role in Shyam Benegal’s 1981 film, Kalyug.

By the time Lagoo played Juhi Chawla’s mother in the 1988 superhit Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, she had become a familiar face. Recognition came with her act as Salman Khan’s mother in Sooraj Barjatya’s 1989 release, Maine Pyar Kiya. She became a Rajshri staple, notably playing Madhuri Dixit’s mother in the 1994 blockbuster Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!

Lagoo portrayed grey shades playing Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan’s mother in the 1994 film Yeh Dillagi, and also while essaying mother to Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Mohnish Behl in the 1999 Rajshri release Hum Saath Saath Hain. In Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) she was Kajol’s sensitive mom while Vaastav (1999) saw her essay a more intense shade as Sanjay Dutt’s mother.

If Rangeela (1995) cast her as a traditional middle class mother to Urmila Matondkar, she played a single parent in Aashiqui (1990). She also played mother to Sridevi in Gumrah (1993) and Govinda in Deewana Mastana (1997).

Reema Lagoo was born Gurinder Bhadbhade. Her mother Mandakini was a stage actress and she was briefly married to Marathi actor Vivek Lagoo. Her daughter Mrunmayee is an actress-theatre director. Among Lagoo’s arthouse forays was Rui Ka Bojh (1997), co-starring Pankaj Kapur.

She had won the Best Actress award at Maharashtra State Film Awards for Reshamgaath (2002). She became popular on TV doing sitcoms such as Shriman Shrimati and Tu Tu Main Main. Lately, she also was seen in Naamkarann.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Last updated: May 18, 2018 | 11:07
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