The Legendary Reema Lagoo: A Tribute to Bollywood’s Iconic Mother

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By Filmi Khan

Source: Social MEdia

Reema Lagoo, born Nayan Bhadbhade on June 21, 1958, in Mumbai, India, was destined for the stage. Her mother, Mandakini Bhadbhade, was a renowned Marathi actress, which undoubtedly influenced Reema’s inclination towards acting. She adopted the screen name Reema Lagoo after marrying Marathi actor Vivek Lagoo.

Her acting abilities were noticed when she was a student and performed at the Huzurpaga HHCP High School in Pune. Everyone praised her acting skills and she took to acting professionally after completing her school. In 1979, she worked with Union Bank of India for ten years in Bombay (now Mumbai), when, alongside appearances in television and films.

During theatre she met Vivek Lagoo, a stage actor, in 1976 and the couple married in 1978. She adopted her husband sur name Lagoo. Her daughter Mrunmayee is also an actress and theatre director.

Reema’s acting career began with Marathi theatre, where her remarkable talent quickly garnered attention. She transitioned to television in the 1980s, securing a prominent role in the popular series “Shrimaan Shrimati,” which showcased her comedic timing and versatility. Her success on television paved the way for her entry into Bollywood.

Reema Lagoo became a household name in Bollywood through her memorable portrayals of maternal characters. Her breakthrough role came in the 1989 film “Maine Pyar Kiya,” where she played Salman Khan’s mother. This role established her as the quintessential on-screen mother, a title she carried gracefully throughout her career.

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Lagoo was a staple in numerous blockbuster films. She played pivotal roles in iconic movies such as Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Salman Khan’s mother and then in Saajan (1991), Gumrah (1993) as Sridevi’s mother, Jai Kishen (1994) as Akshay Kumar’s mother, Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! (1994) as Madhuri Dixit’s mother, Rangeela (1995) as Urmila Matondkar’s mother, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) Kajol’s mother, and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). Her performances were marked by warmth and depth, bringing a relatable and heartfelt touch to the characters she portrayed.

She has worked in some of the biggest hits in the Hindi film industry including the Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! (1994), Yeh Dillagi (1994), Dilwale (1994), Rangeela (1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999), Vaastav: The Reality (1999) In this role that won her a fourth Filmfare Award for best supporting actress, Reema played mother to gangster Sanjay Dutt.

She did an item number in Aakrosh (1980) and a cold-hearted businesswoman in Yeh Dillagi (1994).

Her film 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 1995.

While Reema Lagoo’s film career flourished, she maintained a strong presence on television. She starred in successful TV serials like “Tu Tu Main Main,” where her role as the lovable and bickering mother-in-law won her widespread acclaim and several awards.

Reema Lagoo balanced her professional success with a fulfilling personal life. She and Vivek Lagoo had a daughter, Mrunmayee Lagoo, who followed in her mother’s footsteps into acting and direction.

Tragically, Reema Lagoo passed away on May 18, 2017, due to cardiac arrest. Her demise was a significant loss to the Indian entertainment industry, but her legacy endures through her timeless performances and the indelible mark she left on Indian cinema and television.

Reema Lagoo’s illustrious career spanned over four decades, during which she became an irreplaceable part of Bollywood and Indian television. Her portrayal of motherly roles with such authenticity and warmth continues to resonate with audiences, cementing her status as one of the most beloved actresses in Indian cinema history. Her contributions to the arts remain celebrated, and her legacy lives on through the countless characters she brought to life on screen.

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