Neena Gupta is an actress, director, and producer who won many awards for acting in films and on television. She gained her name through her bold roles and applauding acting. She marked her phenomenal acting for the film 'Woh Chokri' and 'Badhaai Ho.' She has done quite a several mainstream movies. She played powerful characters as well.
She was featured in global movies like Deceivers, Cotton Mary, Gandhi, and In Custody. The audience remembers her for one of the dance numbers, ' Choli Ke Peeche.' where she danced along with Madhuri Dixit. She was one of the best actresses back in the early 1980s. One of the publishing companies, Penguin Random House India, wrote her autobiography naming it 'Sach Kahun Toh' in 2021.
Neena Gupta's origin is in Bengal. She was born in Kolkata.
She is a mix of Punjab and Baniya communities as her father belongs to the Baniya Community and her mother is from Punjab. Even though she was born in Kolkata, she was brought up in Delhi in the area of Karol Bagh. Neena Gupta is the eldest sister amongst the other four siblings. Her father had a second marriage and had two sons. So, in this way, she had four siblings.
Neena Gupta's father worked in State Trading Corporation Limited in India. Her mother holds a double masters in Political science and Sanskrit. One of her brothers was a CA-Chartered Accountant.
Sources say Neena Gupta's Mother wanted her to become an IAS officer, but she chose to do Cinema. Neena Gupta did her pre-schooling at Bal Bharti School, and then her schooling till the 12th happened in Vidya Bhavan. She chose Arts as her Bachelor's Degree, and she did that in Janki Devi Mahavidyalaya, and then her master's in arts at Delhi University. She chose Sanskrit for her master's.
Her mother also holds a master's degree in Sanskrit. She then opted to do her thesis, and in that process, she got her MPhil from Delhi University. Her thesis went on 'Stage Techniques in Sanskrit Drama'. By this, we can understand her level of interest in Cinema. She chose something which is in a way related to Cinema and the stage performance. She left her research in between as there were opinion differences between her mentor and her.
Her interest in Cinema:
While studying at Delhi University, she was friends with Satish Kaushik actor and a director. She enrolled in the NSD-National School of Drama with the support of Sathish Kaushik in 1977. Neena Gupta topped her class and graduated in 1980. As soon as she finished her education, with a minimal gap, she got an opportunity to play a part in the film 'Mahatma Gandhi'.
In one of her interviews, Neena Gupta admitted that Gupta had made many mistakes in her career when Neena Gupta entered the movies alone. She also added that she has a strong personality, which has been reflected in her films; likewise, she got her roles.
Neena Gupta first got married to Amlan Kusum Ghose. She got married when she was sixteen. He was an alumnus of IIT-Delhi. Amlan was still an undergraduate when he got married to Neena Gupta. But for other personal reasons, they drifted off from marriage in a year. Afterward, she was engaged to a famous vocalist Pandit Jasraj's son Shaarangdev. Later on, she was committed to Vivian Richards, the then cricketer. Masaba Gupta, a popular famous designer, is the daughter of Vivian Richards and Neena Gupta, born in 1980. Masaba was born to Richards without getting married. As Neena Gupta comes from a typical Indian family, it was tough for her to face the family and raise Masaba on her own as Gupta and Richards decided to get separated. Vivian Richards was a married man already at the time when he met Neena Gupta. Things did not go well between them, too, and because of that, she had to raise Masaba as a single mother. She then got married to Vivek Mehra, who is a chartered accountant. She got married to him privately in the United States in a ceremony.
She was born Hindu, and she follows Hinduism. Speaking about her food habits, She is a vegetarian and seems to like Rajma Chawal a lot, as she said in an Interview. She admires Lata Mangeshkar, and her favorite actors are Amitabh Bachan and Vinod Khanna. Her Zodiac sign is Gemini, and her nationality is Indian as she grew up in India. She is presently 63 years old. Her hobbies seem to be reading and traveling. Her controversy started when she gave birth to Masaba Gupta without marrying Vivian Richards.
She and her movies:
Neena Gupta has got six films in 1982 where her performance in Gandhi was notable. Her first debut film was 'Saath Saath' where Farooq Shaikh and Deepti Naval were the main leads and were directed by Raman Kumar. It has been said that she was paid ten thousand rupees for her film 'Gandhi' in 1982. She is also a multi-lingual actress, whereas Gupta has done Malayalam films, which are 'Vasthuhara' in 1991 and 'Aham' in 1992. Dilip Dhawan produced the film in 1982. In 1983, two releases happened, ' Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron', where she acted as secretary and then acted in 'Mandi.' She has done multiple films from 1984 until now. There goes a very long list of her films from 1982 to 1992. Gupta starred against Madhuri Dixit in the film 'Khalnayak' in 1993. She started her film career with the film 'Gandhi.' In 1988, she did 'The Deceivers' followed by 'Mirza Ghalib' in 1989. After that, Neena Gupta had a break for three years, and in 1993. Then comes her most popular song, 'Choli Ke Peeche' song where she danced along with Madhuri Dixit in the film 'Kalnayak.' Gupta starred in a film called 'In Custody' and then in 'Cotton Mary.'
After that, Neena Gupta acted in the film 'Mandi', proving her acting abilities. In 1988 she did 'Rihaee' and then 'Drishti' in 1990. After a gap of two years, she performed in 'Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda.' She earned fame with performances equal to the profile images of the biggest stars like Dimple Kapadia, Rekha, and Shabana Azmi. Unfortunately, she always used to get bold characters because of her real-life character misconception. Because of this, she had never gotten drama-based roles in her career. After a point, just like most of the actors, there was a bad time going on in her life with no good roles. She then made a bold move, unlike other actors posting a post on one of the social media sites, Instagram, stating that she was looking for good roles to perform. Later on, she got offers. One of the offers was 'Badhaai Ho.' This comedy-drama made her win the prestigious Filmfare Award for Best Actress critics, in which she performed as the pregnant mother of Ayushmann Khurana. For her performance in 'Badhaai Ho,' she also received a letter of appreciation from the greater actor 'Amitabh Bachan.' She released a pop album called 'Go To Court', which eventually remained a huge flop.
Awards and achievements:
For the film Bazaar Sitaram' and 'Woh Chokri', she has received 'The National Film Awards under the Best First Non-Feature Film category. In 1994 she again received a screen award in the Best Actress category for the film 'Saans.' For the film 'Mulk' she was nominated for International Indian Film Academy Awards under the category of Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress. In 2019, she did a film called 'Badhaai Ho,' where she received and got nominated for lot many awards that year. That film got nominated for Zee cinema Awards, Filmfare Awards, Lions Gold Awards, and Screen awards under an Extraordinary couple of the year, Best Actress, Best Actor Female, and Best Actress(critics), respectively. She won four awards for best actress, best actor in the female category, and an extraordinary couple of the year. She also won the prestigious Filmfare award for Best Actress(critics). In 2020 she did a film called 'panchayat', which was nominated for Filmfare OTT awards and won that year. Neena Gupta and her daughter have also done a Netflix series 'Masaba Masaba', which was a big hit and nominated for Filmfare OTT awards.
In the same year of 2021, She acted in the film 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan' where she was nominated for Filmfare awards again. Neena Gupta's achievements were recorded as the second eldest Award under the Best Actress category.
Entry into Television:
Neena Gupta's Television career started with the serial 'Khandaan' in 1985. She has done three consecutive serials from 1985 to 1987. Later, she did a 'Shyam Benegal's Bharat Ek Khoj' and then 'Dard' in 1994. Gupta has also hosted a popular remake series called 'The Weakest Link.' She gained popularity for 'Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin.' She directed some of the serials which happened to see success. She directed 'Saans', 'Siski', 'Kyun Hai Pyar.'
She then acted in 'Ladies Special' and 'Dil Se Diya Vachan.' She has a production house named 'Sahaj Productions.' It is associated with Rajendra Gupta, who is an actor too. Sahaj Productions produced the play 'Soorya Ki Antim Kiran Se Soorya Ki Paheli Kiran Tak.' Neena Gupta acted in that play as well. Later she acted in 'Rishtey', a series that was telecasted on Zee TV for three years from 1998 to 2001.