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Published on 15 May 2013 | over 3 years ago

Reena Roy (born 7 January 1957) was one of the top Hindi film actresses in India. She performed leading roles in many films from 1972 to 1985. Reena Roy was the third daughter of a Muslim father and a Hindu mother. Her parents divorced after having four children together. She started acting in films in her early teens to support her mother and siblings.

Reena Roy's career in films started off with a non-starter, B. R. Ishara's Nai Duniya Naye Log with another newcomer Danny Denzongpa, but it was shelved temporarily. Undeterred, B. R. Ishara cast both actors again in Zaroorat (1972), along with another newcomer Vijay Arora, and the racy film got her some attention. She was now called the "Zaroorat Girl." Yet, she struggled for the next four years in B grade films that had feeble scripts and faltering leading men. The bright spot during this period came with her lively performance in Jaise Ko Taisa (1973), and her rain-soaked dance to the song "Ab ke Sawan" with Jeetendra raised temperatures.

Another break came after two years. At the outset Kalicharan (1975) didn't seem like it had the makings of a hit. Subhash Ghai, a failed actor, was making his directorial debut, and Shatrughan Sinha, an actor known for his villainous roles, was making his first mark as a hero. But the film defied everyone's expectations and became a surprise hit. Reena and shatrughan got attention from audiences for their good performance. They became a good on-screen pair and they signed several films together.

Reena Roy also made several films with Sunil Dutt. The successes of Zakhmee (1975) and Kalicharan led to her star vehicle Nagin (1976). Playing the title role of "female snake with mythological powers", she avenges the death of her lover by ruthlessly murdering five men. The film became a huge hit, and Reena received her first Filmfare nomination as Best Actress. She was now one of the top heroines in Hindi films. Inspired by "Nagin"'s success, director, Rajkumar Kohli, cast Reena again in his next horror movie, Jaani Dushman (1979). Thereafter, the Kohli-Roy combination continued to give blockbusters, including Muqabla (1979), Badle Ki Aag (1982), and Raaj Tilak (1984). Reena Roy-Shatrughan Sinha became a famous team after "Kalicharan," and had delivered yet another blockbuster thriller, Subhash Ghai's Vishwanath (1978). But it was Reena's appearance with Jeetendra in marital dramas like Badaltey Rishtey (1978) and Pyaasa Sawan (1982) that set her career soaring. The duo produced three of their greatest classics together - Apnapan (1977), Aasha (1980) and Arpan (1983).

She has two more sisters, Barkha and Anju and a brother, Raja. Reena's actual name is Roopa. In 1983, at the height of her fame, Reena Roy decided to quit films to marry Pakistani cricketer Mohsin Khan. Her last film was Inteha (1984). One of Reena's last releases was J.P. Dutta's war-torn Ghulami (1985). After marriage things didn't work out between the couple. Reena initially lost custody of their daughter Sanam in the divorce. However, after her ex-husband re-married,Reena regained custody.

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