The Lovable ‘Guddi’ Jaya Bachchan Turns 73
Looking back at the journey of one of the finest actors of our time.
“Tum ho heroine? Tumhari umar kya hai?” was superstar Dharmendra’s first question to the young Jaya Bhaduri when the shy newcomer reached the sets of Guddi (1971).
Her on-screen character in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s comedy drama wasn’t very different from the starry eyed simpleton that she really was back then. The film also brought the doe-eyed Bhaduri face-to-face with the man she would marry, Amitabh Bachchan.
Though he only played a cameo in her first Hindi film, Amitabh who was already riding the success of Mukherjee’s Anand (1971) had felt a connection with Jaya in a brief meeting. Soon after, the chirpy Kusum married Babumoshai in 1973.
With every film Jaya Bhaduri broke the mould and stood her ground as one of the finest actors of her time. Her iconic and unforgettable films like Kora Kagaz (1974), Mili (1975), Silsila (1981), Abhimaan (1973), Parichay (1972), Sholay (1975) and Chupke Chupke (1975) still make for great Sunday afternoon playbacks. Remember the lovely melodies from Abhimaan starring newly married Jaya-Amitabh? Well, hum along!
Jaya took a break from acting and took on the role of being a full time wife and mother instead of pursuing her hugely successful career. Her priorities clearly lay with her children, Shweta and Abhishek Bachchan.
I come from a home where my mother was always around. Just her presence gave me a lot of strength. I became the person that I am because of her.Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan
But she never saw that as a compromise and made a comeback in Govind Nihalani’s Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa in 1998 after her sabbatical post Yash Chopra’s Silsila in 1981.
Bollywood’s first lady still adorns that crown with more films and stronger roles coming her way. Happy Birthday Jaya ji!
Check out these rare and adorable pictures of Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan
(This article is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on 9 April 2016. It is now being republished to mark Jaya Bachchan’s birthday.)
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