Vidya Sinha (born 15 November 1947, Mumbai) is an Indian actress who has acted in Bollywood films, most known for Rajnigandha (1974) and Chhoti Si Baat (1975).

Film careerEdit


Vidya Sinha.

She began modelling and acting at the age of 18. Her first movie was Raja Kaka opposite Kiran Kumar. However, fame came to her through a low-budget, alternative cinema break-away hit Rajnigandha, directed by her mentor Basu Chatterjee. The movie, although having none of the trappings of a typical Bollywood blockbuster, was a major box office success. This was followed by many more small-budget art-house films like Choti Si Baat (1975), and later by more mainstream, bigger budget Bollywood productions like Pati Patni Aur Woh (1977). She is known for her pleasant roles in various movies she acted during her active career life.

Personal lifeEdit

Sinha was born on 15 November 1947 in Mumbai. Her father, S. Maan Singh, was an assistant director. She married Venkateshwaran Iyer in 1968, when Vidya was 21, with the blessings of parents. A daughter, Jahnavi, was born in 1971. It was after all this, and with her husband's encouragement and support, that Vidya stepped into films after she was offered the part of an ordinary middle-class girl. Her first film, Rajnigandha, released in 1974, was an unexpected runaway hit. It was a low-budget, no-frills film, shot in an urban middle-class milieu; the heroine, Vidya, belonged to exactly this stratum and totally looked the part. After the success of this film, Vidya did roles of the same type in several other films over a period of 12 years.

By the mid-1980s, this type of role was no longer feasible in the Hindi film industry and Vidya was unwilling to shed her clothes and do indecent films. Age also was against her. She therefore winded down her film work and finally called it a day by 1986. The next 10 years were spent in overseeing the higher education and marriage of her daughter and taking care of aging parents and an ailing husband. Mr. Iyer died in 1996; Vidya's parents had previously died and Jahnavi was now settled abroad with her own growing family. With her daughter's encouragement, Vidya gradually returned to acting, working in TV serials like Bahu Rani (2000), Hum do hain na, Kavyanjali (2004), etc.

After her husband's death, Vidya continued to live alone in her sea-facing flat in Versova, Mumbai. One of her neighbours was Netaji Salunkhe, an elderly doctor who had practised medicine for over 30 years in Australia. Salunkhe's wife had died and after that, he had returned to India to take care of his old mother and spend his own old age in the land of his birth. Vidya and Netaji, both in similar situation in life, became close to each other and got married after much hesitation in 2005. This was not liked by Jahnavi and other relatives of Vidya. One of the reasons for marriage was that Salunkhe had no children of his own and thought that Vidya's family would accept him and treat him like a father. This did not happen. Then Vidya and Mr. Salunkhe adopted a child from an orphanage. When this happened, Vidya's daughter Jahnavi and other relatives objected. They made all kinds of trouble and harassed Vidya beyond all limits. Finally, in January 2009 Vidya filed a complaint against her 70-year old husband, claiming that he tortured her mentally and physically. She also claimed that Salunkhe demanded money from her.He had been an asthama patient for many years and his stay in jail aggravated the problem considerably.In order to avoid further imprisonment Salunkhe agreed to divorce on any conditions which Vidya and her family imposed. He had to give up custody of his adopted child and pay Rs. 10,000/- per month for her maintenance.


Year Film Role
1974 Rajnigandha Deepa
1975 Chhoti Si Baat Prabha Narayan
1977 Inkaar Geeta Chaudhry
1977 Jeevan Mukt
1977 Mukti Seema K. Sharma
1977 Karm Asha Shastri
1978 Pati Patni aur Woh Sharda
1978 Tumhare Liye Gauri
1979 Meera Krishna Rathod
1980 Saboot Asha
1980 Pyaara Dushman
1981 Love Story (1981 film)
1986 Kirayadar Mrs. Laxmi Abhyankar
2011 Bodyguard (2011 Hindi film)


Year Serial Role Channel
2005 Kkavyanjali Kkavya's paternal grandmother Star Plus
2006 Zaara Dadi Sahara One
2011 Neem Neem Shahad Shahad Hansmukh's wife Sahara One
2012-present Qubool Hai Badi Bi/Dadi Zee TV
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