Mumbai: Sulochana Latkar, who played the role of screen mother to a galaxy of top Bollywood stars, passed away on Sunday at the age of 94.
She was noted for her wide range of roles in a career that spanned six decades of her career but she is remembered the most for playing mother to many of Hindi cinema’s biggest stars, including Amitabh Bachchan.
Here’s our pick of seven films where Hindi cinema’s longest-serving mother was at her best.
1. ‘Faraar’: A 1975 crime drama directed by Shanker Mukherjee, ‘Faraar’ starred Sulochna as Amitabh Bachchan’s mother. The film follows the story of a middle-class man, Rajesh, essayed by the Big B, who avenges the rape and murder of his sister. The film also stars Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, Sajjan, Agha and Bhagwan Dada. Priyadarshan remade the movie in Malayalam by Priyadarshan as ‘Parayanumvayya Parayathirikkanumvayya’.
2. ‘Prem Nagar’: The 1974 Hindi-language romantic drama directed by K.S. Prakash Rao has Sulochana playing mother to Hema Malini’s character. The film follows Karan Singh (Rajesh Khanna), who lives a wealthy lifestyle in a palace, and grows up to be a womaniser and an alcoholic.
One day Karan rescues former air hostess Lata (Hema Malini) from being molested by her boss and then he hires her as his secretary and invites her family to move into one of his cottages. Soon, the cupid strikes and Karan builds a mansion to celebrate their love. He names it Prem Nagar.
3. ‘Aadmi’: This 1968 social drama directed by A. Bhimsingh was the remake of the Tamil film ‘Aalayamani’. Sulochana played the mother to Manoj Kumar’s character. Besides being noted for Dilip Kumar’s acting as a man in a wheelchair, the film is also known for its dialogues by Akhtar-ul Iman and trick cinematography work by Faredoon A. Irani.
4. ‘Nai Roshni’: The film is a social drama, its plot centred around the university professor, Dr Kumar (Ashok Kumar), who lives with his wife Padma. In the film, Sulochana essayed the role of the visually challenged mother of Biswajit Chatterjee (father of Bengali star Prosenjit Chatterjee, seen most recently playing the lead in ‘Jubilee’).
5. ‘Main Sundar Hoon’: A 1971 Hindi-language drama directed by the duo Krishnan-Panju, it follows the life of its titular character, Sundar, played by Mehmood, who works as a waiter. He soon becomes a comic actor. Sulochana’s character, Sundar’s mother, inspires him to do humanitarian work.
6. ‘Zara Si Zindagi’: Sulochana played mother to Kamal Haasan’s character Rakesh in this 1983 remake of the Tamil hit ‘Varumayin Niram Sivappu’ (both directed by the legendary K. Balachander). Kamal Haasan’s character is a graduate looking for work and sharing a small home with two other unemployed young men. He falls in love with a struggling actress, whose life is likewise wretched.
7. ‘Aasha’: The 1980 film, which turned out to be a superhit, follows the story of Deepak (Jeetendra), who is a truck driver who gives a lift to a famous singer Aasha (Reena Roy) when her vehicle breaks down. Sulochana plays the role of Jeetendra’s mother.