Among the top actresses of the Golden Era who made a comeback as Mother, the actress who tops the list is unarguably Nutan. This brilliant actress ruled the 50’s and 60’s as the top heroine doing roles with substance. In her career spanning 4 decades, she won 5 Filmfare awards as Best actress. She quit Bollywood in the late ’60s after her marriage to look after her children. Her last film was Milan (1967) for which she won a Filmfare award. 6 years later she made a comeback and played the mother of an ailing son who donates his eyes before death in the film Anuraag (1974). Later in the ’80s, she played a power-packed role of a mentally challenged mother of Anil Kapoor in the film Meri Jung (1986). The role won her another Filmfare award in supporting roles. In her entire career, she did only roles that had substance. Even as the mother she did selected films like Saajan Bina Suhagan (1978), Yudh (1985), Naam (1986), Karma (1986), etc.
‘Guddi‘ aka Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan and better half of superstar Amitabh Bachchan is perhaps the only actress who in her career as a heroine won fame and awards and interestingly, after 18 years of renunciation (‘sannyas’) when she made a comeback with Govind Nihalani‘s Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998), she created the same magic. She won a special honour Filmfare award for Best performance in the film. What is most admiring about Jaya‘s comeback is that she won an equal number of 4 awards that she won earlier during the first phase of her career i.e. during the first phase she won 4 Filmfare Best Actress Award for Uphaar (1972), Abhimaan (1974), Kora Kagaz (1975) and Nauker (1980). Similarly, in her second phase, she won Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998), Fiza (2001), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2002) and Kal Ho Na Ho (2004). Interestingly, she also appeared with her son Abhishek Bachchan in the films Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007) and Drona (2008).
Popularly known as ‘Dream Girl‘ Hema Malini is indeed Bollywood’s’ one of the most gorgeous actresses to ever hit the Indian Screen. Every filmmaker tried to bank on her sex-appeal. Thus casting Hema Malini as mother was a challenging task but kudos to filmmaker Gulzar he did what others feared! In the film Khushboo (1975), he depicted Hema Malini playing mother to Jeetendra‘s young son. Later in 1982, she played mother to Raj Kiran in the film Farz Aur Kanoon (1982). In Jamai Raja(1991) she played a daunting Mother-in-law of Anil Kapoor. After this took a break and in 2000 when she made a comeback in Bollywood she played mother to Salman Khan in two films viz Baghban (2003) and Baabul (2006) and looked as graceful as she looked gorgeous in her heydays.
Mala Sinha, the charming Nepali beauty ruled the 60’s with hit films like Dhool Ka Phool, Anpadh, Hariyali Aur Rasta, Gumrah, Aankhen, Himalaya Ki God Mein, Mere Huzoor, Maryada amongst others in the mid-’70s cut down on her assignments as the lead actress and played powerful character roles. She played mother to Raaj Kumar in Karmayogi (1978), Randhir Kapoor in Harjaee (1981) and Anil Dhawan in Zindagi (1976). In the film Zindagi, she was paired with Sanjeev Kumar. The duo played an old couple who make a living at the pity of their children.