Family & Personal Life
Rohini Hattangadi was born on April 11, 1951, in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Her father, Anant Oak, was a theatre artist. She was inspired by her father to become a theatre artist. So after graduating from Renuka Swaroop Memorial Girls High School in Pune in 1966, she enrolled at the National School of Drama, which is located in New Delhi, in 1971. Here she met Jayadev Hattangadi, who was in her batch. While still at NSD, Rohini And Jaydev set up a Marathi theatre group called Awishkar in 1971. The group has so far produced more than 150 plays and has helped many budding actors, directors, and technicians to hone in their skills.
She studied theatre under the guidance of Ebrahim Alkazi, who is a well-known theatre director who revolutionized the Indian theatre. She even took training in Bharatnatyam and Kathakali, which are two forms of Indian classical dances, with Professor Surendra Wadgaonkar.
She graduated from NSD in 1974 and was awarded the Best All Around Student Award. In 1975, Rohini married Jayadev Hattangadi. Their son, Aseem Hattangadi, is also a well-known theatre personality. Her husband died in 2008 after losing his battle against cancer.
After graduating from National School of Drama, Rohini Hattangadi started her acting career with Marathi theatre. Her acting skills in theatre were soon noticed and in 1975 she received the Best Actress Award at the Maharashtra State Drama Festival for her play ‘Changuna.’ In her theatre career she achieved many distinctions. For example, she became the first woman to perform in a Yakshagana. The play was titled ‘Bhisma Vijay’ and was directed by Dr. K. Shivaram Karanth, who is a well-known writer, novelist, activist, playwright, environmentalist, researcher, and director. She also became the first Asian woman to do a Japanese Kabuki play. The play was titled ‘Ibaragi’ and was directed by famous Japanese director, Shozo Sato.
Her movie career started in 1978 with critically acclaimed movie, ‘Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan.’ The movie was directed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza and stars Dilip Dhawan, Om Puri, Satish Shah, and Sriram Lagoo. The movie won the 1979 Filmfare Award for the Best Film. Her next movie was ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai’ (1980). This movie was also directed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza and had Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, and Shabana Azmi as her co-stars.
She made it big in the movie world with a critically acclaimed performance in ‘Gandhi’ (1982). She essayed the role of Kasturba Gandhi and won the BAFTA Award for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 1982. ‘Arth,’ which was also released in 1982, won her critical acclaim and she won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award in 1984.
The year 1984 turned out to be very good for her, as she was seen in another critically acclaimed movie, ‘Party’. The movie was directed by Govind Nihalani and Rohini Hattangadi essays the role of the aging and alcoholic wife of the lead character. The role got her the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1985.
From here on there was no turning back but sadly she was mainly offered motherly roles. However, with her acting talent she managed to step out of the mold. Her perfect comic timing was on full display in ‘Chaalbaaz’ (1989). And who could forget her role in ‘Ladaai,’ which starred Mithun Chakraborty, Rekha, Dimple Kapadia, Gulshan Grover, Aditya Pancholi, and Shakti Kapoor. The movie was a super hit.
The 1980s were a time when a lot of art films were being made in India. During this period, Rohini was seen in many art films including, ‘Saaransh’ (1984), ‘Aghaat’ (1985), and ‘Anjuman’ (1986).
She was doing theatre along with movies. In 1999, she was the solo lead in ‘Aparajita,’ which was based on Nitin Sen’s Bengali story. The play was directed by her husband and has her playing 18 different characters. Her acting talent was in full display in this 120-minute solo act. She went on to do numerous plays including, ‘Hindustani.’ Her contribution to Indian theatre, whether it is through her theatre group called Awishkar or her numerous stage roles, was finally recognized in 2004 when she was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
Along with theatre and movies, Rohini Hattangadi also did numerous television shows. Her Marathi serials like, ‘Char Divas Sasucheon’ and ‘Vahinisaheb’ have been quite popular. As far as Hindi serials are concerned, ‘Teacher,’ and ‘Thoda Hai Thode Ki Zaroot Hai’ stand out.
Her latest movie is ‘Vasantha Kalam,’ which is a Tamil mystery thriller movie.