In her cotton saris with her make-up made to look like dark rings around her eyes Nirupa Roy embodied the 'every mother' of 70s Hindi popular cinema. Her portrayal of the mother was so iconic that actress to this day refer to a 'Nirupa Roy' type character when attempting to give an explanation of the type of part they are playing in a film.
In the 70s and 80s Amitabh Bachchan's, angry young man was her and her son alone, or so it seemed. If one was asked who the angry young man's mother was, one could only say Nirupa Roy. She played Amitabh's mother in seven films.
Nirupa Roy began her film career in the 1940s and became famous portraying goddess in mythologicals. One of her most famous roles of the period was as Satyavan Savitri in a film of the same name. It is interesting in light of her later career that the character, a goddess from the Mahabharata is both a queen and long suffering mother.
In 1953 Bimal Roy cast Nirupa in "Do Bigha Zameen" and the film gave her a new career in social dramas.
Nirupa Roy was a favorite of film director's Bimal Roy, Manoj Kumar, and Yash Chopra. Possibly her most famous role was as the mother in Chopra's "Deewaar" . In the film Nirupa played the quintessential 'Nipura Roy' mother, a very long suffering and even longer loving mother to her two sons, who sacrifices all her own needs with maternal stoic grace.
It is notable that Nirupa Roy graduated from playing goddess in mythological films to mother of mythical proportions in the angry young man social dramas. This persona and character transverses the gap between religious text to modern film folklore. Nirupa Roy and her characterization of the mother is a firm example of the bridge between classical mythology and the folklore and mythologizing nature of Indian film.
These acting awards came years before Nirupa became associated as the mother of Amitabh's angry young man. Her films with Bachchan were, "Khoon Pasina", "Dewwaar", "Amar Akbar Anthony", "Muqaddar Ka Sikandar", "Suhaag", "Ganga Jamuna Saraswati" and "Mard".
Nirupa Roy received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress award three times, "Munimji"  , "Chhaya" , "Shehnai" .