Farida Jalal embarked on a long-lasting relationship with Hindi films in the sixties, when she became the winner of the Filmfare sponsored United Film Producers Talent Hunt contest. She began her career with the dreams of becoming a Hindi film heroine. However, she never really got beyond playing character roles. Throughout the 60s and the 70s, she enacted the roles of sisters, jilted lovers or second leads, opposite all the big actors of her times - Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Feroz Khan, and the likes. Her acting talent won her accolades. She won the award of Best Supporting Actress for her work in films like Paras and Majboor. Her performance in Bobby as Rishi Kapoor’s mentally challenged fiancé. Who always carried a doll with her, was poignant and memorable. Her talent added depth to the supporting roles that she played, merging them seamlessly with the main fabric of the script, complementing the lead roles and enhancing the appeal of the story.
Farida Jalal has tried her hand at offbeat films like Shyam Benegal’s Mammo, one of her most critically acclaimed roles that brought her one of the highest honors of her life. Then in the 80s, she turned to portraying the roles of quintessential Hindi film mothers, and became the Nirupa Roy of modern days. She is famous for her cheerful, companionable motherly roles.
In the nineties, Farida Jalal was present in almost all the major hits of the decade, like Raja Hindustani, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. She even received the Best Supporting Actor award for the role of Kajol’s silently supportive mother in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. She hosted the 50th Filmfare Award along with Saif Ali Khan and Sonali Nendre in 2005. farida has even forayed into television, and her role in the popular comedy erial Dekh Bhai Dekh left the audience in split. She played the role of a fairy grandmother (Shararat, Thoda Sa Jadu, Thodi Si Nazaakat) and has hosted some interesting reality TV shows. Even though she never got to play typical glamour roles, her popularity has never waned in a career spanning almost 4 decades. She got married to actor Tabrez Barmavar and has a son named Yaseen. Today she has become an institution of sorts, a bastion of the Hindi film industry.
- 1996: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
- 1995: Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance for: Mammo
- 1992: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for: Henna
- 1972: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for: Paras