The actress made her film debut in the 1977 political satire, ‘Kissa Kursi Ka’ along with actors like Shabana Azmi and Utpal Dutt. With her limited screen space as a political candidate, Surekha managed to impress the audience with her acting chops.
Surekha was only three films old, when she won her first National Film Award for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for ‘Tamas’, a film based on Bhisham Sahni’s novel. The film revolves around the dire state of people affected during the India-Pakistan partition, and Surekha as Rajo was phenomenal.
In 1994, the actress won her second National Film Award in Supporting Role as Fayyazi in the Shyam Benegal's trilogy, Mammo. The film features Farida Jalal as the protagonist and Surekha did absolute justice to her character.
Even with limited screen time, two scenes to be precise, Surekha as Najma Khan in the Aparna Sen's 'Mr and Mrs Iyer', delivered the most powerful scene of the film.
'Balika Vadhu' became one of the most iconic shows in contemporary Indian television and we can’t thank the veteran actress enough for that. Surekha will always be fondly remembered as the strict ‘Dadi Sa’ who was initially hated but was later adored by one and all.
Surekha as Durga Devi Kaushik in ‘Badhaai Ho’ was simply exceptional. Her bittersweet banter with her on screen daughter-in-law played by Neena Gupta was the highlight of the film. She also won her third National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and was honoured with a standing ovation as she arrived in a wheelchair on stage.