Lillete Dubey is an Indian theater personality who has also featured in various Bollywood and British films. She was born in Pune to Govind and Leela Kiswani. Her father named her Lillete as a faux-French derivation of her mother’s name Leela, and she never had an affinity for her name during her childhood. She attended a Parsi boarding school, “Rustoms” and also went on to change various schools due to her engineer-fathers regional postings.
During her class IX, she took part in a play and portrayed the character of Cecily in “Importance of Being Earnest”. Her dad initially was persistent on her taking up Science as her educational stream but had to give into her request of joining theater which she pursued by the way of Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi. She would also meet her future husband,
Ravi Dubey, during a student interaction program of Shakespeare Society of St.Stephen’s College. Lillete’s TV career would take off with a soap opera in 1997 titled “Kabhie Kabhie". She also made a brief appearance in “Mumbai Calling”, in 2009.
Lillete has also featured in various successful movies such as Mira Nair’s
Monsoon Wedding, Zubeda, Gadar, Om Jai Jagdish, and, the 2015 release,
Desi Magic. She has also starred in British films such as “The Best Marigold Hotel” and its sequel “The Second Best Marigold Hotel” co-starring
Judi Dench and
Maggie Smith. Dubey is also an acclaimed theater artist and director who is an integral part of theater action group in Delhi. She received immense praise for her noteworthy direction of Mahesh Dattani’s “Dance like a Man” which amassed 497 shows across the globe. She has two daughters namely Neha and Ira, with her husband, Ravi Dubey.
India’s most esteemed theater and screen actress Lilette Dubey is a force to be reckoned with, no matter what age. Sindhi by birth, her father, Govind Kiswani, was an engineer who worked with Indian Railways and her mother, Leela, was a doctor. Mr.Kishwani came up with an unusual yet intriguing name "Lillete" which is a French derivation of her mother's name, Leela, implying "little Leela”.
Dubey tied the knot with Ravi Dubey, who is the senior vice president of corporate communications at Tata Group. Lilette is a mother of two daughters, Neha, and Ira; both of them have essayed a variety of supporting roles in silver screen as well as in television.
Lilette, an acclaimed theater director, was part of the Theatre Action Group at Delhi. Her claim to fame was through some of the very notable films such as Bow Barracks Forever, Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Baghban and the most recent one- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel to the surprise 2012 box office hit comedy drama.
In an interview, Lilette re-quoted lines from her film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - "Everything will turn out all right at the end and if it’s not all right then it’s not the end" - which speaks volumes of her optimistic perspective towards life.
Talking about her wishes, Lillette said that she aspired to work on a feature film in English, pen a novel, create a music album, etc. And she wants to show her best in everything. She also added that she wanted to end her career on stage.
Well, we are also very sure that we will get to see a lot of you- Mrs. ”Little Leela!”