Remembered best for her mother roles in numerous Hindi movies, Roy earned Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Awards for her performances in the 1956 film Munimji; the 1962 movie Chhaya; and the 1965 feature Shehnaai.
She booked her first film acting role after responding to a newspaper casting call for a 1946 Gujarati-language movie titled Ranakdevi. Later that year, she made her Hindi cinema debut in Amar Raj.
Over the course of her more than five-decade career, she appeared in close to five hundred films. In 2004, she received the prestigious Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.
Born Kokila Kishorechandra Bulsara, she grew up in Valsad, Gujarat, India. At the age of fifteen, she married Kamal Roy; the couple later welcomed sons named Kiran and Yogesh.
She worked with famous director Hrishikesh Mukherjee on the 1961 Bollywood movie Chhaya.