- Made her screen debut aged fourteen in Hamari Beti (1950), which was directed by her mother Shobhna Samarth.
- Five-time winner of the Filmfare Best Actress Award, the first time for Seema (1956) and the last time for Main Tulsi Tete Aangan Ki (1978).
- In 1974 she was honoured by the Indian government with the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award.
- Both Naseebwala (1992) and Insaniyat (1994) were released after her death.
- A postage stamp bearing her face was issued in 2011.
- Ranked the third-greatest actress of all time by the users of Rediff.com.
- Her life has been well-captured by the famous Marathi writer Lalita Tamhane in the book Nutan - Asen Mi Nasen Mi.