Aruna Irani made her debut in the movie Gunga Jumna (1961) at nine years old playing Azra's character. After doing several small roles in films like Jahanara (1964), Farz (1967), Upkar (1967) and Aaya Sawan Jhoomke (1969). She later acted with comedian Mehmood Ali in films like Aulad (1968), Humjoli (1970), and Naya Zamana (1971).In 1971, she starred in Caravan. She later starred in Mehmood Ali's Bombay To Goa (1972), Garam Masala (1972), and Do Phool (1973). Her films have included Farz (1967), Bobby (1973), Fakira (1976), Sargam (1979), Love Story (1981), and Rocky (1981). She won her first Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Pet Pyaar Aur Paap (1984). In the late 1980s and 1990s Irani switched to playing motherly roles, notably in Beta (1992) for which she won her second Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. She acted in the Kannada remake of the same film and the same role. Some of her Marathi films are Changu Mangu, Lapwa Chapvi, Ek Gadi Baki Anadi and Bol Baby Bol. In her later career, Irani also switched to television performing character roles in various serials. She also took up to direction and production of tele-serials like Mehndi Tere Naam Ki, Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand, Vaidehi and more. On Sunday 19 February 2012, she was awarded the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at the annual Filmfare awards function in Mumbai.