She subsequently took on more serious parts in a range of film genres, from mainstream to parallel cinema, and received acclaim for her performances in such films as Kaash (1987), Drishti (1990), Lekin...
(1990), and Rudaali (1993), which earned her a National Film Award for Best Actress and a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress.
She played the minor part of Inimaasi, a young princess who falls for the title character, played by Haasan.
At that time, she also worked in numerous Hindi films made by producers from the South, including Pataal Bhairavi, which she detested.
In that same year she married Indian actor Rajesh Khanna and retired from acting.
Kapadia returned to the film industry in 1984, following her separation from Khanna.
Her daughters also became actresses and retired after settling down.
Bobby was a major mainstream and critical success, and Kapadia was lauded for her performance, which won her the Filmfare Award for Best Actress (tied with Jaya Bhaduri for Abhimaan).
In 2008, ranked her performance in the film as the fourth-best female debut of all-time in Hindi cinema: "An elfin little girl with big, lovely eyes, nobody quite portrayed innocence as memorably as Dimple in her first outing. here was a girl who would redefine glamour and grace, and make it look very, very easy indeed." Following the success of the film, Kapadia's modern wardrobe and hairstyle in Bobby, consisting of "knotted polka-dotted blouse and earphone hairstyle", made her a youth fashion icon of the times in India.
She later said making the film was "one big picnic", though she expressed her lack of comfort performing the "routine song-and-dance" nature of the part.
Speaking of her performance, she said that during shooting she was "a bag of nerves", which eventually ended up working "to my advantage as it lent my performance the right shade of tautness, without my realising it." Feroz Khan's Janbaaz (1986) told the story of a man fighting the drug menace.