Vijaya Mehta was born in Baroda, Gujarat in 1934. She graduated from Bombay University. She studied theatre with Ebrahim Alkazi in Delhi and with Adi Marzban. She became a major figure in 60s Marathi experimental theatre.
She is a founder member of theatre group, Rangayan with playwright Vijay Tendulkar, Arvind Deshpande and Shreeram Lagoo.She was awarded the 1975 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for excellence in Direction, in 1986 she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Rao Saheb
She is most known for her acclaimed role in film Party (1984) and for her directorial ventures, Rao Saheb (1986) and Pestonjee (1988).
Her stage production of C T Khanolkar's Ek Shoonya Bajirao is considered as a landmark in contemporary Indian theatre. She introduced Bertold Brecht into Marathi theatre with adaptation of The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Ajab Nyay Vartulacha), and Ionesco with Chairs.Except Pestonjee, most of her work consists of film and television adaptations of her stage plays