Daya worked in theatre, as well as television and films. On June 14, 2019, he received the Natparishade Lifetime Achievement Award for her service to the film industry. Daya Dongre was born in Amravati in Maharashtra. For a few years, she spent her childhood in Kolhapur. The song 'Khabardar Jar Taach Maruni' marked her theatrical debut at six or seven years old. Daya Dongre's mother was a self-taught artist. Shanta Modak, her aunt, and her mother trained Daya in singing and performing. She took part in a show on All India Radio in 1954 at the age of fourteen. After moving to Pune for further schooling, she studied music from Haribhau Deshpande and classical music from Nageshbuwa Khalekar. She received a prize from the President in the All India Radio's Sugam Sangeet competition when he was nineteen years old. On behalf of Maharashtrian Kalopasak Sanstha, she performed Rambha and Vaidehi. She won a singing and acting scholarship from the Ministry of Culture after graduation. She relocated to Delhi after their marriage. Daya became a member of the NSD. She trained to undertake behind-the-scenes work as well as acting there under the tutelage of
. She returned to the theatre after leaving NSD when her eldest daughter was three years old. In plays such as 'Nanda Soukhyabhare,' 'Ida Pida Talo,' and 'Tujhi Majhi Jodi Jamali,' she collaborated with Sai Paranjape and Arun Joglekar.' 'Nanda Soukhyabhare' was a groundbreaking comedy. All of the professionals and authors who visited the Mumbai rehearsals complimented the play.
In the 1970s, she began working in commercial plays. She appeared in Ratnakar Matkari's plays such as "Birhad Vajlam," "Champa Govekar," "Lekure Udand Jhali," and "Sanket Milnacha," among others. Daya Dongre played in 'Lekure Udand Jhali' and the mischievous heroine in Sanket Milnacha.' She received the Shanta Apte Best Actress Award for her performance in Sanket Milnacha. She escaped an accident involving her car while returning from the Goa Hindu Association's production 'Mantraleli Chaitravel' in Satara. Her co-stars Shanta Jog and Jairam Hardikar, on the other hand, died. This incident stayed with Daya Dongre for the rest of her life.
Since 1964, she had worked for Delhi Doordarshan. In 1972, when she first joined Mumbai Doordarshan, she produced programs like 'Gajra,' '
,' and 'Aavan,' among others. She also starred as Gopikabai in the critically acclaimed television series '
.' Daya Dongre made her film debut in 'Umbartha,' directed by
. She later played the role of Khal in Sachin Pilgaonkar's 'Mayabap.' She played the role of Aamir Khan's mother in the Hindi film 'Daulat Ki Jung. She decided to stay away from Hindi cinema after realizing that it takes more time to wait for actors to shoot Hindi films. Dongare has two married daughters. Sangeeta, the eldest daughter, lives in Mumbai, while Amrita, the youngest, lives in Bangalore. Daughters, sons-in-law, and grandkids visit her regularly. Sharad Dongre, her spouse, died unexpectedly in 2014.