Rahul began his acting career in the 1990 film Aashiqui, a Mahesh Bhatt production as the lead actor with newcomer Anu Agarwal. The film was a hit and made him a popular actor and was the reason, he is known for. He was one of the first ever Hindi film actors who fashioned the long hair.
Aashiqui turned Rahul Roy into an icon for the youths. His good looks, coupled by his trend setting way of dressing turned him into a craze among the younger generation. False rumours of his death in an accident in 1991 meant that schools broke out in certain countries where he had huge fans followings after Aashiqui.
Rahul, though, had to wait for 6 months after the super hit of Aashiqui before the films offers started flooding in. He reportedly signed something like 40 films during that spell.
He appeared in Sudhakar Bokade's romantic flick, Sapne Sajan Ke (1992) opposite Karishma Kapoor. The movie earned some good collections at the box office.
He also delivered a notable performance in Mahesh Bhatt's autobiography 'Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Ayi' where Rahul Roy's character was based on the film maker. The film was Zee TV's first mainstream movie production and film's story was based on Mahesh Bhatt's love story with late actress Parveen Babi. The movie had some strong performances from the lead pair, Rahul Roy and Pooja Bhatt, and melodious music by Anu Malik.
Rahul Roy also featured in Bhatt's production Jaanam, which also was Vikram Bhatt's directorial debut. The movie perhaps had one of the best soundtracks (composed by Anu Malik) of the year 1992.
He worked in several romantic films throughout early 1990s, but the movies did not do well despite Rahul being good in acting and looks. His performances in films like 'Majhdhaar', 'Dilwale Kabhi Na Hare', 'Pyar Ka Saaya' were liked but the films were not good enough.
His biggest movie was considered to be Junoon, in which he turned the form of a tiger at night. He produced an outstanding performance in the movie and was nominated for the Best Actor at the 1992 Filmfare Awards. When Junoon released, there was mass hysteria in certain territories like CPCI- Rajasthan where the film broke records. The film took a flying start at the box office and was an earner.
He was offered the lead role in the movie, Gumrah, but later on, his role was trimmed to a friendly appearance, while Sanjay Dutt's role which originally was a cameo was extended. Rahul Roy had various scenes and a couple of songs chopped from the final cut (including the melodious 'yeh zindagi ka safar' shot in breath-taking locales of Mauritius). Yash Johar, the producer of the movie, acknowledging Rahul's initial contribution in the movie thanked the actor for his 'friendly appearance' in the opening titles credits.
In late 1990s, he appeared in movies as a supporting actor in hit movies because his films as a lead actor flopped. The film offers were getting lesser and numerous films that he had signed after Aashiqui, were getting shelved. A good project like K. Balchander's 'Dilon Ka Rishta' never saw the light due to unknown reasons and another important project- Ayudh- was hit hy the director's untimely death. Other films like Premabhishek, Tune Mera Dil Le Liya (with Raveena Tandon), N.R. Pachisia's Dil Diya Chori Chori (with Karishma Kapoor), Mahesh Bhatt's 'Kalyug', 'Jab Jab Dil Mile' (with Karishma Kapoor and Naghma) amongst many others were shelved.
During the mid 90's Sudhakar Bokade, producer of Saajan and who had earlier worked with Rahul Roy in Sapne Sajan Ke, decided to produce Mera Juta Hai Japani. Rahul Roy was due to make his directorial debut with the movie. Sanjay Dutt and Jackie Shroff were signed. However, the movie could not be completed due to the producer's death.
Rahul Roy didn't act in films for several years. He returned to acting after four years in Meri Aashiqui (2005), in which he was the lead actor. His most recent film was the comedy film, Naughty Boy (2006). He also appeared on television program Bigg Boss, Indian version of Celebrity Big Brother in 2006. He won the game show by public votes on 26 January 2007.
Roy is married to Rajalaxmi, a fashion model.
Recently Rahul Roy has been honoured by Sandeep Marwah a life membership of International Film And Television Club of Asian Academy Of Film & Television.