Karishma Kapoor
Karishma Kapoor

Karisma Kapoor (born 25 June 1974) is an Indian film actress. One of the most popular Hindi film actresses of the 1990s and early 2000s, she is the recipient of several accolades, including a National Film Award and four Filmfare Awards.

The 1996 blockbuster romance Raja Hindustani marked a significant turning point in Kapoor's career, earning her praise and a Filmfare Award for Best Actress.[2] She later won the National Film Award and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a dancer in the musical romance Dil To Pagal Hai (1997).[3] Kapoor achieved further success by featuring as the female lead in three of David Dhawan's top grossing romantic comedies—Hero No.1 (1997), Biwi No.1 (1999) and Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000), and the highly successful family drama Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999)—and won the Best Actress and Best Actress Critics awards at Filmfare for her titular roles in the dramas Fiza (2000) and Zubeidaa (2001).[3] Kapoor took a sabbatical from full-time acting in 2004, and has since acted intermittently. She starred in the supernatural thriller Dangerous Ishqq (2012) and the comedy web series Mentalhood (2020).[4]

 

Early life and background

Kapoor with her mother Babita (left) and sister Kareena (right) at an event in 2003

Kapoor was born on 25 June 1974 in Mumbai, to actors Randhir Kapoor and Babita (née Shivdasani).[5] Her younger sister, Kareena, is also a film actress. Her paternal grandfather was the actor and filmmaker Raj Kapoor, while her maternal grandfather was actor Hari Shivdasani. Her great-grandfather was actor Prithviraj. The actors Rishi and Rajiv are her uncles, while the actress Neetu Singh and entrepreneur Ritu Nanda are her aunts. Her first cousins includes the actors Ranbir Kapoor, Armaan Jain and Aadar Jain, and the businessman Nikhil Nanda. The actors Shammi and Shashi are her grand-uncles, and the late actress Sadhana was her mother's first cousin. Kapoor is informally called as "Lolo" at her home. According to Kapoor, the name, Lolo, was derived after her mother made a passing reference to the Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida.[6] Both of her paternal and maternal grandparents were from PeshawarLyallpur and Karachi respectively, who moved to Bombay for their film careers before the partition of India.[citation needed] Kapoor is of Hindu Punjabi descent on her father's side, and on her mother's side she is of Sindhi and British descent.[1][7][8]

Particularly inspired by the work of actresses Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit, Kapoor was keen on pursuing acting since childhood. While growing up, Kapoor regularly attended award ceremonies and accompanied by her parents to film sets.[9][10] However, despite her family background, her father disapproved of women working in films, because he believed it conflicted with the traditional maternal duties and responsibility of women in the family.[11][12] This led to a conflict between her parents and they separated in 1988. She and her sister Kareena were raised by their mother, who worked several jobs to raise them, until she made her debut in films as an actress.[13] The couple reconciled in 2007, after living separately for several years.[14][15] Kapoor studied at the Cathedral and John Connon School and later, for a few months at Sophia College. Kapoor later said that she left college to pursue acting for financial support.

Debut and career struggles (1991–96)

Kapoor made her acting debut in 1991 at the age of seventeen with the romantic drama Prem Qaidi, opposite debutant Harish Kumar. Upon release, the film emerged as a moderate box office success and received mixed reviews from critics, as did Kapoor's performance, with Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama describing it as "mechanical".[17] The following year, Kapoor's first five releases—Police OfficerJaagrutiNishchaiySapne Sajan Ke and Deedar—flopped at the box office. Jaagruti and Nishchaiy marked her first two collaborations with Salman Khan, while Deedar marked her first collaboration with Akshay Kumar. She next starred in the action drama Jigar (1992), followed by the romantic drama Anari (1993), both of which emerged as box office hits and among the highest-grossing films of their respective years. Jigar marked Kapoor's first of several collaborations with Ajay Devgn, while Anari featured her in the leading role of Rajnandini, a princess who falls in love with her poor servant (played by Daggubati Venkatesh).

Kapoor's next four releases of 1993 were the dramas Muqabla (which marked first of her many collaborations with Govinda), SangraamShaktiman and Dhanwaan. With the exception of Muqabla, none of these films performed well either critically or commercially.[18][19] In 1994, Kapoor had nine film releases; four of them — Prem ShaktiDulaaraAndaz and Aatish—were critical and commercial failures. Her first hit that year was David Dhawan's comedy film Raja Babu, opposite Govinda, in which she played Madhubala, an educated arrogant girl who calls off her engagement upon discovering her fiancée's illiteracy. Kapoor next played the blind wife of Govinda's character in the hit action drama Khuddar, following which she starred with Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Raveena Tandon in Rajkumar Santoshi's highly acclaimed comedy film Andaz Apna Apna. Kapoor played Raveena Bajaj, the daughter of a London-based business tycoon, who travels to India in search of true love, and falls for Salman Khan's character. Although the film underperformed at the box office, it developed a significant cult following over the years since its release.

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