Kirron Kher

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Kirron Kher
Kiron kher colors indian telly awards.jpg
Born Kiran Thakar Singh
(1955-06-14) 14 June 1955 (age 58)
Punjab, India
Occupation Actress
Religion Sikhism
Spouse(s) Anupam Kher (1985–present)
Gautam Berry (divorced)
Children Sikandar Kher (Son of Gautam Berry, the first husband)

Kirron Kher (also Kiran[1] or, Kiron[2][3][4] born 14 June 1955) is an Indian theatre, film and television actress, a TV talk show host and a member of the Bhartiya Janata Party.

Early life[edit]

Kirron Kher was born in Punjab and brought up in a Sikh family in Chandigarh.[5][6] Her sister is the Arjuna award-winning badminton player, Kanwal Thakar Kaur. Kirron had a brother, artist Amardeep Singh, who died in 2003.[7]

She completed her school education in Chandigarh, and then graduated from the Department of Indian Theatre of Punjab University, Chandigarh. Kirron then married Gautam Berry, a rich Mumbai-based businessman, and had a son, Sikandar Kher.[8] Not many are aware that Sikandar is not the son of Anupam Kher but of Kirron's first husband, Gautam Berry.

In Mumbai, Kirron tried throughout the 1980s to get a foothold in the film industry, but without success. While visiting producer after producer seeking a role in films, Kirron renewed her acquaintance with Anupam Kher, who was also a similarly struggling actor, and whom she had known slightly at university in Chandigarh. Anupam was also already married to someone else, but their existing marriages did not prevent the love-birds from falling for each other mind and body. Moving in the same theatre circles, they worked together in a play called Chandpuri Ki Champabai. In 1985, after Anupam had secured a break in films with Saaransh, he divorced his wife, Kirron divorced her husband, and they were married to each other the same year. They now run a production house together.[7][9]

Career[edit]

Kirron Kher made her film debut in 1983 in the Punjabi feature film Aasra Pyar Da, a non-descript production which sank without a trace. After this, she took a hiatus from films.[10] Between 1983 and 1996, she appeared in exactly one film, Pestonjee (1988), wherein she acted in a bit role alongside her second husband Anupam Kher.

Her return to acting came in the mid-1990s, through theatre, with the play Saalgirah written by playwright Javed Siddiqui and directed by Feroz Abbas Khan.[2] She then hosted three television shows, starting with the short-lived Purushkshetra on Zee TV which got attention for bringing out the discussion of alternative sexuality for the first time, while also highlighting women's issues.[11] Kiron Kher Today and Jagte Raho with Kiron Kher, before doing Bollywood films.[12]

Her comeback film was by Shyam Benegal, Sardari Begum (1996), which won her the Special Jury Award at the 1997 National Film Awards.

She then appeared in film director Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film Bariwali )(1999), to critical acclaim.[3] When she won the National Film Award for Best Actress for the film, a controversy arose as a Bangla film actress, Rita Koiral, claimed that she had dubbed for the character of Kirron, making her an equal claimant to the award. Kirron refuted the charges claiming she spent hours rehearsing for her dialogue delivery, and the award was eventually not shared.[3][4]

In 2002, Kirron appeared in Devdas (2002), alongside Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai, and was nominated for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.

In Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) (2003),[13] a film that portrays the plight of a woman abducted during partition of India, her character not only refused to kill herself as suggested by her family, but marries her abductor and, after his death, makes an earning teaching Quran to local children. It shows how her life changes dramatically when her son takes up Islamic extremism in 1979 during the rule of Zia-ul-Haq and his process of Islamization of Pakistan.[14] She won the Best Actress Award, at Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland, the Karachi International Film Festival, Karachi, and International Festivals at Ciepie in Argentina,[15] and Cape Town in South Africa [3][16] while the film won the Best Film – Golden Leopard, Festival Grand Prize at Locarno.[17]

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) 2004 paid tribute to Kirron during its annual festival.[18][19]

In October 2004 Kirron made a guest appearance, along with her husband, in the American TV series ER playing Parminder Nagra's mother, Mrs. Rasgotra, in episode "Damaged."[20]

In 2005, she essayed the role of Sunanda in the tele-serial Prratima on Sahara One channel, before which she had appeared in TV series like Dil Na Jaane Kyon (Zee TV), Isi Bahane, and Chausath Panne.[21]

Despite playing mostly supporting roles, her successful movies include Main Hoon Na (2004), Hum Tum (2004), Veer-Zaara (2004), and Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005), where her performance drew rave reviews.[22] Her work in Rang De Basanti (2006) was a huge hit and her performance got her second nomination for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. Her role in Fanaa (2006) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) also received appreciation. Adding to her list of comical roles in 2008 she appeared in Singh is Kinng, Saas bahu aur Sensex and Dostana. In 2009, she appeared as judge on India's Got Talent, the Indian franchise of the Got Talent series.

Anumpam with wife Kirron, July 2012

Personal life[edit]

Kirron is a firm believer in numerology. In 2003, she changed her name from "Kiron" to "Kirron" due to beliefs in numerology.[23]

Kirron has a great liking for collecting jewellery and sarees. In most films she wears her own jewellery and clothes. She also has a very good opinion of her looks and intelligence, something which came out wonderfully in her April 2014 interview with Barkha Dutt for NDTV, where she stated that if she had not become an actress, she would have got into the IAS or IFS. In that interview, she also spoke in praise of her own beauty and how her age was not evident even at 60.

Socio-political activism[edit]

Kirron Kher has been involved with non-profit movements such as Laadli (a campaign against female infanticide) and Roko Cancer (a campaign for awareness against cancer).[24][25] She joined the Bhartiya Janata Party in 2009.[26] She campaigned for the party in across the country during the elections, including in Chandigarh for the 2011 municipal corporation elections.[27]

She participated in the 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement with Anna Hazare, and organized sit-ins in Chandigarh.[28] When a section of Anna's team decided to form the Aam Aadmi Party, she opposed the decision stating that the team was better as a non political organization.[29] She has been a vocal admirer of BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi since long before his candidature was announced.[30] Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) declared her as the Loksabha candidate from Chandigarh for General Elections, 2014.

Awards[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Lanuage Role Notes
2014 Khoobsurat Hindi Filming
2014 Total Siyapaa Hindi
2012 Ajab Gazabb Love Hindi
2011 Mummy Punjabi Hindi Baby R. Arora
2010 Action Replayy Hindi Bholi Devi
2010 Milenge Milenge Hindi Tarot Card Reader
2010 Alexander the Great Malayalam
2009 Kurbaan Hindi Nasreen Aapa
2009 Kambakkht Ishq Hindi Aunt Dolly
2008 Dostana Hindi Mrs. Acharya / Seema (Sam's mother)
2008 Saas bahu aur Sensex Hindi Binita Sen
2008 Singh Is Kinng Hindi Rose Lady (Sonia's Mother)
2007 Om Shanti Om Hindi Bela Makhija (Om's Mother)
2007 Apne Hindi Raavi B. Choudhary
2007 Just Married Hindi Shobha Chaturvedi
2007 I See You Hindi Mrs. Dutt
2006 Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Hindi Kamaljeet 'Kamal' Saran
2006 Fanaa Hindi Nafisa Ali Begum (Zooni's mother)
2006 Rang De Basanti Hindi Mitro (DJ's Mother)
2005 Mangal Pandey: The Rising Hindi Lol Bibi
2005 It Could Be You English Mrs. Dhillon
2004 Veer-Zaara Hindi Mariam Hayaat Khan (Zaara's Mother)
2004 Hum Tum Hindi Parminder 'Bobby' Prakash (Rhea's Mother)
2004 Main Hoon Na Hindi Madhu Sharma
2004 Khamosh Pani Punjabi Veero/Ayesha Khan
2004 Karz: The Burden of Truth Hindi Savitri Devi
2002 Devdas Hindi Sumitra
2000 Ehsaas: The Feeling Hindi Sunil shetty's mother
1999 Bariwali/The Lady of the House Bengali Banalata Won, National Film Award for Best Actress
1997 Darmiyaan: In Between Hindi / Assamese Zeenat Begum
1996 Sardari Begum Hindi Sardari Begum Won, National Film Award Special Jury Awards
1988 Pestonjee Hindi Soona Mistry credited as Kiron Thakursingh-Kher
1983 Aasra Pyaar Da Punjabi Sheela

Television[edit]

Year Program Language Role Notes
2009-2014 India's Got Talent Hindi Judge all seasons
2004 ER English Mrs. Rasgotra Episode Damaged
2004 Prratima Hindi
1999 Gubbare Hindi
1988 Isi Bahane Hindi

References[edit]

  1. ^ Always there, from tiny steps to big leaps Indian Express, 12 May 2002.
  2. ^ a b Once more, with feeling. desimatch.com
  3. ^ a b c d 'Art knows no boundary' Daily Star, 3 December 2003.
  4. ^ a b Kiron Kher in the middle of controversy apunkachoice.com. 12 August 2000 .
  5. ^ "Sikandar is blessed to have Anupam as his stepfather: Kirron Kher". The Times of India. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Distinguished Alumni". Panjab University. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  7. ^ a b All love and Kher The Hindu, 19 August 2004.
  8. ^ Kirron Kher on her son, Sikander Rediff.com, 2 June 2008.
  9. ^ Relative Values Times of India, 20 July 2003.
  10. ^ Films are to entertain, not preach: Kirron Kher The Peninsula, 28 April 2008.
  11. ^ The Making of Neoliberal India: Nationalism, Gender, and the Paradoxes of Globalization, by Rupal Oza, Published by CRC Press, 2006. ISBN 0-415-95186-0. Page 63.
  12. ^ Kirron Kher’s stock zooms higher! Times of India, 22 September 2008.
  13. ^ 56th Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland The Tribune, 18 August 2003.
  14. ^ Kiron Kher's film releases in New York Rediff.com, 8 October 2004.
  15. ^ Visiting Pakistan was like a pilgrimage: Kiron Kher Times of India, 20 July 2004.
  16. ^ Mrs Kher comes calling – page 2 Times of India, 16 October 2004.
  17. ^ Silent waves, still waters The Hindu, 2 December 2004.
  18. ^ IFFLA 2004 Film Schedule, 8:00pm: Tribute to Kirron Kher Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA).
  19. ^ a tribute to award-winning actress Kiron Kher Tribune , 22 March 2004.
  20. ^ "ER" Damaged (2004) at the Internet Movie Database Anupam Kher played her husband in the episode, as Ajay Rasgotra.
  21. ^ Many shades, same delight The Hindu, 31 January 2005.
  22. ^ Kiron Kher at Rotten Tomatoes.
  23. ^ Numerology: Bust or boom? Times of India, 20 August 2003.
  24. ^ "Kirron Kher prefers social work to politics". DNA. 2007-10-10. 
  25. ^ "A walk against cancer". The Times of India. 2012-03-06. 
  26. ^ [1]Times of India,26 April 2009.
  27. ^ Surender Sharma (2014-01-30). "BJP to take partymen's view on Kirron Kher's Chandigarh ticket". Hindustan Times. 
  28. ^ "‘Manmohan for PMO under Lokpal'". The Hindu. 2011-12-12. 
  29. ^ Purva Desai (2012-09-28). "Feel like throttling Congress: Kirron Kher". The Times of India. 
  30. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z65aIyXRu90&t=45s
  31. ^ awards Internet Movie Database.
  32. ^ Award Citations – 2003 Kara Awards Karachi International Film Festival Official website.

External links[edit]