September 23, 1943 |
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
|Years active||1962–1975, 2002–2003|
(m.1973-2008, his death; 2 children)
|Children||Kajol (b. 1974)
Tanisha (b. 1978)
Tanuja Mukherjee (23 September 1943), popularly known as Tanuja, is an Indian film actress. She is the mother of Kajol and Tanisha, and is most remembered for her roles in Hindi films like Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966), Jewel Thief, Haathi Mere Saathi (1971), and Anubhav (1971). Simultaneously she appeared in Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati films like, Zaakol, Pitruroon (Marathi), Naari tu Narayani'(Gujarati), and several Bengali films such as Antony Phiringee, Deya Neya, Teen Bhuvaner Parey (1969), Prothom Kadam Phool, and Rajkumari.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (December 2011)|
Tanuja was born in a Marathi family of four children,three daughters and a son, as Tanuja Samarth to poet Kumarsen Samarth and his wife Shobhna Samarth. Her Mother was married to director and cinematographer Kumarsen Samarth from Vile Parle(E), Mumbai. Eventually the couple parted amicably and Shobhana became linked to actor Motilal. Two of her daughters, Nutan and Tanuja, also became actresses. Shobhana produced their debut films. Another daughter, Chatura, is an artist, and her daughter Reshma, who is married, currently lives in St. Louis, MO. Chatura never acted in films, and Reshma too never entered into movies. Nutan's son Mohnish Behl is also an actor as are Tanuja's daughters Kajol & Tanisha Mukherjee. Kajol is married to actor Ajay Devgan. Other members of the dynasty include Shomu Mukherjee who married Tanuja. (See Mukherjee-Samarth family (film)). Tanuja entered films as a child actress and continues working till today. Tanuja's eldest sister was the Bollywood actress, Nutan.
She started her film career with her older sister Nutan in Hamari Beti (1950) as Baby Tanuja. As an adult, she debuted in the film Chhabili (1960) which was directed by her mother and had her sister, Nutan, in the lead. The film that truly marked her transition into adult heroine came with Hamari Yaad Aayegi (1961), directed by Kidar Sharma, who had earlier discovered Raj Kapoor, Madhubala and Geeta Bali.
One of her early films, noticeable for her acting, was Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi (1966), directed by Shaheed Latif. Incidentally it was Guru Dutt team's last offering, especially visible in the song, "Woh Hanske Mile Humse" (believed to have been picturized while Guru Dutt was still alive) who worked hard to help her "tone down" her performance. The result was that the natural, spontaneous performer gave a highly restrained performance which became the highlight of the film — as well of her career — as she moved to lead roles soon after. Her next big film was with Jeetendra, Jeene Ki Raah (1969), an immediate and surprise hit. In the same year, Tanuja won the Best Supporting Actress Filmfare Award for Paisa Ya Pyar. After the success of Haathi Mere Saathi (1971), she acted in Door Ka Raahi, Mere jeevan Saathi, Do Chor and Ek Baar Muskara Do (1972), Kaam Chor, Yaarana, Khuddar, and Masoom. Some of the other films she has acted in are Pavitra Paapi, Bhoot Bangla, and Anubhav. Some of her Marathi films are 'Zaakol', 'Unad Maina' and Pitruroon.
During the mid 1960s Tanuja started a parallel career in Bengali movies in Kolkata starting with Deya Neya (1963) where she was paired opposite Uttam Kumar. She followed it up with Anthony-Firingee (1967) and Rajkumari (1970). Tanuja had on-screen chemistry with Soumitra Chatterjee with whom she made some films like Teen Bhuvaner Parey (1969) and Prothom Kadam Phool. Tanuja spoke her own lines in these Bengali films.
Afterward, Tanuja retired from films for a number of years but came back when her marriage ended. She was now offered supporting roles often starring former heroes. Her Pyar Ki Kahani hero Amitabh Bachchan had to call her "bhabhi" (sister-in-law) in Khuddar (1982). She also played a supporting role in Raj Kapoor's Prem Rog (1982).
In 2008, Tanuja starred as a judge along with Kajol and Ajay Devgan on Zee TV's family dance series Rock and Roll Family.
In 2013 Tanuja played a widow in Marathi film 'Pitruroon' made by Nitish Bharadwaj. For her role as widow Tanuja has tonsured her head to make her character look authentic.
Awards and nominations
- 1967 - Filmfare nomination as Best Supporting Actress for Jewel Thief
- 1969 - Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Paisa ya Pyar
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tanuja.|
- Tanuja at the Internet Movie Database
- Sparkling spitfire: Tanuja Dinesh Raheja's profile on Tanuja, Rediff.com