An alumnus of the National School of Drama (1978 batch), Kanwar has also worked in films such as Mahesh Bhatt's Janam (1985), Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay! (1988), for which she was nominated for a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award and Thodasa Roomani Ho Jaayen.
In the 1990s, Kanwar took a long break from television and films before returning to play the character of Inspector KC, Chief of Homicide in the 1998 Star Plus crime series Saboot. In spite of garnering critical acclaim for her performances, she did not get roles of substance in films and was a victim of typecasting. "Such a tender, sensitive actress with the potential of Nargis! She finally ran away to Shimla," noted singer and actress Ila Arun said about Kanwar.
Kanwar currently lives in Gurgaon, near Delhi.
- Dostana (1980)
- Aadharshila (1982)
- Spandan (1982)
- Mandi (1983)
- Janam (1985)
- Trikaal (1985) - Sylvia (Anna's mother)
- Mati Manas (1986)
- Sheela (1986)
- Amrit (1986)
- Susman (1987)
- Dacait (1987)
- Om Dar-Ba-Dar (1988)
- Tumare Sahare (1988)
- Salaam Bombay! (1988)
- Ek Din Achanak (1989)
- Bandook Dahej Ke Seeney Par (1989)
- Reconnaissance (1990) *A Woman (1990)
- Thodasa Roomani Ho Jayen (1990)
- Aarakshan (2011)
- 'I'm too insecure to ask for work' July 1999 Rediff.com interview.
- "I may never act again" January 1999 Indian Express interview
- 10 Questions: Anita Kanwar October 1998 Outlook interview
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