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Kapoor at TOIFA Awards 2016
25 June 1974 
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Spouse(s)||Sanjay Kapur (m. 2003; div. 2016)|
|Relatives||See Kapoor family|
Karisma Kapoor (born 25 June 1974) is an Indian actress who appears in Bollywood films. Part of the Kapoor family, she is the daughter of actors Randhir Kapoor and Babita. Kapoor made her acting debut at the age of seventeen with Prem Qaidi in 1991. She subsequently featured in films including Jigar (1992), Anari (1993), Raja Babu, Suhaag (1994), Coolie No. 1, Gopi Kishan (1995), Saajan Chale Sasural and Jeet (1996).
In 1996, Kapoor earned her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress for Raja Hindustani, her biggest commercial success, and later received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the romantic drama Dil To Pagal Hai (1997). She went on to play the leading role in the critically acclaimed projects, Fiza (2000) and Zubeidaa (2001), for which she earned the Best Actress and Best Actress (Critics) trophies at the Filmfare ceremony. Having done so, Kapoor has established herself as one of the leading actresses of Hindi cinema. She has been considered as one of the most beautiful women in Bollywood and a sex symbol. Vogue states that in the past decade, Kapoor has become a nationally recognized style icon. Kapoor ranked first on Box Office India's "Top 5 Actresses of 1990–1999".
During her career, Kapoor has received one National Film Award and four Filmfare Awards, among six nominations. In addition to acting in films, Kapoor has played the leading role in the television series, Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny (2003) and has also featured as a talent judge for the reality shows, Nach Baliye and Hans Baliye.
Kapoor married Sunjay Kapur in 2003, and subsequently took a sabbatical from acting in 2004 before making a comeback with Dangerous Ishhq in 2012.
Early life and background
Kapoor was born in Mumbai to Randhir Kapoor, an actor popular during the 1970s and 80s, and actress Babita, and was lovingly called Lolo, after a passing reference to Gina Lollobrigida, by her mother, as Babita's mother was Catholic and Hindu Sindhi. She is the maternal granddaughter of actor Hari Shivdasani and the paternal granddaughter of actor and filmmaker Raj Kapoor great-granddaughter of actor Prithviraj Kapoor, grandniece of actors Shashi Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, sister of actress Kareena Kapoor.
Her mother's cousin is classic actress Sadhana Shivdasani. She is of Punjabi descent on her father's side; on her mother's side she is of Sindhi and British descent. Kapoor studied at the Cathedral and John Connon School and later, for a few months, at Sophia College.
Debut and early work (1991–1995)
During 1992, Kapoor continued to work in a number of projects but experienced a setback. All five films in which she starred —Police Officer, Jaagruti, Nishchaiy, Sapne Sajan Ke and Deedar—were critically and commercially unsuccessful. Kapoor's final release of 1992 was Farogue Siddique's action movie Jigar, with Ajay Devgan, the movie garnered good reviews and emerged as a hit. The film marked the first of her many collaborations with Devgan.
The following year, Kapoor co-starred in K. Muralimohana Rao's action Anari, the film became successful at the box office with gross earnings of ₹300 million (US$4.5 million). Kapoor next starred alongside Govinda and Farha Naaz in the action drama Muqabla. Despite earning mixed reviews from film critics, Muqabla emerged as a commercial success. But her other releases such as Sangram, Shaktiman and Dhanwaan were not as successful.
Most of Kapoor's films released in 1994 were unsuccessful. Kapoor was cast as Madhubala (opposite Govinda) in comedy Raja Babu, the film was poorly received by critics but became an economic success, earning over ₹450 million (US$6.7 million). she appeared in Khuddar alongside Govinda and Andaz alongside Anil Kapoor both of which were moderately successful at the box office. She next appeared in Andaz Apna Apna, a comedy directed by Rajkumar Santoshi with Salman Khan and Aamir Khan, the movie was an average grosser when it released, it has since gained a strong cult following over the years. Later that year, she appeared in Suhaag co-starring Akshay Kumar. Suhaag was a moderate box-office success in India.
In 1995, Kapoor appeared in the romantic comedy Coolie No. 1, the feature garnered good reviews and emerged as a commercial success grossing ₹911 million (US$14 million) in India. Coolie No. 1 garnered a strong cult following, among Kapoor fans and movie buffs.
In 1996, Kapoor appeared in ten films. Five of them—Papi Gudia, Megha, Bal Bramhachari, Sapoot, Rakshak—were commercially unsuccessful. Her next release was David Dhawan's romance Saajan Chale Sasural, co-starring Govinda and Tabu. Saajan Chale Sasural emerged as a commercial success. For her fifth release, Kapoor was paired opposite Suneil Shetty in S. Deepak's box-office hit Krishna. She starred alongside Sunny Deol, Salman Khan and Tabu in Raj Kanwar's romantic drama Jeet. She played Kajal, a woman who falls in love with a criminal, but ends up marrying another man. Finishing up as the second highest grossing film of the year, Jeet emerged as a "super-hit" at the box office. Critical reaction was positive on both the film as well as Kapoor's performance. That same year, Kapoor played the female lead in Dharmesh Darshan's Raja Hindustani opposite Aamir Khan. The movie was the highest grossing film of the year and she won her first Filmfare Best Actress Award; the film's success established Kapoor as a leading actress of Hindi cinema, and marked a significant turning point in her career. Raja Hindustani, was not only the biggest commercial success of 1996, but also one of the most successful films of all time in India with revenues of ₹4.8 billion (US$71 million). Kapoor's final release of 1996 was Suneel Darshan's action Ajay, with Sunny Deol, Ajay was a financial success.
In 1997, Kapoor re-united with David Dhawan for two projects, the comedy film Judwaa (alongside Salman Khan and Rambha), and the romantic comedy Hero No. 1 (opposite Govinda). The former's concept was similar to Gopi Kishan; it tells the story of twin brothers who are separated at birth and re-unite in their youth. Kapoor and Rambha played the love interests of Khan's characters. It was a moderate critical and commercial success. In Hero No. 1, she played Meena Nath, a girl who falls in love with Govinda's character while on a foreign trip, however, finds it hard to convince her strict grandfather of this relationship. A major critical and commercial success, the film earned Kapoor praise for her portrayal. She eventually received a nomination for Zee Cine Award for Best Actress for her work in the film. She next starred in Mehul Kumar-directed dramas, Lahu Ke Do Rang and Mrityudata, both of which were critical and commercial failures. Kapoor's fifth and final release of 1997 was Yash Chopra's musical romantic drama Dil To Pagal Hai. Co-starring Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, the film depicts the love stories of the dancers in a musical dance troupe. Kapoor played the supporting role of Nisha, a bubbly dancer who secretly falls in love with her best friend (played by Khan), however, unites her with the girl he loves (played by Dixit). Initially hesitant to take on the part, Kapoor was cast by Chopra (after he was impressed by her work in Raja Hindustani) post several leading actresses of the time had put down the role. Dil To Pagal Hai emerged as a blockbuster at the box office and proved to be the second highest grossing film of the year. Kapoor remarked, "I looked at the role not from a star's point of view but from that of an actress. And I discovered that despite its length there was a lot of scope for me as a performer". Kapoor eventually won the National Film Award and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. The following year, Kapoor had no release, however, she was offered the second lead role in Karan Johar's blockbuster romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which she rejected.
Her diminutive comeback in 1999 proved to be good as she took part in the year's most successful films. Kapoor starred in four absolute hits. She next re-united with Dhawan and Salman Khan (alongside Sushmita Sen) for the romantic comedy Biwi No.1, in which she portrayed Pooja, a woman whose husband gets involved in an extra-marital affair with a model. The film which emerged as a major commercial success, earned Kapoor critical praise for her performance. Mohammad Ali Ikram of Planet Bollywood commented, "Karisma may not look like a mother of two offspring, but she continues to mature as an actress with each successive film." Kapoor received a second Best Actress nomination at Filmfare for her work in the film. She proved to be successful with comedy films, as David Dhawan's another film Haseena Maan Jaayegi did fairly well at the box office.
Kapoor collaborated for the first time with the Rajshri Productions banner with Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United, the movie is one of the biggest Bollywood success of all time in the market, earning over ₹1 billion (US$15 million). Her last release, Jaanwar opposite Akshay Kumar, was another box office hit, making her the most successful actress of the year.
Kapoor's first release of 2000 was Dhawan's romantic comedy Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge opposite Salman Khan. She played Sapna, a girl who falls for Khan's character while on a foreign trip, however, finds it tough to convince her three uncles of this relationship. The film finished up as one of the biggest hits of the year. Aparajita Saha of Rediff commented, "Karisma Kapoor and Salman Khan elicit more than their fair share of cat calls in the movie and make a delectable pair. Both are in form – Karisma looks glamorous and at ease while Salman has perfected the lost-boy-muscle-man get up". Kapoor's next two releases, the romantic comedies Chal Mere Bhai (opposite Khan and Dutt) and Hum To Mohabbat Karega (opposite Bobby Deol) failed to do well at the box office.
Kapoor won her second Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance in Khalid Mohammed's Fiza, the movie received critical acclaim. The film emerged as a "semi hit" at the box-office with a worldwide gross of ₹878 million (US$13 million). Her performance in the film was highly acclaimed and several critics noted her for showing great emotional range and depth. Mimmy Jain of The Indian Express, in a positive review, wrote, "As the young girl who is sick of the suspense and disruption that her brother's disappearance has caused in her family's life, as the obstinate daughter who will not listen to her mother's plea to let her keep hoping for her son, as the determined sister who keeps on in her hunt for her brother despite all odds and then seeks to keep him on the right path, this is a new Karisma, and one that delivers a superbly flawless performance." Planetbollywood.com described Kapoor "A multifaceted actress. Aishwarya Rai has not diminished her demand".
Kapoor featured in Box Office India's Top Actresses list for four consecutive years (1996–2000).
In 2001, she achieved further critical acclaim for her portrayal of the title role in Shyam Benegal's Zubeidaa. The Tribune complimented her by arguing that she "has surpassed herself as the passionate, defiant, wilful and troubled Zubeidaa, the truly modern woman." In an interview with Rediff she explained, "I have been here so long, I have done everything. Lead roles, supporting roles, everything. How do I grow as a performer? If I keep doing commercial cinema, I will stagnate and I wanted to grow". For her work, she was awarded the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress. Co-starring Rekha and Manoj Bajpai, the film had worldwide earnings of over ₹239.552 million (US$3.6 million). She next starred alongside Bobby Deol and Rahul Dev in Indra Kumar's Aashiq, the movie received little praise from critics, though proved to be a modest success grossing over ₹260 million (US$3.9 million) domestically. A review in Planet Bollywood said about her performance, "Acting-wise, Karisma is unchallenged as she reverts from substance roles like Zubeidaa, back to her shrieking annoying self (is it acting, or just natural?)".
In 2002, Kapoor had three film releases, of which first was the romantic drama Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, opposite Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan. She next starred alonsgide Nana Patekar in the woman-centric drama Shakti: The Power, playing the role of Nandini, a woman who wants to fly away from her in-laws (involved in feudal gang wars) along with her son, post her husband's death. The film was critically acclaimed and also earned Kapoor highly positive reviews for her portrayal; Taran Adarsh reviewed, "The power clearly belongs to Karisma Kapoor. Breathing fire and venom to win back her son from the clutches of a despot, the actress gives it all to the character of a helpless mother and proves what a virtuoso performer she is. Playing the part of a wounded tigress, this is one performance that overshadows all the performances the year has seen so far". Kapoor's work in the film earned her Best Actress nominations at several award ceremonies, including fifth at Filmfare. Her final release that year was Indra Kumar's romantic drama Rishtey, alongside Anil Kapoor and Shilpa Shetty. She featured as Komal, a wealthy woman who falls in love with a poorer man and marries him against her father's wish. Commercially, Kapoor's all three releases that year underperformed.
Later that year, Kapoor first appeared on the Indian rich list published annually in the Business Review Weekly with an estimated net worth of ₹510 million (US$7.6 million).
In 2003 she starred in Baaz: A Bird in Danger which was her only release that year. Later in the same year she made her television debut in the Sahara One serial Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny in which she played a dual role of a grandmother and granddaughter. The serial ended after 260 episodes in 2004 and she took a sabbatical from full-time acting for several years.
In 2006, Kapoor was seen in Mere Jeevan Saathi: the film had been shot and completed in 2003 but was delayed for three years. In 2007, Kapoor won the Koffee Award for Best Supporting Appearance. In 2008, alongside actor Arjun Rampal and director/choreographer Farah Khan, Kapoor began judging the dance show Nach Baliye 4, and continued the following year with Hans Baliye. In addition she had a cameo in 2007's Om Shanti Om, and in 2008 was as guest on the reality TV show Wife Bina Life (2010). Kapoor also ventured into voice acting, voicing for her younger sister Kareena in the role of Chhaya in Bodyguard.
Recent work (2012–present)
Kapoor made her comeback as an actress with a leading role in Vikram Bhatt's supernatural thriller Dangerous Ishhq. Co-starring Rajneesh Duggal, the film spans over a period of four centuries and tells four different love stories set in different time periods. Kapoor played four characters, one from each century. A major critical and box office failure, the film generated positive reviews for Kapoor's portrayal. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama commented, "Karisma Kapoor puts forth her best efforts, getting to deliver lines in varied dialects. She gets the dialects right, especially Urdu and Rajasthani, but there's not much scope for her to display her acting prowess". In 2013, Kapoor made a special appearance alongside several other actors in the titular song of the anthology film Bombay Talkies.
Kapoor was in a relationship with her Jigar co-star Ajay Devgan from 1992 till they broke up in 1995. She got engaged to Abhishek Bachchan in 2002, but the engagement was called off after a few months. This ended their relationship of a few years.
On 29 September 2003, she married industrialist Sunjay Kapur, CEO of Sixt India. The couple have a daughter Samaira, born in 2005 and a son Kiaan born in 2010. In 2014, the couple filed for a divorce through mutual consent. In November 2015, the couple had filed applications to withdraw their consent to it. The couple's divorce was finalized in 2016.
Kapoor supports a number of charities (including her close friend Salman Khan's Being Human Foundation) and was a goodwill ambassador for Pinkathon 2012 for breast cancer awareness. In 2013, Kapoor participated in a campaign with Priyanka Chopra to highlight the rights of girls in India. Kapoor is also a celebrity endorser for many brands including Kellogg's, Crescent Lawn, Admix Retail, and Danone. She has also endorsed for an international skin care brand. Kapoor is currently the face of international cosmetic and beauty brand Garnier Colour. She walked the runway for such designers as Manish Malhotra, Arpita Mehta, and Vikram Phadnis. Kapoor has been part of several stage shows and world tours since '90s. The Heartthrobs: Live in Concert was successfully performed across the United States and Canada alongside Arjun Rampal, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Aftab Shivdasani.
Awards and nominations
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