Karisma Kapoor

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Karisma Kapoor
Kapoor in 2006
Born Karishma Kapoor
(1974-06-25) 25 June 1974 (age 41)[1][2]
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Actress
Years active 1991–2003, 2008-12
Spouse(s) Sunjay Kapur (2003–14; separated)[3]
Children 2
Parent(s) Randhir Kapoor
Babita Kapoor
Relatives Kareena Kapoor Khan (sister)
See Kapoor family

Karisma Kapoor (born 25 June 1974), often informally referred to as Lolo, is an Indian actress who appears in Bollywood films.[4] Part of the Kapoor family, she is the daughter of actors Randhir Kapoor and Babita, and the elder sister of actress Kareena Kapoor.[5] Kapoor has established a successful career in Bollywood and is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a National Film Award and four Filmfare Awards, from six nominations.[4]

Kapoor made her acting debut at the age of sixteen with the moderately successful romance Prem Qaidi (1991), following which she starred in a number of box office hits, including the dramas Jigar (1992) and Anari (1993), and the comedies Raja Babu (1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995) and Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), however was criticized for her brief, repetitive roles and inclination towards male-dominated films.[4][5][6]

Kapoor's career reached a significant turning point in 1996 when she won a Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance in the blockbuster romance Raja Hindustani, her biggest commercial success, and later received the National Film Award and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Yash Chopra's blockbuster musical romance Dil To Pagal Hai (1997). She achieved further success by playing primary roles in David Dhawan's successful romantic comedies, including Hero No. 1 (1997), Biwi No.1 (1999) and Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (2000). Kapoor went on to play the titular roles 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, and subsequently received widespread praise for her performance in the highly acclaimed woman's film Shakti: The Power (2002). Having done so, Kapoor has established herself as a leading actress of Hindi cinema.[4]

In addition to acting in films, Kapoor has played the leading dual roles in the televison series Karishma-The Miracles of Destiny (2003) and has also served as a talent judge for the reality televison shows Nach Baliye and Hans Baliye. In 2003, she married the businessman Sanjay Kapur, with whom she has two children. Kapoor took a sabbatical from full-time acting in 2004 post her marriage, and later made a comeback with the unsuccessful supernatural thriller Dangerous Ishhq (2012), before separating from Kapur.[4]

Early life and background[edit]

Kapoor with her mother Babita Shivdasani and sister Kareena Kapoor.

Kapoor was born on 25 June 1974 in Mumbai into Kapoor family. Her father, Randhir Kapoor and mother, Babita (née Shivdasani) are both actors of Hindi film industry. Her younger sister, Kareena Kapoor, is also an actress. She is of Punjabi descent on her father's side, and on her mother's side she is of Sindhi and British descent. As a child, Kapoor regularly practised Hinduism as her father is a Hindu, but was also exposed to Christianity from her mother. She is the grand daughter of actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor and great-granddaughter of actor Prithviraj Kapoor. Actors Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor are her uncles, while actress Neetu Singh (Rishi's wife) is her aunt. Actors Ranbir Kapoor, Armaan Jain and Sasha Agha are her cousins.

Describing herself as a "very naughty [and] spoilt child", Kapoor's exposure to films from a young age kindled her interest in acting; she was particularly inspired by the work of actresses Nargis and Meena Kumari. Despite her family background, her father disapproved of women entering films because he believed it conflicted with the traditional maternal duties and responsibility of women in the family. This led to a conflict between her parents, and they separated. She was then raised by her mother, who worked several jobs to support her daughters until Karisma debuted as an actress in 1991. After living separately for several years, her parents reconciled in October 2007. Kapoor remarked "My father is also an important factor in my life [...] [Al]though we did not see him often in our initial years, we are a family now."

Kapoor studied at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai and later attended Sophia College for a few months. However, she eventually dropped out of college to pursue a full-time career in film. On not completing her education, she quoted, "I don't think I am any less well-rounded because I didn't complete education".


Debut and career struggles (1991–96)[edit]

Kapoor made her acting debut in 1991 at the age of sixteen with K. Murali Mohan Rao's romantic drama Prem Qaidi, opposite debutante Harish Kumar. The film which turned out to be a semi-hit at the box office, fetched mixed reviews from critics, as did Kapoor's performance, with Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama describing it as "mechanical". Of her debut, Kapoor said, "When I first entered the industry, things were made tough for me. I am not saying I was singled out. I think every star son or star daughter has to go through this. Everyone was so unfair to me. Other newcomers were praised for every little achievement but I was not given an iota of acknowledgement. When it came to me, it was always, ‘Okay, she has done well but what’s the big deal about Karisma Kapoor?’. Nobody gave me a 16-year-old credit for doing my job reasonably well".[4]

In 1992, Kapoor's first five releases — Police Officer, Jaagruti, Nishchaiy, Sapne 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), Sangraam, Shaktiman and Dhanwaan. With the exception of Muqabla, none of these films performed well either critically or commercially. The similarity of Kapoor's roles was noted by Shoma Chaudhury of Tehelka, who called her "unabashed eye-candy", adding that she was "a pretty prop in all these films including Jigar, Anari and Muqabla".

In 1994, Kapoor had nine film releases; four of them — Prem Shakti, Dulaara, Andaz and Aatish: Feel The Fire — 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 about her fiancée's illiteracy. Reviewers were generally negative of both the film as well as Kapoor's performance, with Rajeev Masand calling it "uninspiring". Raja Babu was the first film directed by Dhawan to feature Kapoor opposite Govinda. 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, though developed a significant cult following over the years since its release. Kapoor's final two releases of the year were the action drama Suhaag (alongside Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar and Nagma) and the comedy-drama Gopi Kishan (alongside Suniel Shetty and Shilpa Shirodkar), both of which were critically and commercially successful. In the former, she starred as a college student and Devgn's love interest, while in the latter, she played a police commissioner's daughter who falls in love with a criminal. Film critic Joginder Tuteja commented that Kapoor was typically cast during this earlier period as a "romantic quotient", in roles that were "forgettable" and "unnecessary".

In 1995, post appearing in the box office flops Jawab and Maidan-E-Jung, Kapoor starred as Malti, a rich girl who marries a poor coolie (played by Govinda) in Dhawan's blockbuster comedy film Coolie No. 1. Critical reaction on the film was generally positive, however, Kapoor's performance generated negative reviews, with Taran Adarsh calling her role a "minuscule one". Kapoor had ten film releases in 1996; five of them — Papi Gudia, Megha, Bal Bramhachari, Sapoot and Rakshak — were critically and commercially unsuccessful. Her first hit that year was Dhawan's comedy film Saajan Chale Sasural, in which she and Tabu played the two wives of Govinda's character. Sify wrote,"Both Karisma and Tabu are merely sidekicks in the film". Kapoor next played Rashmi, a club dancer opposite Shetty in the hit action drama Krishna, following which 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 "super-hit" at the box office. Critical reaction was positive on both the film as well as Kapoor's performance; Pratim D. Gupta of The Telegraph called her "first-rate" and "impressive" in an "intense" film. Referring to Jeet as a "dynamite" in her career, Kapoor remarked,"My successful phase actually began with Jeet. It was my first successful film which featured me in a dominating role."

During this early period in her career, Kapoor starred in multiple films each year, of which only few were successful. She was cast in brief, repetitive roles that failed to garner praise from critics. Shilpa Bharatan Iyer of Rediff.com commented," With the exception of Prem Qaidi and Jeet, all of Kapoor's roles so far have been of a limited range from an acting viewpoint". Although these roles earned her wide public recognition, though failed to expand her horizons as an actress.

Breakthrough and widespread success (1996-2000)[edit]

Kapoor's biggest success of 1996 was Dharmesh Darshan's romantic drama Raja Hindustani opposite Aamir Khan. The film, which saw Kapoor in the leading role of Aarti Saighal, a rich girl who falls in love with a poor taxi driver and marries him against her father's wish, emerged as a blockbuster at the box office, finishing up as the highest grossing film of the year, and Kapoor's biggest commercial success till date. The MovieReport.com praised her performance, looks and on-screen chemistry with Khan and noted, "Kapoor, in a luminous, award-winning performance (largely considered her big dramatic breakthrough—and justifiably so), fills in the conflicted emotional shades that even Khan fails to bring with his one-dimensional presence". Raja Hindustani was also a major critical success and won five Filmfare Awards, including a first Best Actress award for Kapoor. The film's success marked a significant turning point in her career and established her as one of the leading and highest-paid actresses in the Hindi film industry. Her final releaes that year was Suneel Darshan's moderately successful action drama Ajay, opposite Sunny Deol; Kapoor's performance attracted mixed reviews from critics. Udita Jhunjhunwala commented," Karisma has less screen presence, however, lights up the screen in all her scenes."

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 stroy of twin brothers who are separted at birth and re-unite in their youth. Kapoor and Rambha played the love interests of Khan's characters. A moderate critical and commercial success, the film earned Kapoor negative reviews for her small part, with Rajeev Masand calling her a "pretty ornament". 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. Rediff noted,"Although Kapoor has less to do in the second half, though excells to a great extent in the first half". 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. Critics appreciated both the film as well as Kapoor's performance. Taran Adarsh called her "splendid" and added,"After being praised for her work in Raja Hindustani, Karisma has excelled in Dil To Pagal Hai. The film will again enhance her reputation as an actress; besides looking well and acting well she also dances beautifully". 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.

In 1999, Kapoor had five film releases, of which first was the critically and commercially unsuccessful romantic drama Silsila Hai Pyar Ka opposite Chandrachur Singh. 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. Anupama Chopra from India Today reported that Kapoor belonged to a new breed of Hindi film actors that breaks away from character stereotypes. Kapoor received a second Best Actress nomination at Filmfare for her work in the film.

Later that year, she starred as Govinda's love interest (alongside Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Batra), in Dhawan's comedy film Haseena Maan Jaayegi, following which she played the comic role of Sapna, Saif Ali Khan's bubbly love interest (alongside an ensemble cast including Salman Khan, Tabu, Mohnish Bahl and Sonali Bendre) in Sooraj Barjatya's family drama Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United. Kapoor's final release that year was the action drama Jaanwar, co-starring Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty. All these three films proved to be among the biggest hits of the year and earned Kapoor mixed-to-positive feedback from critics. A review in The Hindu said about her performance," Karisma is her usual cherubic self and lends colours to the otherwise serious proceedings".

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. Finishing up as one of the biggest hits of the year, the film earned positive reviews from critics and so did the performances and the on-screen chemistry of the lead pair. Raja Sen commented," Karisma acts within herself and eschews exaggeration, and the results are impressive....This may be her most self-aware performance so far". 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.

Critical acclaim and professional expansion (2000-02)[edit]

Kapoor won her second Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance in Khalid Mohammed's drama Fiza (2000). Co-starring Hrithik Roshan and Jaya Bachchan, the film featured Kapoor in the titular role of Fiza Ikramullah, a Muslim girl who kills her younger brother, when he becomes a terrorist after disappearing during the 1993 Bombay riots. Despite under-performing at the box office, the film became a major critical success and earned Kapoor widespread praise from both the critics as well as the public. 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". Along with Filmfare, Kapoor also won the Best Actress trophies at several other award ceremonies, including IIFA, BFJA and Bollywood Movie Awards. Her final appearance that year was with Govinda and Tabu in the thriller Shikari, another box office flop.

In 2001, Kapoor received further critical acclaim for her titular role in Shyam Benegal's drama Zubeidaa. Written by Khalid Mohammed, the film co-starred Manoj Bajpai and Rekha, and was based on the life of the ill-fated actress Zubeida Begum. The Tribune complimented her by arguing that she "has surpassed herself as the passionate, defiant, wilful and troubled Zubeidaa, the truly modern woman."[5] In an interview with Rediff, Kapoor explained, "I have been here for 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 want to grow".[6] For her work, Kapoor was awarded the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress and also received a fourth Best Actress nomination at the ceremony. Despite positive reviews, the film failed to do well at the box office.

Following a leading role opposite Bobby Deol and Rahul Dev in Indra Kumar's flop romantic drama Aashiq, Kapoor took a supporting role alongside an ensemble cast, including Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Raakhee, Juhi Chawla and Mohnish Bahl in Suneel Darshan's family drama Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love. She played Nisha, the wife of Kumar's character, who wishes to separate from her in-laws post marriage. A moderate box office success, the film as well as the performances of the entire cast attracted favorable reviews from critics.

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 played Pooja, a woman involed in a love triangle between two men. She next starred alonsgide Sanjay Kapoor and 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. Raja Sen called Kapoor's performance "sincere" in a "reasonably engaging" film. Commercially, Kapoor's all three releases that year underperformed.

Television debut, sabbatical, comeback and recent work (2003–present)[edit]

Kapoor's only film release of 2003 was the thriller Baaz: A Bird in Danger, alongside an ensemble cast, in which she played Neha, a fashion designer and Dino Morea's love interest. Upon release, the film emerged as a critical and commercial disaster. Later that year, Kapoor made her television debut in the Sahara One serial Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny. Directed by Anurag Basu, the serial follows the story of Devyani, a woman who, from a humble background, went on to become a successful businesswoman. Kapoor portrayed dual roles — Devyani and her granddaughter, Avni. The serial ended after 260 episodes in 2004, following which Kapoor took a sabbatical from full-time acting, post her marriage to businessman Sanjay Kapur.

In 2006, Kapoor was seen in a negative role alongside Akshay Kumar and Ameesha Patel in Suneel Darshan's romantic drama Mere Jeevan Saathi, a production delayed since 2003. She portrayed Natasha, a wealthy woman who obsessively falls in love with a singer despite him being in relationship with another woman. A critical and commercial failure, the film earned Kapoor praise for her work. Sify reviewed,"Karisma is bound to win laurels yet again for this negative role".

In 2007, Kapoor made a guest appearance on filmmaker Karan Johar's chat show Koffee With Karan, alongside her younger sister, Kareena and Shahid Kapoor (Kareena's then-boyfirned); Kapoor won the Koffee Award for Best Supporting Appearance. Later that year, she made a special appearance alongside several other actors in the song "Deewangi Deewangi" from the blockbuster romance Om Shanti Om. In 2008, Kapoor began judging the dance reality show Nach Baliye 4 (alongside actor Arjun Rampal and director-choreographer Farah Khan), and continued the following year as a judge alongside David Dhawan on the comedy show Hans Baliye. In 2010, she appeared as a guest on the Star Plus reality show Wife Bina Life.

In 2011, Kapoor ventured into voice acting, voicing for Kareena Kapoor's character Chhaya in the blockbuster romance Bodyguard. The following year, she 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, with Rajeev Masand labelling her performance as "earnest". In 2013, Kapoor made a special appearance alongside several other actors in the titular song of the anthology film Bombay Talkies, following which she appeared as a guest on the Colors TV comedy show Comedy Nights with Kapil in 2014, alongside her cousin Armaan Jain to promote his then-upcoming film Lekar Hum Deewana Dil (2014).

Personal life and off-screen work[edit]

Kapoor with her husband Sunjay Kapur, 2008

In 1992, during the filming of Jigar, Kapoor began a romantic relationship with co-star Ajay Devgn. The two openly spoke about their relationship, and the media members labelled their love story as "full of understanding and compatibility". The Indian media speculated on an engagement, however, the couple broke up three years later, when Devgn began dating actress Kajol. Media reported that "Devgn's growing proximity towards Kapoor's arch-rival Raveena Tandon" was another reason for the break-up. However, Kapoor remarked that the split was "amicable" and "even after separating, Ajay and I are good friends". During the 1990s, Kapoor was also strongly rumored to have a romantic affair with several of her co-stars. Denying the reports of all these link-ups, she continued to announce her relationship status as "single".[7][4]

In 2001,during the filming of Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, Kapoor began dating co-star Abhishek Bachchan; the two announced their engagement in October 2002 at latter's father, Amitabh Bachchan's 60th birthday celebration. However, the engagement was called off in Januray 2003. Not specifying the reasons for ending their relationship, both Kapoor and Bachchan maintanied that, "the break-up has not afftected the close bond that our families share".[4]

Kapoor married sikh businessman Sanjay Kapur, CEO of Sixt India, in 2003. She gave birth to their daughter, Samiera, in 2005, and their son, Kiaan, in 2010. The couple separated in 2014. Media members reported that the reason for the split was "uncompatiblity" between the couple and their romantic involvement with others. Refuting all these rumours, Kapoor has been since keeping her personal life away from media attention.She currently lives with her mother and children in former's home in Mumbai.

In addition to acting in films and television, Kapoor has been part of several stage shows and world tours since 90s. She performed at The Heartthrobs: Live in Concert across the United States and Canada, alongside Arjun Rampal, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Aftab Shivdasani. She has also hosted and performed at various award ceremonies, including Filmfare. Kapoor supports a number of charities (including her close friend Salman Khan's Being Human) and was a goodwill ambassador for Pinkathon 2012 for breast cancer awareness.[8] In 2013, Kapoor participated in a campaign with actress Priyanka Chopra to highlight the rights of girls in India.[9] She has endorsed brands including Kellogg's, Crescent Lawn, Admix Retail, and Danone.[10][11][12]She has also endorsed for an international skin care brand.[13] Kapoor is currently the face of international cosmetic and beauty brand Garnier colour.[14] She has walked the runway for such designers as Manish Malhotra,[7] Arpita Mehta,[15] and Vikram Phadnis.[16]

Media image and artistry[edit]

Kapoor has been described by the critics as one of the most accomplished actresses of Bollywood. As part of a career analysis, Sukanya Verma noted that Kapoor, post debuting, performed roles that had low scope, such as in the male-centric films including Jigar, Coolie No. 1 and Saajan Chale Sasural. Verma addded that after nearly five long years of criticism, Kapoor "achieved the status of a star, performer and showgirl" after the major success of Raja Hindustani and Dil To Pagal Hai. Indo-Asian News Service reported that during her initial years in the industry, Kapoor was referred to as the successful Kapoor family's poor daughter and was written off by the critics for her "brief", "repetitive" roles in "male-dominated" films. Raja Sen added that despite the odds being against her and despite her parental family's opposition towards her entry into films, Kapoor "slogged her way with grit", "made her name in the industry" and emerged as "the most powerful leading lady in Bollywood in late 90s".

Film critic Bhardwaj Rangam of the New Sunday Express wrote that during her initial years in the industry, Kapoor's "soft", "light" voice had set her apart from her contemporaries; she later developed a "heavy", "seductive" voice texture, which too gained her widespread notice. Kapoor has also been credited as "one of the most beautiful actresses to have ever appeared on Hindi cinema". Her "blue eyes", "lips" and "fair color" are considered as her biggest trademark in the media. She has also garnered praise for maintaining her figure and weight post motherhood.

Kapoor with Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor and other actresses at Khan's "Being Human" show

David Dhawan (the director of several of Kapoor's films) said of her craft, "Karisma prepares a lot. She gets obsessive about the role and wants to know everything about her character. Rather than enacting her character, Karisma gets into the character completely". In an interview with Daily News and Analysis, Kapoor described her approach to acting,"Before I start shooting for the film, I sit with my director and try to understand my character thoroughly. Right from looks and accent to what my character feels at a particular point of time, I keep a thorough knowledge of my character."

To avoid getting "stereotyped", Kapoor preferred portraying "drastically different roles", and is credited in the media as "one of the most versatile actresses of Bollywood". She has played roles in both high-profile mainstream productions and lesser-publicized films of independent filmmakers. Namrata Joshi of Outlook described Kapoor's versatility as," In addition to playing typical female lead and the hero's love interest in such films as Jigar and Coolie No. 1, Karisma also enacted the roles that gave her a lot to perform. In Anari, Raja Hindustani and Rishtey, she played a rich girl who falls in love with a poorer man and marries him despite her family's opposition. In Hero No. 1 and Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, she portrayed a girl who falls in love with a stranger while on a foreign trip, however marries him only after her family's approval. In Dil To Pagal Hai, she played a bubbly-turned-jealous dancer, who despite loving her best friend, unites her with the girl he loves. And in the highly acclaimed woman-centric films like Fiza, Zubeidaa and Shakti: The Power, she played emotionally intense characters."

Kapoor is one of the best-known and most high-profile actresses in India; at the peak of her career she was frequently listed as one of the most popular, attractive and highest-paid Indian celebrities, and the brand ambassador for a number of products. Vogue states that in the 90s, she had become a nationally recognized style icon, and has also received major praise for her dancing skills, especially in the song "Le Gayi Le Gayi" from Dil To Pagal Hai. Filmfare featured her in their listing of the "Ten Most Powerful Names of Bollywood" for five consecutive years (1996-2000). In 1998, Eastern Eye ranked her as one of "Asia's Sexiest Women". Kapoor ranked first on Box Office India's '"Top Actresses" listing for two consecutive years (1996-97) and then again in 1999. She topped Rediff.com's annual listing of "Top Bollywood Actresses" in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000; she held the third position in 1998, 2001 and 2002. She was also featured by Rediff.com in their listing of "Bollywood's Best Actresses Ever", "Bollywood's Most Beautiful Actresses", and "Bollywood's Best Dressed Women". Since her marriage in 2003, Kapoor's popularity declined and she lost out on her brand endorsements to a number of younger actresses, as she had taken a sabbatical from films at that time.


Selected filmography[edit]


External links[edit]