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Pooja Gandhi

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Pooja Gandhi
Pooja Gandhi during press meet of Dandupalyam film at Hyderabad in 2013
Personal details
Born Sanjana Gandhi
Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India
Political party Badavara Shramikara Raitara Congress
Other political

Pooja Gandhi (born Sanjana Gandhi)[1] is an Indian film actress and producer. She has acted mainly in Kannada language films in addition to few Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali and Hindi films.

Gandhi made her film debut in 2003 with a Bengali film Tomake Salam and Tamil film Kokki in 2006. Since then, she has played lead roles in commercially successful films such as Mungaru Male (2006), Milana (2007), Krishna (2007), Taj Mahal (2008), Budhivanta (2008), Anu (2009), Gokula (2009) and Dandupalya (2012), she has acted in more than 50 films in a decade and also participated in the reality show Bigg Boss Kannada 3.[2][3]

She joined the Janata Dal (Secular) party in 2012 by taking the membership of the party.[4] She soon hopped onto KJP party and later to the BSR Congress party and contested the Karnataka assembly elections from Raichur constituency.[5] However, she was defeated in the elections and did not win any seat from the constituency.[6]

For her contribution to the Kannada film industry, Gandhi received an honorary doctorate from South Korea based KEISIE University in 2016.[7]

Early years and personal life

Gandhi was born in Meerut[8] into a traditional Punjabi family. Her father, Pawan Gandhi, is a businessman and her mother, Jyothi Gandhi, is a housewife. She studied at Sophia Convent and Dewan Public School in Meerut. She has two younger sisters – Radhika Gandhi, who is also an actress in Kannada films, and Suhani Gandhi, a tennis player.[8][9]

Gandhi got engaged in November 2012 but ended the relationship the following month.[10]


Debut (2003)

Gandhi started her career by acting in TV soaps, starting with Zameen Se Aassman Tak directed by Aruna Irani.[8] She made her debut at the age of 18 in the Bengali film Tomake Salam, released in 2003. She moved to the South Indian film industry with the Tamil film Kokki. The film earned moderate reviews and had a successful run at the box office.[9]

Initial success and fame in Kannada (2006–08)

Gandhi during inauguration of hotel spa in Banglore in 2015

Her debut in the Kannada film industry was with Mungaru Male,[11] The film was the first in India for any language to be screened for continuously one year in a multiplex.[12] It ran over 865-days in Karnataka and was remade in Telugu as Vaana[13] and in Bengali as Premer Kahini[14] in 2008. She popularly came to be known as Mungaru Male Girl (Girl of "Mungaru Male").[15]

She then acted in the movie Milana with Puneeth Rajkumar. Upon theatrical release on 14 September 2007, the film saw massive commercial success and completed a 450-day run in theatres. Later the film was dubbed into Malayalam as Ishtam Enikkishtam.

Gandhi worked in Krishna, with "Comedy Time" Ganesh, her co-actor in Mungaru Male. She has since acted in several Kannada films, such as Manmatha, Geleya, Hani Hani, Accident, Kaamannana Makkalu and Nee Tata Naa Birla.

In 2008, she starred in the Kannada film Taj Mahal with Ajay Rao. She was nominated for a Filmfare Best Actress Award. Her next film was the Tamil movie Thiruvannamalai also starring Arjun Sarja. The film was later dubbed in Hindi as Main Hoon Vinashak.[8]

Her first 2009 release was Anu, which was the remake of Telugu movie Anusuya starring Bhumika Chawla. Other Kannada movies that Gandhi acted in include Hucchi, Iniya, and Ninagaagi Kadiruve. Other movies from 2009 include the Tamil film Thalai Ezhudu, and Gokula in which she starred with Vijaya Raghavendra and Yash. The film opened on 27 November 2009.[16]

She made her debut in Hindi film with I Am 2011, together with Juhi Chawla. 'I Am' received mainly positive reviews from critics. The Times of India called it "an important and intelligent film"[17] and The Film Street Journal named it "a must watch".[18] In 2012 'I Am' won the National Award for Best Hindi Film and Best Lyrics.[19] In the same year she has acted several Kannada movies such as Thavarina Runa, Aptha, Nee Illadhe, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Panchamrutha, Pagal and Jogayya. In 'Jogayya' movie, she made a cameo appearance as an Advocate, directed by star director Prem.

Critical acclaim and accolades

Gandhi received Filmfare Award for Best Kannada Actress and Suvarna Fimfare Award for Best Actress for her performance in Dandupalya. The film was dubbed in Telugu and released as Dandupalyam. It was well received in Andhra Pradesh.[20]

A Tamil dub titled Karimedu was produced by Rama Narayanan's Sri Thenandal Films and released on 24 May 2013 to critical acclaim. it was hit in Tamil Nadu.[21][22] The film was dubbed in Malayalam and was titled as Kuruthikalam.

Gandhi has signed up to make her Tulu language film debut in Beere Devupoonje, playing the role of Raja Nartaki. The film, produced and directed by R. Dhanraj, will be based on a Tulu warrior named Devapoonja who lived 400 years ago.[23]


Gandhi joined the Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) party on 18 January 2012.[24]

She then joined briefly the KJP, but she finally contested the 2013 Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections from Raichur on a BSR Congress ticket. This first attempt at public office proved unsuccessful.[25]


Year Film Role Language Notes
2003 Tomake Salam Ankita Bengali Debut film
2006 Kokki Raji Tamil
Mungaru Male Nandini Kannada
2007 Milana Priya Kannada
Krishna Pooja Kannada
Manmatha herself Kannada Special appearance
Geleya Herself Kannada Special appearance in song "Hudugi Malebillu"
2008 Vaitheeswaran Sanjana Tamil
Hani Hani Pooja Kannada
Accident Pooja Kannada
Kaamannana Makkalu herself Kannada Special appearance
Nee Tata Naa Birla Pooja Kannada
Taj Mahal Shruthi Kannada Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Kannada Actress[26]
Kodagana Koli Nungitha Lakshmi Kannada
Budhivanta Pooja Kannada
Maharshi Manasa Veena Kannada
Janumada Gelathi Manjula Kannada
Thiruvannamalai Malathy Tamil
Haage Summane Nandini Kannada Special appearance
2009 Anu Anu Kannada
Thalai Ezhuthu Pooja Tamil
Iniya Janaki Kannada
Huchchi Preethi Kannada
Ninagaagi Kaadiruve Shweta Nandan Kannada
Gokula Leela Kannada
2010 Minugu Sanchitha Kannada
Sri Harikathe Pooja Krishnamurthy Kannada
Nee Raani Naa Maharani Rani /
Pooja Gandhi
Vega herself Kannada
2011 Thavarina Runa Ramya Kannada
Aptha Anjali Devi Kannada
Nee Illadhe Sharanya Kannada
I Am Aparna Hindi
Hare Rama Hare Krishna Rakshita Kannada
Panchamrutha Prithi Kannada
Jogayya Advocate Kannada Cameo appearance
Paagal Pooja Kannada
2012 Dandupalya Lakshmi Kannada Winner – Suvarna Film Award for Best Actress
Winner – SIIMA Award for Best Actress in a Negative Role
Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Actress - Kannada
Jaihind Anjali Kannada [27]
Hosa Prema Purana herself Kannada
2013 Maad Dad Lisa Malayalam
Director's Special Herself Kannada Special appearance in song "Kannalle eshottu kolltiya"
2014 Kalyanamasthu Radha Kannada
2015 Abhinetri Sharat Lata / Nanda Kannada Also producer[28]
Thippaji Circle Thippajji Kannada
2016 Kathe Chitrakathe Nirdeshana Puttanna Herself Kannada Guest appearance[29]
2017 Jilebi Jilebi Kannada Completed
2 Kempi Kannada Dubbed in Telugu as Dandupalyam 2
Hoovi Anjali Kannada Filming
Muthulakshmi Kannada Announced
As producer
Year Film Language Cast
2015 Abhinetri Kannada Pooja Gandhi

Awards and nominations

Awards won 2
Nominations 3


Year[a] Category Award Film Result
2008 Best Actress Suvarna Film Awards Krishna Won[30]
2009 Best Actress Filmfare Awards South Taj Mahal Nominated[31]
2013 Best Actress in a Negative Role South Indian International Movie Awards Dandupalya Won[32]
  1. ^ Refers to the year in which the ceremony was held.

Reality shows


  1. ^ "Sanjana rechristened as Pooja Gandhi". Indiaglitz. 10 April 2007. 
  2. ^ "Sriramulu steals star power from Yeddyurappa as Pooja Gandhi joins BSR Congress". indiatoday. 
  3. ^ "Bigg Boss: Pooja Gandhi, Master Anand enter finale". timesofindia. 
  4. ^ "Pooja Gandhi takes a plunge into politics, formally joins JD(S)". Filmibeat. 19 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Pooja Gandhi to fight elections". The Times of India. 
  6. ^ "Pooja Gandhi loses election". The Times of India. 
  7. ^ "Pooja Gandhi Is Now Dr Pooja Gandhi". Chitraloka. 11 November 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Mischievous to spiritual with movies in between". Times of India. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "". Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Actor Pooja Gandhi breaks up with fiance". 19 December 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Super Admin (29 July 2009). "Pooja Gandhi debuting in Bollywood movie". Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "'Mungaru Male' National record". Correspondent. IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  13. ^ Mungaru Male in Telugu. Retrieved on 2016-02-15.
  14. ^ "Premer Kahini - ScreenIndia.Com". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  15. ^ Imran, Ranbir in 'Mungaru Male' Bolly remake. (1970-01-01). Retrieved on 2016-02-15.
  16. ^ Gokula is a treat to watch. (2009-11-27). Retrieved on 2016-02-15.
  17. ^ Malani, Gaurav (29 April 2011). "I AM: Movie Review". Times of India. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Review Of I Am". Film Street Journal. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Vidya Balan wins National Award for 'The Dirty Picture'". The Times Of India. 
  20. ^ "Dandupalya dubbed version a hit". The Times of India. 31 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "Pooja Gandhi's Dandupalya is now Karimedu in Tamil". 9 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Movie review: 'Karimedu' – spine chilling, realistic". Indo-Asian News Service. 24 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Pooja Gandhi to make Tulu movie debut". The Hindu. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "Actress Pooja Gandhi joins JDS". Mangalore Today. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Karnataka polls: Actress Pooja Gandhi badly flops in Raichur". 8 May 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  26. ^ Srinidhi, Sharadha (26 July 2009). "Looking forward to meet Ramya: Radhika". Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  27. ^ "Pooja Gandhi turns patriotic in 'Jai Hind' | Film Reviews". 12 November 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  28. ^ "The rise and fall of an actress". 1 February 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  29. ^ "Pooja Gandhi returns to the big screen". The Times of India. 28 December 2015. 
  30. ^ "Suvarna Awards". Deccan Herald. 
  31. ^ Srinidhi, Sharadha (26 July 2009). "Looking forward to meet Ramya: Radhika". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  32. ^ "South Indian International Movie Awards". The Hindu. 

External links