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Karisma Kapoor

Karisma Kapoor
Kapoor in 2013
Born Karishma Kapoor
(1974-06-25) 25 June 1974 [1][2]
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Actress
Years active 1991–2003, 2008-12
Spouse(s) Sanjay Kapur (2003–14; separated)[3]
Children 2
Parent(s) Randhir Kapoor
Relatives Kareena Kapoor Khan (sister)
See Kapoor family

Karisma Kapoor 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.[4] Vogue states that in the past decade, Kapoor has become a nationally recognized style icon.[5] Kapoor ranked first on Box Office India's "Top 5 Actresses of 1990-1999".[6]

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 Sanjay 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 1
  • Career 2
    • Debut and early work (1991–1995) 2.1
    • Stardom (1996–2002) 2.2
    • Sabbatical (2003–2010) 2.3
    • Recent work (2011–present) 2.4
  • Personal life 3
  • Stage performances 4
  • Other work 5
    • Philanthropy 5.1
    • Endorsements 5.2
  • Filmography 6
    • Selected filmography 6.1
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life and background

Kapoor with her mother Babita Shivdasani and sister Kareena Kapoor.

Kapoor was bornin Mumbai to Randhir Kapoor, an actor popular during the 1970s and 80s, and actress Babita. She is the grand daughter of actor and filmmaker Raj Kapoor, great-granddaughter of actor Prithviraj Kapoor, grand-niece of actors Shashi Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, sister of actress Kareena Kapoor, niece of actors Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, and Rajiv Kapoor, first cousin of actor Ranbir Kapoor and second cousin of actress Sasha Agha.[7][8] She is of Punjabi descent on her father's side;[9][10][11] on her mother’s side she is of Sindhi[12] and British descent.[13] Kapoor studied at the Cathedral and John Connon School, and later studied in Sophia College for a few months.[14]


Debut and early work (1991–1995)

Karishma Kapoor made her debut in the 1991 movie Prem Qaidi. Although most of her multiple releases from 1992–1995 failed to do well at the box office, she had some success.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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 300.1 million (US$4.5 million).[18] 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.[19]

Most of Kapoor's films released in 1994–6 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$6.8 million). she appeared in Khuddar alongside Govinda and Andaz alongside Anil Kapoor both of which were moderately successful at the box office.[20] 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.[21] Later that year, she appeared in Suhaag co-starring Akshay Kumar Suhaag was a moderate box-office success in India.[22]

In 1995, Kapoor appeared in romantic comedy Coolie No. 1 the feature garnered good reviews and emerged as the highest-grossing Bollywood film grossing 910.6 million (US$14 million) in India.[23] Coolie No. 1 garnered a strong cult following, among Kapoor fans and movie buffs.[24]

Of her acting debut the actress says, "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 Karisma Kapoor 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 a 17-year-old credit for doing her job reasonably well".[25]

Stardom (1996–2002)

In 1996, Kapoor appeared in ten films. Five of them—Papi Gudia, Megha, Bal Bramhachari, Sapoot, Rakshak—were commercially unsuccessful.[26] Her next release was David Dhawan's romance Saajan Chale Sasural, co-starring Govinda and Tabu. Saajan Chale Sasural emerged as a commercial success.[27] For her fifth release, Kapoor was paired opposite Suneil Shetty in S. Deepak's box-office hit Krishna.[28] Her next release was Raj Kanwar's Jeet alongside Salman Khan, Sunny Deol and Tabu, in which she played Kajal. Upon release, the film emerged as a commercial success.[29] 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[30] 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$72 million).[31] [32] Kapoor's final release of 1996 was Suneel Darshan's action Ajay, with Sunny Deol, Ajay was a financial success.[33] After Raja Hindustani she had become the highest-paid Indian actress to that point earning 12.5 million (equivalent to 33 million or US$500,000 in 2016) per film.[34]

In 1997, Kapoor appeared in five films. She first starred in the comedy Judwaa , followed by the comedy Hero No. 1 ; both of which were successful at the Indian box office.[35] Her subsequent releases that year included Mehul Kuma's action Lahu Ke Do Rang and Mehul Kumar's action-thriller Mrityudaata, both of which were unsuccessful at the Indian box office.[36][37] Her next release Kapoor played in Yash Chopra's Musical Romance and won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award and the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress.[38] She played in Dil To Pagal Hai opposite Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, a role she had initially turned down: "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".[39]

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. David Dhawan's comedy Biwi No.1 opposite Salman Khan became the biggest hit of the year, the film earned positive notices and several nominations, including for an Filmfare Awards for Best Film.[40] She proved to be successful with comedy films, as David Dhawan's another film Haseena Maan Jaayegi did fairly well at the box office.[41]

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).[42] Her last release, Jaanwar opposite Akshay Kumar, was another box office hit, making her the most successful actress of the year.[43]

In 2000, she won her second Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance in Khalid Mohammed's Fiza, the movie received critical acclaim.[44] The film emerged as a "semi hit" at the box-office with a worldwide gross of 87.80 crore (US$13 million).[45] 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."[46][47] described Kapoor "A multifaceted actress. Aishwarya Rai has not diminished her demand".[48] her next feature, Kapoor was cast as the protagonist of David Dhawan's Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, the film generated predominantly positive reviews and Kapoor was praised in particular.[49][49] Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge was a financial success with global revenues of 520.9 million (US$7.9 million).[50][51]

Kapoor featured in Box Office India's Top Actresses list for four consecutive years (1996–2000).[52]

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."[53] 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".[54] 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).[55] 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.[56][57]

Suneel Darshan's social drama Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love was Kapoor's next release. Co-starring Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar. The film became one of the biggest hits of the year.[58][59]

In 2002, she acted in Shakti - The Power. Kapoor's performance was applauded with critic Taran Adarsh writing, "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".[60] For her work, she earned several nominations in the Best Actress category. That same year Kapoor appeared in Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, despite performing poorly at the box office in India, the film proved to be a hit overseas.[61] Kapoor's final release of 2002 was Indra Kumar's action-thriller Rishtey, with Anil Kapoor and Shilpa Shetty. Kapoor portrayed the beautiful and wealthy Komal, a suffering mother. The film was declared a flop at box-office in India and overseas, with revenues of 22.07 crore (US$3.3 million)[62] but kapoor's performance received good reviews and Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama noted "the actress comes up with a sincere performance" [63]

In 2002, Kapoor first appeared on the Indian rich list published annually in the Business Review Weekly with an estimated net worth of 510 million (US$7.7 million).[64]

As of December 2003, Kapoor's movies have grossed more than 10 billion (US$150 million),[65] with 8 movies making more than 1 billion (US$15 million).[66]

Sabbatical (2003–2010)

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.[67] 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 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 (2011–present)

In 2011, Kapoor returned to movies in Vikram Bhatt's 2012 film Dangerous Ishhq.

Personal life

Kapoor, circa 2008, with her then husband, Sunjay Kapur.

Hailing from a Punjabi family[68] deeply involved in the Bollywood film industry, Kapoor had dropped out of school after her sixth standard and started acting..

Kapoor was in a relationship with her Jigar co-star Ajay Devgan from 1992 till they broke up in 1995.[69] She got engaged to Abhishek Bacchan 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 born in 2005 and a son born in 2010. But the couple ended up in divorce in 2014[70]

Stage performances

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.

Other work


The Bollywood actress supports a number of charities and has been a goodwill ambassador for Pinkathon 2012 for breast cancer awareness.[71] In 2013, Kapoor participated in a campaign with Priyanka Chopra to highlight the rights of girls in India.[72]


Kapoor has endorsed brands including Kellogg's, Crescent Lawn, Admix Retail, and Danone.[73][74][75] She has also endorsed for an international skin care brand.[76] Kapoor is currently the face of international cosmetic and beauty brand Garnier Colour.[77]

She walked the runway for such designers as Manish Malhotra,[78] Arpita Mehta,[79] and Vikram Phadnis.[80]


Selected filmography


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External links

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