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Kajol: The Iconic Bollywood Actress

Full Name Kajol Mukherjee Devgan
Age 49 years
Birthday August 5, 1974
Birth Place Mumbai, India
Parents Tanuja (mother), Shomu Mukherjee (father)
Spouse Ajay Devgn (m. 1999-present)
Children 2 (Nysa, Yug)
First Movie Bekhudi (1992)
Notable Films
  • Baazigar
  • Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
  • Gupt
  • Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
  • Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
  • Fanaa
  • My Name Is Khan
Awards 6 Filmfare Awards, Padma Shri
Social Profiles Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Kajol is one of the most successful and beloved actresses in the history of Hindi cinema. In a career spanning over 25 years, she has delivered a wide array of unforgettable performances that charm, move and entertain audiences. Her infectious smile, sparkling eyes and effortless acting style make Kajol an absolute delight to watch on screen. She is an actress par excellence who pours her heart into every role – be it a bubbly young lover, strong-willed feminist or negative character. Let‘s explore the journey of this incredibly talented star who rules a million hearts.

Early Life

Kajol was born in Mumbai on August 5, 1974 into an illustrious film family. Her mother Tanuja was a popular lead actress of the 1960s and 70s. Her father Shomu Mukherjee was a producer and director. Sharmila Tagore and Nutan are her aunts while Rani Mukherjee is her cousin.

Given her pedigree, Kajol‘s entry into films was hardly surprising. But her parents insisted she complete her education first. After graduating from boarding school, Kajol enrolled in Jai Hind College to study Psychology. However, the lure of cinema was too strong. She dropped out in her Sophomore year to begin her acting career.

Making Her Acting Debut

In 1992, a fresh-faced 16-year old Kajol made her acting debut in Bekhudi opposite newcomer Kamal Sadanah. Unfortunately, the film sank without a trace. Undeterred by this setback, Kajol went on to sign Rahul Rawail‘s flop film Bekaraar. But success finally arrived in 1993 with Baazigar, where she starred alongside Shahrukh Khan.

As the sweet girl-next-door Priya, Kajol displayed her breezy charm and made an impression. But it was the all-time blockbuster Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) that catapulted her into superstardom. As the spunky but naive Simran, willing to risk it all for love, Kajol delivered a magnificent performance that won millions of hearts. This iconic role established her as one of the top actresses in Hindi cinema.

The Successful Heroine of the 90s

With DDLJ‘s record-breaking run, Kajol became the most bankable star of the 90s. She reigned supreme with a series of smash hits year after year. In 1996, she starred as the feisty sister of the title character in Dushman Duniya Ka and also made a charming cameo in Sooraj Barjatya‘s family drama Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.

Her next mega-success was Gupt (1997) – a gripping murder mystery where Kajol played the supportive girlfriend of Bobby Deol‘s character. She went on to deliver more hits like Ishq, Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha over the next couple of years. Kajol proved equally adept at comedy, romance and drama. Her lively screen presence made her the perfect Bollywood heroine.

But it was Karan Johar‘s directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) that remains one of her most iconic roles. As Anjali, the fun-loving tomboy hopelessly in love with her best friend Rahul (played by SRK), Kajol won audiences‘ hearts all over again with her endearing performance. Her electrifying chemistry with Shah Rukh was also a highlight.

Showcasing Her Dramatic Abilities

While excelling at light-hearted roles, Kajol also took on more serious parts over the years to highlight her skills as a dramatic actress.

In Dushman (1998), she played against type as Sonia, a psychotic killer. Her spine-chilling portrayal of an emotionally scarred woman out for vengeance earned her lavish praise. Kajol won the Filmfare Award for Best Villain for this role, proving her talent for negative characters.

In 2001, Kajol starred in Fanaa where she depicted the journey of a blind Kashmiri woman who falls for a terrorist. Her portrayal of a strong yet vulnerable woman willing to sacrifice her all for love was unanimously applauded. Kajol went on to win several Best Actress trophies for this role, including her record-breaking 4th Filmfare Award.

After taking a break post-marriage and motherhood in the 2000s, Kajol made an acclaimed comeback in 2010 with My Name Is Khan essaying the role of Mandira, an Indian Hindu woman married to an autistic Muslim man. Her sensitive and nuanced performance as the anchoring force in the relationship garnered appreciation from audiences and critics alike.

Awards and Accolades

With her extraordinary range and mass appeal as a heroine, Kajol has been showered with numerous honors over her illustrious career spanning 25+ years:

  • 6 Filmfare Awards for Best Actress, tying the record held by Nutan
  • Filmfare Award for Best Villain (Dushman)
  • 4 Screen Awards for Best Actress
  • 3 IIFA Awards for Best Actress
  • Listed in Box Office India‘s Top Actresses of all time
  • Featured in Rediff‘s Top Bollywood Actresses lists
  • Awarded the Padma Shri, India‘s fourth highest civilian honor in 2011
  • Madame Tussauds wax statue unveiled in 2017
  • Named by Times of India as Most Successful Actress of the 90s (2017)

Such accolades testify to Kajol‘s acting prowess, charisma and resilience that has made her amongst the most acclaimed actresses of all time in Hindi cinema.

Marriage with Ajay Devgn

Kajol‘s marriage to fellow actor Ajay Devgn in 1999 was one of the biggest events in Bollywood at the time. They had fallen in love while shooting for Gundaraj in 1995. Owing to their different religions and cultures, it was a controversial relationship. However, they overcame all odds to tie the knot in a traditional Maharashtrian ceremony on February 29, 1999.

The marriage marked the union of two hugely popular stars at the peak of their stardom. Kajol and Ajay went on to act together in several films like Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha, Raju Chacha, Tanhaji and more. Off-screen too, they proved their compatibility and built a stable family life centered around their two children – daughter Nysa and son Yug. In an industry where relationships struggle, Kajol-Ajay‘s marriage stood strong, celebrating its 23rd anniversary in 2022.

Sabbatical from Films

Post tying the knot, Kajol reduced her filming assignments, preferring to slow down and focus on her wedding. After the birth of daughter Nysa in 2003, she further minimized her workload, starring primarily in brief roles. From 2002 to 2006, she had no major release other than a cameo in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

But Kajol returned with a bang in 2006, playing a blind Kashmiri woman in Fanaa. Post Fanaa‘s success, she again went on hiatus for 3 years before staging a grand comeback opposite SRK in My Name Is Khan (2010). The role won her accolades and sixth Filmfare Best Actress trophy.

However, post MNIK, Kajol chose not to return to a hectic film career as before. Over the 2010s, she acted sporadically, preferring to devote time to her family and kids. Her last leading role so far has been the 2016 thriller Devi. In 2020, Kajol made her digital debut playing a frustrated Odissi dancer and single mother in Tribhanga, a Netflix family drama that earned her praise.

Despite her selective acting schedule later on, Kajol‘s magnetism, vivacity and acting brilliance in her heyday of the 1990s make her an eternal Bollywood icon.

Why Fans Love Kajol

Kajol holds a special place in the hearts of fans due to the following qualities:

Her girl next door appeal: Unlike other stars, Kajol exudes an approachable charm and down-to-earth nature both on and off-screen that makes her relatable.

Her effortless acting: Kajol is a natural star who gets into the skin of characters seamlessly. Her emotional investment in roles is apparent through her authentic performances.

Her bubbly charm: With her cheerful demeanor, expressive eyes and glowing smile, Kajol infuses positive energy into every scene she is in. Her joie de vivre makes her delightful to watch.

Her versatility: From romantic dramas to psychotic killers to devoted mothers, Kajol has essayed incredibly diverse roles over the years – testament to her range as a performer.

Her on-screen chemistry with SRK: As the most iconic on-screen pair of the 90s opposite Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol delivered some magical romantic moments that fans reminisce fondly.

Kajol‘s lively charm and relatable appeal coupled with acting brilliance make her one of Bollywood‘s most beloved stars spanning generations of movie buffs.

Interesting Facts About Kajol

  • Kajol is a voracious reader and a huge fan of Sydney Sheldon novels. Her favorite books are ‘The Other Side of Midnight‘ and ‘Tell Me Your Dreams‘.
  • She is a foodie at heart with Chinese cuisine being her absolute favorite.
  • Kajol is a trained Manipuri dancer, having learnt the classical dance form from her mother Tanuja as a child.
  • She is deeply spiritual and practices meditation daily. Kajol also undertakes annual pilgrimages to shrines like Vaishno Devi.
  • Apart from Hindi, she speaks English, Bengali, Marathi and Tamil fluently.
  • Kajol married Ajay Devgn twice – privately in 1999 and then again in a traditional Bengali ceremony in 2001.
  • Her first ever award was the Filmfare Award won for DDLJ in 1995. She went on to win 5 more Best Actress trophies.
  • She is extremely close to her sister Tanishaa. They share a tattoo that says ‘sisters are forever’.
  • Kajol was honored with a Padma Shri award in 2011 for her contribution to Indian cinema.
  • She is obsessed with sunglasses and owns over 1000 pairs! Kajol hardly steps out without her trademark shades.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Kajol’s birthday?

Kajol was born on August 5, 1974. She turns 49 in 2023.

What is Kajol‘s full name?

Kajol‘s full name is Kajol Mukherjee Devgan. Mukherjee comes from her Maharashtrian father‘s side while Devgan is her husband Ajay Devgn‘s surname.

Where was Kajol born?

Kajol was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra in India. She was raised in the suburb of Santa Cruz in Mumbai.

Who are Kajol‘s parents?

Kajol‘s parents are actress Tanuja and film director Shomu Mukherjee. Her mother Tanuja was a popular lead actress in the 60s and 70s.

Is Kajol related to Rani Mukerji?

Yes, Kajol and Rani Mukerji are first cousins. Their mothers Tanuja and Krishna Mukherjee are sisters.