08 October, 2010
Kajol made her acting debut in the film Bekhudi (1992) and had her first commercial success with her second film Baazigar (1993) along with Shahrukh Khan, with whom she would deliver some of Bollywood’s biggest hits, like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) ,Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and My Name is Khan (2010). Her performances in all three of these films were praised and earned her three Filmfare Best Actress Awards. After the successful Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001, she took a sabbatical from full time acting for five years. She made a comeback with Kunal Kohli's Fanaa (2006), for which she received her fourth Filmfare Best Actress Award. She is married to fellow Indian actor Ajay Devgan
Kajol left her school St. Josephs convent at Panchgani and started her career at the age of seventeen. Although her debut film, Bekhudi (1992) was a box office failure, her performance was noticed and she went on to work with big production houses in India.
In 1993, she shot to fame with her second film, Baazigar. The film was her first major hit, and her pairing with Shahrukh Khan was appreciated. She later went on to make a popular pairing with him in a number of films, all of which were box office successes.
Her first release in 1994, Udhaar Ki Zindagi, was a box-office failure. Despite that, her performance in the film was much appreciated by critics, and she won the BFJA Best Actress Award for her performance. She next starred in her first Yash Raj Film, the romantic drama Yeh Dillagi, co-starring Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan. The film was a box office success and her performance as Sapna, a strong dreamy girl who leaves her paternal home to make her own life in the big city, earned her a first nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards.
The year 1995 proved to be very successful for Kajol, as she went on to star in two of the year's biggest hits. Her first release was Rakesh Roshan's Karan Arjun. The film, which dealt with reincarnation, became the second biggest hit of the year. While her next three releases that year failed at the box office, her last release, Aditya Chopra's directorial debut, the romance Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, was not only the biggest hit of that year, but one of Hindi cinema's biggest hits. In 2008, the film entered its twelfth year in Mumbai theaters, grossing over 12 billion rupees overall, making it one of the biggest blockbusters in Bollywood. Kajol's performance in the film was praised, and she received her first Filmfare Best Actress Award.
Kajol had only one release in 1996, Bambai Ka Babu, opposite Saif Ali Khan, which was a box office failure.
In 1997, Kajol starred in Gupt: The Hidden Truth. Co-starring actors Bobby Deol and Manisha Koirala, the film was one of the highest grossing films of that year. Apart from that, her performance was a significant development for female actors in Bollywood; she was the first female actor to win the Filmfare Best Villain Award. Her next film release that year was Hamesha. Like Karan Arjun, the film dealt with the topic of reincarnation. However, unlike the latter, it failed at the box office. She next starred in her first Tamil film, Minsaara Kanavu. The film was a major critical success and Kajol won her first Best Actress award at the Filmfare Awards South ceremony. Her final release of that year was the romantic-comedy Ishq, where she was paired with her then future husband, Ajay Devgan. It performed well at the box office.
Kajol had further success in 1998, as she was the main lead starred in three of the year's biggest hits. She first starred opposite Salman Khan in the comedy Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya. The film was the fourth highest grossing film of the year. Her next release, Dushman alongside Sanjay Dutt, did moderately well at the box office. She had a double role in the film, and won her first Star Screen Award for Best Actress for her performance. She next starred opposite Ajay Devgan in the romance Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, which was the second biggest hit of that year. However, her biggest success that year came with her last release, Karan Johar's directorial debut, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which went on to become the biggest hit of the year in both India and overseas. She won her second Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance.
Kajol's first release in 1999 was the drama film Dil Kya Kare. She played the supporting role of Nandita Rai, which was well received. She had a hit with her second release, the family drama Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain. Starring alongside Anil Kapoor, Kajol received another Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare.
She had an unsuccessful year in 2000, as her only release that year, Raju Chacha went unnoticed.
Kajol had only two films released in 2001. She first played a double role in the drama Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi, which was a commercial failure. However, she reinvented her success in her second venture with Karan Johar, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, which was one of the biggest hits of the year, and for which she won several Best Actress awards, including her third Filmfare Best Actress Award and her second Star Screen Award for Best Actress. Critic Taran Adarsh, wrote of her performance in the film, "Kajol is first-rate in the role of a typical Chandni Chowk lass. Her Punjabi dialect will win her immense praise. The sequence when she seeks Amitabh's aashirwad, without him knowing about it, is terrific." Following the success of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kajol took a sabbatical from full time acting for five years. She gave birth to her daughter Nysa in 2003.
She made a successful comeback in 2006 with Kunal Kohli's drama Fanaa, one of the highest grossing films of the year. Portraying a blind Kashmiri girl who falls in love with a Kashmiri terrorist (played by Aamir Khan) in the film, she won her fourth Filmfare Best Actress Award, which placed her at par with Meena Kumari and Madhuri Dixit, each of whom holds 4 Best Actress awards from Filmfare. (Kajol's late aunt, Nutan currently holds the record for five such awards.)
U, Me aur Hum, which released on 11 April 2008, marked her husband Ajay Devgan's directorial debut. The film performed moderately at the box office and Kajol was critically praised for her sensitive portrayal as an Alzheimer patient. For her performance in the film, she received her tenth Filmfare Best Actress Award nomination. Raja Sen wrote in his review, ""... Kajol ... can span through happy-breezy with her eyes closed, and so the first half doesn't even pose her a challenge, but when Alzheimer's strikes Piya and she begins to forget all that matters in her life, Kajol raises the bar strikingly high."
Kajol was recently seen in Karan Johar's new movie My Name Is Khan, which is based on a true story, against the backdrop of perceptions on Islam post 11 September. Filming commenced in December 2008 in Los Angeles and ended in October 2009. Upon release, the film received positive reviews from critics and became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time in the overseas market. Kajol's portrayal of a single mother was well-received with Rajeev Masand writing, "Bringing emotional depth to what is essentially Rizwan's story, Kajol is immensely likeable as Mandira, using her eyes to convey volumes, topping the performance off with a powerful breakdown scene that literally puts her through the wringer."
She next starred alongside Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in We Are Family, an Indian adaptation of the Hollywood movie Stepmom (1998). Directed by Siddharth Malhotra, the feature received pre-dominantly positive reviews and Kajol's performance of a terminally ill mother was praised by critics. Her forthcoming film, Toonpur Ka Superhero, a live-action/animated film, is due for release in December 2010.