Kajol, born August 5, 1974 is an Indian film actress, who predominantly works in Hindi cinema. Born into the Mukherjee-Samarth family, she is the daughter of actress Tanuja Samarth and filmmaker Shomu Mukherjee. She did her education at a boarding school named, St. Joseph’s Convent School. At this time, she also participated in extra-curricular activities such as dancing. At the age of sixteen, she began work on Rahul Rawail’s film Bekhudi. She initially intended to return to school after shooting the film during her summer vacations. However, she eventually dropped out of school to pursue a full time career in film. Therefore, Kajol made her acting debut at the age of seventeen in the 1992 romantic drama Bekhudi alongside debutante Kamal Sadanaha and her mother Tanuja, who also played the role of her mother. Although this film turned out to be a box office flop, Kajol’s performance was noticed as she was signed for Baazigar, a thriller by Abbas-Mustan. This film, unlike her last, emerged as a major commercial success and the fourth highest-grossing film of the year. This film also marked the first of her many collaborations with co-star Shah Rukh Khan. Kajol’s next film was the 1994 melodrama Udhaar Ki Zindagi. The film failed to do well at the box office, however, Kajol’s performance earned her the BFJA Award for Best Actress. She then gained wider public recognition for her role in Yash Raj Film’s hit romantic drama Yeh Dillagi, starring alongside Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan. The success of this film proved to be a breakthrough for Kajol, and she received her first Best Actress nomination at the annual Filmfare Awards. Then, in 1995, Kajol starred in two major commercial successes. These were RAkesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun and iAditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge – both opposite Shah Rukh Khan. The former was a melodramatic thriller. The film eventually emerged as the second-highest-grossing film of the year in India. Her next three releases that year were Taawat, Hulchul and Gundaraj. These three films failed to do well commercially. Hulchul and Gundaraj were her earliest collaborations with her future-husband, the actor Ajay Devg. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was her final release of that year and was not only the biggest commercial success of 1995, but was also one of the most successful films of all time in India. The film, which earned a worldwide gross of ₹1.23 billion (US$17 million) at the time of release, has been continuously running in Mumbai ever since. This film was such a success, it won ten Filmfare Awards and Kajol’s performance earned her her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress. In 2005, Indiatimes Movies ranked the movie amongst the 25 Must See Bollywood Films. She then went on to earn widespread success throughout 1997 and 1998 with the release of films such as, Gupt: The Hidden Truth. For this film, Kajol became the first actress to be nominated and win the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role. After several successful films that year, Kajol married Ajay Devgun in 1999 and stopped appearing in as many films after that. In 1999, however, she accepted a role in the film Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham… which became a blockbuster in India and the top grossing Indian production of all time in the overseas market until 2006. After that, she took a long break and reappeared in films such as Fanaa, U Me Aur Hum, My Name is Khan, etc. More recently, she appeared in the highly successful films, Dilwale, Helicopter Eela, and Tanhaji.
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