Kajol Mukherjee was born August 5, 1974, in Mumbai, India. The daughter of prominent Bollywood actors Tanuja and Shomu Mukherjee, Kajol followed in her parents’ footsteps at the age of 16 when she landed a role in Bekhudi (1992). The critically acclaimed film was a perfect jumping start for her young career and Kajol returned to the big screen the following year in the heart-stopping thriller Baazigar (1993).
After starring in a number of other Bollywood productions, Kajol scored her first big hit in 1995 in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, a romantic film about second-generation Indians living in Britain. In addition to netting her a Filmfare Best Actress Award, the well-received film also elevated Kajol to among Bollywood’s elite. Up next was Minsaara Kanavu (1997), a romantic musical that won Kajol her second Filmfare Best Actress Award.
Kajol’s unstoppable streak continued the following year when she won Best Actress honors from the Filmfare Awards and the Zee Cine Awards for her surprisingly dark role in Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997), a pulse-pounding film about a man who is falsely accused of murder.
By this time, it was clear to media and fans alike that Kajol had hit her stride and she picked up Best Actress honors from the Star Screen Awards for her role in Dushman (1998), in which she played twin sisters Sonia and Naina Saigal. “I wasn’t too much in for playing a double role, but the idea was very different that I have two getups,” she said at the time. “In one of the roles, I have short hair and the other I am my usual.”
1999 brought even more accolades as Kajol received best actress honors from the Filmfare Awards, the Zee Cine Awards, the Aashirwad Awards, the Bollywood Awards, and the Sansui Viewers’ Choice Awards for her incredible performance in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. The heartwarming film cleaned up at the box office, going on to become one of Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Kajol also kept the tabloids busy that year when she married fellow Bollywood star Ajay Devgan on February 24, 1999.
Being in love changed Kajol’s priorities and she shocked the industry in 2001 when she retired in order to start a family. Sadly, her first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage, but she had more luck in April 2003 when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Nysa.
Kajol returned to the big screen in 2006 in Fanaa, an engaging film about a woman who ventures into the world on her own for the very first time.