Kajal Kiran (born as Sunita Kulkarni, also credited as Kaajal Kiran) is a former Indian actress and model, who appeared primarily in Hindi films, as well as acting in Malayalam, Kannada, and Tamil films. Kiran made her debut in 1977, and promptly established herself as a stable actress in Hindi cinema. She appeared in over 40 films throughout her career, with Kiran playing supporting roles in a majority of them, occasionally playing the heroine or making guest appearances.
October 18, 1958
|Other names||Kaajal Kiran|
|Education||St. Joseph’s High School, Mumbai, India|
|Relatives||Ravi Kulkarni (brother)|
Kiran was born and raised in Mumbai, to a middle class Marathi family. She was raised alongside her brother, Ravi Kulkarni. She did her schooling at St. Joseph's High School, where she mainly studied physics and biology, following her original dream to become a doctor.
Kiran made her film debut in 1977, when she was chosen by director Nasir Hussain to play the lead in his romantic comedy Hum Kisise Kum Naheen as Kajal Kisharina, the heroine of Rishi Kapoor (later in the film, as the heroine of Tariq). She also worked with actors and actresses Amjad Khan and Zeenat Aman. The film ended up to be a major box-office success, hitting the third highest-grossing movie of the year. It was marked as a classic film, and gained a cult following. The role shot Kiran to stardom, marking her official debut in the film industry, with her receiving much fame.
Following the success of the film, Kiran had then pursued her career and continued acting. She’d soon began to get more movie offers, and in 1980 starred as the lead role in Maang Bharo Sajana as Geeta Sinha, the heroine to Jeetendra, who played a double role, and starred alongside Rekha and Moushumi Chatterjee. The film turned to be a commercial success, turning to be the eighth highest grossing film of its year. She also appeared in the Ramsay Brothers horror film Saboot in the same year, as Kaajal. In contrast to the success of her previous films, Saboot turned to underperform at the box-office, grossing merely ₹1.2 crore. She also made her first guest appearance as a dancer in the film Morchha, in the popular song "Ab Ki Baras." In 1981, Kiran then played the heroine to Mithun Chakraborty in the spy-thriller film Wardaat, and in the Bollywood-film Hum Se Badkar Kaun. The films were reported both as successful hits at the box-office, further boosting Kiran's credibility and career.
Kiran later starred in the Bollywood-action film Hum Se Hai Zamana in 1983 as Chutki, the heroine to Amjad Khan. She’d once again worked with Mithun Chakraborty and Zeenat Aman, and worked with the actress Kim and the actor Danny Denzongpa. In spite of the credible cast, the film was a box-office bomb, but became popular later for its songs. In the same year, she had also starred in the feature-film Karate as Geeta, working again alongside Mithun, and in the feature-film Lalach. Both films were box-office failures. The year before, she'd starred in Kannada-film Sahasa Simha, her first movie to be in a language other than Hindi.
Kiran continued to work in films, hitting mainly average grossers and failures. However, Kiran was able to bounce back. In 1984, she starred in the Malayalam film Uyarangalil as Devi Menon, starring alongside Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu, and Rahman. The film was her second time she starred in a Malayalam film, with her starring in the film Chakkarayumma earlier that year. With Chakkarayumma being a commercial disappointment along with a number of her films previously flopping, Kiran’s career began to fluctuate. Uryangalil turned to be a critical box-office hit, and was declared a cult classic and a superhit film.
In the next year, Kiran had made guest and cameo appearances in a few films, including Andar Baahar, in which she’d worked with Danny Denzongpa and Kim once again. She was cast in the lead role in the Tamil language film Bandham, along Sivaji Ganesan. In spite of the film being a box-office failure, it helped Kiran show her versatility. Later that year, she then was cast as Banu in the film Aandhi-Toofan, along Hema Malini and the late Shashi Kapoor. The film had turned to be one of the highest grossing films of the year, and was a commercial hit at the box-office, further helping Kiran’s career.
In 1986, Kiran‘s first role of the year was in the supporting character Savitri, starring with the late actress Sridevi and once again starring with Jeetendra in the film Ghar Sansar. The film was a success at the box-office, and turned to be one of the highest grossing films of that year. She starred in two other films that year, Daku Bijlee and as Shobha in Inteqam Ki Aag, in which both turned out to be commercial disappointments.
In the year following, Kiran only starred in one film. She starred as Saroj in the film Muqaddar Ka Faisla with Raaj Kumar and Rakhee. The film was a failure at the box office. The majority of her films in this period turned to be box-office bombs, which led to Kiran’s career begin to heavily fluctuate. Eventually, Kiran retired the film industry in 1990, in order to focus on her marriage with her spouse. Kiran’s last five films, Deewane, Qurbani Rang Layegi, Rajoo Dada, and Aakhri Sanghursh, were released in the years following her retirement.
While Kiran was shooting for Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, the director, Nasir Hussain, had told her not to sign any further films until after the film was released, and the results were seen. Due to this, other directors and producers had not approached her for films due to them being under the belief that a contract had been in place between Kiran and Hussain. She’d lost chances for films such as Balika Badhu and Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se, which went on to be critically and commercially successful. Kiran never commented or discussed on the misunderstandings.
Kiran kept a low profile throughout her career, and never revealed much of her private life.
Kiran later married to a spouse whose identity she did not disclose, and promptly moved to the Netherlands following her retirement in 1990. Since her retirement, she has not been seen in public. It has been reported that Kiran now has two children.
|1977||Hum Kisise Kum Naheen||Kajal Kisharina||Hindi||Debut film|
|1980||Maang Bharo Sajana||Geeta Sinha||Hindi|
|1980||Saajan Mere Main Saajan Ki||Hindi|
|1981||Hum Se Badkar Kaun||Kajri||Hindi|
|1981||Bhula Na Dena||Hindi|
|1982||Sahasa Simha||Kannada||First Kannada film|
|1982||Hum Paagal Premee||Hindi|
|1982||Maine Jeena Seekh Liya||Lajjo||Hindi|
|1982||Jeeo Aur Jeene Do||Hindi|
|1983||Ek Baar Chale Aao||Priya||Hindi|
|1983||Hum Se Hai Zamana||Chutki||Hindi|
|1984||Chakkarayumma||Vineetha Mathews||Malayalam||First Malayalam film|
|1984||Mohabbat Ka Masiha||Hindi|
|1984||Ram Tera Desh||Guest Dancer||Hindi|
|1985||Maujaan Dubai Diyaan||Guest Dancer||Hindi|
|1985||Bhago Bhut Aaya||Manorama's niece||Hindi|
|1985||Bandham||Tamil||First Tamil film|
|1985||Ee Lokam Evide Kure Manushyar||Jameela||Malayalam|
|1985||Do Dilan Ki Dastaan||Aarti Verma||Hindi|
|1985||Mujhe Kasam Hai||Hindi|
|1985||Main Khilona Nahin||Hindi|
|1986||Inteqam Ki Aag||Shobha||Hindi|
|1987||Muqaddar Ka Faisla||Saroj||Hindi|
|1989||Aurat Aur Patthar||Hindi|
|1991||Deewane||Hindi||Released after her retirement|
|1991||Qurbani Rang Layegi||Chutki||Hindi||Released after her retirement|
|1992||Rajoo Dada||Hindi||Released after her retirement|
|1997||Aakhri Sanghursh||Hindi||Released after her retirement|
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