Khushbu Sundar (born Nakhat Khan; 29 September 1970) is an Indian actress, politician, film producer, and television presenter. Predominantly known for her work in the South Indian film industry, she has appeared in more than 200 films. She has received three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards[3] and one Kerala State Film Award – Special Mention. She has also been conferred with Kalaimamani award by the Tamil Nadu government.

Kushboo BH (cropped).jpg
Khushbu at an event
Personal details
Nakhat Khan[1][2]

(1970-09-29) 29 September 1970 (age 50)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party (2020–present)
Other political
Indian National Congress (2014–2020),
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (2010–2014)
Spouse(s)Sundar C
Domestic partnerPrabhu Ganesan
  • Actress
  • film producer
  • politician
  • television presenter

Personal lifeEdit

Khushbu was born as Nakhat Khan on 29 September 1970 into a Muslim family in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.[4][1] Her parents gave her the stage name Khushbu when she started her career as a child actress.[4] She has been living in Chennai for 36 years.[5][6]

She dated actor Prabhu while filming the block buster movie Chinna Thambi (1991). They had been in a live-in relationship for four and half years.[7][8] Sivaji Ganesan, father of Prabhu, strictly opposed their relationship and finally Khushbu and Prabhu decided to break up their relationship and ended it within four months.[9]

In 2000, she married film actor, director and producer Sundar C.[10] She has been using the married name Khushbu Sundar since then.[2] They have two daughters, Avantika and Anandita,[7] after whom they named their production house, Avni Cinemax.

Film careerEdit

Child artistEdit

Khushbu started her career as a child artist in the Hindi film The Burning Train (1980) in the song "Teri Hai Zameen Tera Aasman". Between 1980 and 1985 she performed as a child actor in the Hindi films Naseeb, Laawaris, Kaalia,[11] Dard Ka Rishta, and Bemisal.

Her Pari/Fairy song "Main Pariyon Ki Shehzaadi" from Dard Ka Rishta, a 1982 Hindi movie, was very successful and is still a highly popular song at annual Day School performances, children's parties and Pari/Fairy themed parties in India.[7]


Khushbu, in the film Meri Jung (1985), danced with Javed Jaffrey in his first dancing role on screen in the super-hit song "Bol Baby Bol, Rock'n Roll".

Khushbu played her first main lead in Jaanoo (1985), opposite Jackie Shroff. She also starred in Tan-Badan (1986), opposite Govinda, which was the first lead role for Govinda.

Khushbu played a significant supporting role in Deewana Mujh Sa Nahin (1990), which also starred Aamir Khan and Madhuri Dixit. Her solo dance number "Sare Ladkon Ki Kar Do Shaadi" had become a major hit, and is still popular at "Ladies Sangeet" and marriage functions across North India. After that, she has mostly been working in South Indian film industries.

South Indian moviesEdit

Khushbu was introduced to South Indian screens through the Telugu film Kaliyuga Pandavulu (1986), opposite Venkatesh. She then moved her base to Chennai and started focusing on Tamil and other South Indian film industries. She has acted in more than 150 films after moving to the South.[12] She has appeared opposite actors such as Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Vijayakanth, Sarath kumar, Chiranjeevi, Vishnuvardhan, Ambareesh, Tiger Prabhakar, Ravichandran, Suresh Gopi, Sathyaraj and Prabhu.

  • She has mainly acted in Tamil films and became a leading actress in that industry. She has performed in more than 100 Tamil films.
  • Apart from Tamil films, she has also acted in various Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu films.
  • In Malayalam, she has acted in many films with Mammotty, Mohanlal, Jayaram and Dileep, notably Uncle Bun, Vrudhanmare Sookshikkuka, Independence, Manathe Kottaram, Kaiyoppu (Kerala State Special Jury Award) and also recently, Mr Marumakan.
  • In Kannada, she has acted in many films with Ravichandran, notably Ranadheera (1987), Anjada Gandu, Shanthi Kranthi and Yugapurusha. She has acted in Gagana Aunty Preetse. and Jeevanadhi.
  • In Telugu, she has acted in many films, mainly opposite Venkatesh and Nagarjuna.


Temple built for KhushbuEdit

During her peak, Khushbu was the leading actress of Tamil cinema. She became the first and only Indian actress for whom her fans built a dedicated temple.[13][14][11]

Involvement with Australian FootballEdit

Khushbu and sprinter Usain Bolt are honorary members of Richmond Football Club, based in Melbourne, Australia.[15] Khushbu was made the number-one ticket holder of Richmond Football Club in 2016, and was the number-one female ticket holder in 2017. She is the first Indian celebrity, and the only Indian female to be bestowed with such an honour in the AFL.[16][17]

Khushbu was introduced to Australian Rules Football by former Ministerial Adviser Nitin Gupta. She had agreed to help promote AFL Football in India after taking a guided tour of the Richmond Football Club.[18][19] This offer was a goodwill gesture to further strengthen Australia–India relations.[20]

Food dishes, products named after KhushbuEdit

During her peak in Tamil cinema, many dishes in Tamil Nadu were named after Khushbu. Kushboo Idli, a rice cake, was the most popular food item named after the actress.[21] Kushboo Jhumki, Kushboo Sarees, Kushboo Sharbet, Kushboo Coffee, Kushboo Cocktails and various other food items were named after her. Many items still retain those names.[22]

Offer to promote Little Indias in MelbourneEdit

Khushbu has offered to help in the promotion of Little India cultural precincts in Melbourne by becoming its Brand Ambassador.[23]


Khushbu joined the DMK on 14 May 2010. She was welcomed by DMK Leader Karunanidhi at the party headquarters in Chennai.[24][25] Khushbu quit DMK on 16 June 2014.[26] Khushbu joined the Indian National Congress on 26 November 2014 after meeting with then Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, and then Vice-President Mr. Rahul Gandhi. She was the National Spokesperson of the INC.[27] She resigned from Congress on 12 October 2020,[28] and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party same day[29] ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in 2021.[30]

2021 Tamil Nadu assembly electionEdit

The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Khushbu for the 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election from Thousand Lights constituency in Chennai.[31][32] She lost the election by a margin of 32200 votes to Ezhilan N of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.[33]

Elections Constituency Party Result Vote percentage Opposition Candidate Opposition Party Opposition vote percentage
2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election Thousand Lights BJP Lost 28.99 Ezhilan N DMK 52.87

Social issuesEdit

Opposition by Hindutva groupsEdit

Kushbu created a controversy in December 2012 when she wore a saree which had images of Hindu gods of Ram, Krishna and Hanuman. The Hindu Makkal Katchi demanded her for an apology and threatened to start agitations. She responded by saying that "I am not going to answer every Tom, Dick and Harry. Why should I? There is no need at all. Why are they worried about what a woman sports. Don't they have any other worthwhile work?".[34]

The Hindu Munnani and the Hindu Makkal Katchi filed several cases against kushbu for accusing the actress that she had disrespected Hindu gods by sitting cross-legged with her slippers in front of the idols of Goddesses Lakshmi, Sarswathy and Parvathy during 'pooja' for the muhurat at Chennai on 22 November 2007.[35][36]

Support for jallikattuEdit

Khushbu has been a very vocal supporter of the bull-taming sport jallikattu, and has voiced her opinion at various national and international platforms.[37] She even visited a cattle station in Warrnambool, Australia to get a better understanding of how cattle is treated and raised on farms outside India.

Comments on pre-marital sexEdit

In 2005, she said in an interview it was fine for girls to indulge in pre-marital sex if they safeguard themselves and take precautions to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Later, she justified her statement by saying no educated man could expect his partner to be a virgin. Dalit Panthers of India stormed the office of the South India Film Artistes' Association in Chennai demanding an apology from her. The Pattali Makkal Katchi said it will protest outside her house.[38] 22 complaints that she was "defaming Tamil womanhood and chastity" were brought against her, but in 2010 the Supreme Court dismissed all cases.[39][40]

Accusations against IFFM, MelbourneEdit

In August 2017, Khushbu accused Mitu Bhowmick Lange, the tender provider and director of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) of discriminating against non-Hindi films and film stars.[41]

Khushbu has been very vocal about getting more recognition for South Indian cinema, and the non-Hindi cinema from India on global platforms and film festivals. She has always maintained that Indian cinema is not just about Bollywood movies.

Maxim morphed photo caseEdit

In January 2006, in their first Indian edition,[42] Maxim magazine featured a full-page composite photograph with her head pasted onto the body of a model wearing a bikini. Khushbu filed two complaints: defamation and the indecent representation of women against the editor and 4 others involved with the magazine.[43][44][45] The proceedings were later stayed by the Madras High Court in December 2007 based on a plea filed by one of those charged.[46]



  1. ^ a b "Actor-politician Khushbu Sundar silences trolls for 'discovering' she is Muslim – '47 yrs late'!". 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "'Yes, I'm Nakhat Khan': Khushbu changes name on Twitter, slays trolls". The News Minute. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  3. ^ "1997 Highlights". Dinakaran. Archived from the original on 1 May 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Andheri to Akbar Road via Madras: The many turns of Khushbu's personal life and politics". The News Minute. 1 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Happy Birthday Kushboo: Star's personal photos you may have missed". News18.
  6. ^ "'Yes, I'm Nakhat Khan': Khushbu changes name on Twitter, slays trolls". The News Minute. 26 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b c S, Ramathan (1 March 2016). "Andheri to Akbar Road via Madras: The many turns of Khushbu's personal life and politics". The Newsminute. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Kushboo unplugged". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Heroines who fell for their directors". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Who is Khushboo?". 28 April 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  12. ^ Harikumar, Subramanian (29 September 2014). "Happy Birthday, Khushbu!". Bollywood Life. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Khushboo: I was scared when fans erected my temple". Kolly Talk. 10 February 2011. Archived from the original on 24 July 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Khushboo: She's mother goddess now". The Times of India. 23 April 2001. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  15. ^ Sun, The Indian (1 March 2017). "Bolt and Khushboo back the Richmond Tigers – The Indian Sun".
  16. ^ "What do Khushbu and Usain Bolt have in common? Footy!". 4 March 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Alex Rance named All-Australian AFL Captain". The Indian Sun. 7 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Damien Hardwick wins Coach of the Season". The Indian Sun. 27 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Kushboo finds film inspiration on the Great Ocean Road". 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  20. ^ "Baillieu, Khushbu join 43rd Janmasthmi Celebrations at Albert Park". The Indian Sun. 21 August 2017.
  21. ^ "WOW Jacquelien meets Khushbu". Bollywood Hungama. 30 September 2017.
  22. ^ Anantharam, Chitra Deepa (7 November 2017). "Khushbu and her love for South Indian Cuisine". The Hindu.
  23. ^ "Khushbu offers to be "Ambassador" for Victoria's Little India precincts". The Indian Sun. 11 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Kushboo jumps on the DMK bandwagon". Decan Herald.
  25. ^ "Kushboo joins DMK". The Hindu. 15 May 2010 – via
  26. ^ Yamunan, Sruthisagar (16 June 2014). "Actor Kushboo quits DMK". The Hindu.
  27. ^ "Actor Kushboo joins Congress". Times of India.
  28. ^ "Khushbu Sundar Joins BJP, Says Congress Leaders Out Of Touch With Reality".
  29. ^ "Kushboo quits Congress, joins BJP". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  30. ^ Stalin, J Sam Daniel. "Khushbu Sundar Joins BJP, Says Congress Leaders Out of Touch with Reality". NDTV.
  31. ^ P, Tanushree; ChennaiMarch 14, ey; March 14, 2021UPDATED; Ist, 2021 15:47. "BJP announces candidates for Tamil Nadu election, Khushbu Sundar to contest from Chennai". India Today.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  32. ^ "Tamil Nadu: Home Minister Amit Shah campaigns for Khushbu in Chennai". Business Standard India. 3 April 2021 – via Business Standard.
  33. ^ "Kushboo Sundar Election Results 2021: News, Votes, Results of Tamil-nadu Assembly". Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  34. ^ Rajan, MC. "Kushboo courts controversy for wearing saree with images of Hindu gods". India Today. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  35. ^ "Third case of religious offence filed against Kushboo". DNA India. 30 November 2007.
  36. ^ "Reprieve for Kushboo in Hindu deity disrespect case". 12 February 2008.
  37. ^ "Jalikattu". Deccan Chronicle. 22 January 2017.
  38. ^ "Khushboo's comments stir controversy". Rediff.
  39. ^ "Front Page: Kushboo enlarged on bail". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 17 November 2005. Archived from the original on 24 November 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  40. ^ "Supreme Court dismisses charges against actress Khusboo Sundar". 28 April 2010. Archived from the original on 25 November 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  41. ^ Manish, Salvi (19 August 2017). "IFFM discriminating against non-Hindi films, accuses South Indian star Kushboo". SBS. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  42. ^ "Chargesheet filed against Maxim editor". Hindustan Times. 23 August 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  43. ^ "SC dismisses anticipatory bail plea of Maxim editor". Daily News and Analysis. 22 May 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  44. ^ "Maxim editor denied bail". The Times of India. Press Trust of India. 22 May 2006. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  45. ^ "Indian star to sue Maxim over photo". BBC. 31 January 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  46. ^ "Khushboo case: HC stays proceedings against Maxim". The Indian Express. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2019.

External linksEdit