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Kirron Anupam Kher (also Kiran[2] or, Kiron[3][4][5] born 14 June 1955) is an Indian theatre, film and television actress, a TV talk show host and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In May 2014, she was elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian Parliament from Chandigarh.

Kirron Kher
Kiron kher colors indian telly awards.jpg
Kher at Indian Telly Awards in 2012
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Assumed office
16 May 2014
Preceded byPawan Kumar Bansal
Majority69,642 (15.40%)
Personal details
Kiran Thakar Singh

(1955-06-14) 14 June 1955 (age 64)
Bangalore, Mysore State, India[1]
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)Gautam Berry (divorced)
Anupam Kher (1985–present)
ChildrenSikandar Berry Kher (with Gautam Berry)
OccupationActress, Politician


Kirron Kher was born on 14 June 1955 in a Jat Sikh family and grew up in Chandigarh.[6][7] She was named 'Kiran' by her parents and her full name was 'Kiran Thakar Singh.' During the period of her first marriage to Gautam Berry, she was known as 'Kiran Berry.' When she married Anupam Kher, she resumed her maiden name and also added her latest husband's surname, being known as 'Kiran Thakar Singh Kher.' In later life, she developed a firm belief in numerology, and in 2003 (aged 48), she changed her name from "Kiran" to "Kirron" based on numerological calculations,[8] dropped her maiden names, and came to be known as 'Kirron Kher.'

Kirron has one brother and two sisters. Her brother, the artist Amardeep Singh, died in 2003.[9] One of her sisters is the Arjuna award-winning badminton player, Kanwal Thakar Kaur. Her other sister, Sharanjit Kaur Sandhu, is the wife of a retired senior officer of the Indian Navy.


Kirron went to school in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh,[10] and completed her school education in Chandigarh, and then graduated from the Department of Indian Theatre of Panjab University, Chandigarh.She then married Gautam Berry, a rich Mumbai-based businessman, in first week of March, 1979, and had a son, Sikandar Kher.[11]

In Mumbai, Kiran tried throughout the 1980s to get a foothold in the film industry, but without success. While visiting producer after producer seeking a role in films, Kirron renewed her acquaintance with Anupam Kher, who was also a similarly struggling actor, and whom she had known slightly at university in Chandigarh. Moving in the same theatre circles, they worked together in a play called Chandpuri Ki Champabai. In 1985, after Anupam had secured a break in films with Saaransh, Kirron divorced her husband.


Kirron Kher made her film debut in 1983 in the Punjabi feature film Aasra Pyar Da, After this, she took a hiatus from films until 1996.[12] Between 1983 and 1996, she appeared in one film, Pestonjee (1987), in which she acted in a small role alongside her second husband Anupam Kher.

Her return to acting came in the mid-1990s, through theatre, with the play Saalgirah written by playwright Javed Siddiqui and directed by Feroz Abbas Khan.[3] She then hosted three television shows, starting with the short-lived Purushkshetra on Zee TV which got attention for bringing out the discussion of alternative sexuality for the first time, while also highlighting women's issues.[13] Kiron Kher Today and Jagte Raho with Kiron Kher, before doing Hindi films.[14]

Her comeback film was by Shyam Benegal, Sardari Begum (1996), which won her the Special Jury Award at the 1997 National Film Awards.

She then appeared in film director Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film Bariwali (1999), to critical acclaim.[4] When she won the National Film Award for Best Actress for the film, a controversy arose as a Bangla film actress, Rita Koiral, claimed that she had dubbed for the character of Kirron, making her an equal claimant to the award. Kirron refuted the charges claiming she spent hours rehearsing for her dialogue delivery, and the award was eventually not shared.[4][5]

In 2002, Kirron appeared in Devdas (2002), alongside Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai, and was nominated for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.

In Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) (2003),[15] a film that portrays the plight of a woman abducted during partition of India, her character not only refused to kill herself as suggested by her family, but marries her abductor and, after his death, makes an earning teaching Quran to local children. It shows how her life changes dramatically when her son takes up Islamic extremism in 1979 during the rule of Zia-ul-Haq and his process of Islamization of Pakistan.[16] She won the Best Actress Award, at Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland, the Karachi International Film Festival, Karachi, and International Festivals at Ciepie in Argentina,[17] and Cape Town in South Africa [4][18] while the film won the Best Film – Golden Leopard, Festival Grand Prize at Locarno.[19]

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) 2004 paid tribute to Kirron during its annual festival.[20][21]

In October 2004 Kirron made a guest appearance, along with her husband, in the American TV series ER playing Parminder Nagra's mother, Mrs. Rasgotra, in episode "Damaged."[22]

In 2005, she played the role of Sunanda in the tele-serial Prratima on Sahara One channel, before which she had appeared in TV series like Dil Na Jaane Kyon (Zee TV), Isi Bahane, and Chausath Panne.[23]

Despite playing mostly supporting roles, her successful movies include Main Hoon Na (2004), Hum Tum (2004), Veer-Zaara (2004), and Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005), where her performance drew rave reviews.[24] Her work in Rang De Basanti (2006) was a huge hit and her performance got her second nomination for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. Her role in Fanaa (2006) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) also received appreciation. Adding to her list of comical roles in 2008 she appeared in Singh is Kinng, Saas bahu aur Sensex and Dostana. In 2009, she appeared as judge on India's Got Talent, the Indian franchise of the Got Talent series.

Kirron with husband Anupam in 2012.

Socio-political activismEdit

Kirron Kher has been involved with non-profit movements such as Laadli (a campaign against female infanticide) and Roko Cancer (a campaign for awareness of cancer).[25][26] She joined the Bhartiya Janata Party in 2009.[27] She campaigned for the party in across the country during the elections, including in Chandigarh for the 2011 municipal corporation elections.[28] She has been a vocal admirer of BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi since long before his candidature was announced.[29] Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) declared her as the Lok Sabha candidate from Chandigarh for General Elections, 2014. Subsequently, in May 2014, she won the seat with 1,91,362 votes, defeating sitting MP, Congress leader Pawan Bansal who received 1,21,720 votes, while AAP’s Gul Panag came in third position with 1,08,679 votes.[30][31]

As a Member of parliament from Chandigarh and having connection with the film industry, Kirron promised a film city for Chandigarh. After winning the seat, she said that she had difficulty in acquiring land in Chandigarh.[32] However, her proposal was accepted by the Chandigarh Administration and the film city is proposed to be set up in Sarangpur, Chandigarh.[33]

Kirron Kher, BJP candidate, won in 2019 Indian general elections against congress party candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal in Chandigarh constituency by a margin of 46,970 votes.[34][35]


After a woman was gang raped by an auto rickshaw driver and his accomplices in Chandigarh in 2017, she suggested that women should avoid traveling with strangers, inviting criticism from the opposition and social media.[36][37]

In 2017, Kirron and her husband Anupam Kher were accused of threatening to ruin the career of a Bengali actor to cover up a voice acting controversy.[38]


Year Film Role Language Notes
2014 Punjab 1984 Satwant Kaur (Shiva's mother) Punjabi
Khoobsurat Manju (Mili's mother) Hindi
Total Siyapaa Asha's Mother Hindi
2012 Ajab Gazabb Love Rashmi Grewal Hindi
2011 Mummy Punjabi Baby R. Arora Hindi
2010 Action Replayy Bholi Devi Hindi
Milenge Milenge Tarot Card Reader Hindi
Alexander the Great Malayalam
2009 Kurbaan Nasreen Aapa Hindi
Kambakkht Ishq Aunt Dolly Hindi
2008 Dostana Mrs. Acharya / Seema (Sam's mother) Hindi
Saas bahu aur Sensex Binita Sen Hindi
Singh Is Kinng Rose Lady (Sonia's mother) Hindi
2007 Om Shanti Om Bela Makhija (Om's mother) Hindi
Apne Raavi B. Choudhary Hindi
Just Married Shobha Chaturvedi Hindi
I See You Mrs. Dutt Hindi
2006 Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Kamaljeet 'Kamal' Saran Hindi
Fanaa Nafisa Ali Begum (Zooni's mother) Hindi
Rang De Basanti Mitro (DJ's Mother) Hindi
2005 Mangal Pandey: The Rising Lol Bibi Hindi
It Could Be You Mrs. Dhillon English
2004 Veer-Zaara Mariam Hayaat Khan (Zaara's mother) Hindi
Hum Tum Parminder 'Bobby' Prakash (Rhea's mother) Hindi
Main Hoon Na Madhu Sharma Hindi
Khamosh Pani Veero/Ayesha Khan Punjabi, Urdu Lux Style Award for Best Actress
2002 Karz: The Burden of Truth Savitri Devi Hindi
Devdas Sumitra Chakraborty Hindi
2001 Ehsaas: The Feeling Antra's mother Hindi
1999 Bariwali/The Lady of the House Banalata Bengali National Film Award for Best Actress
1997 Darmiyaan: In Between Zeenat Begum Hindi / Assamese
1996 Sardari Begum Sardari Begum Hindi National Film Award Special Jury Awards
1988 Pestonjee Soona Mistry Hindi credited as Kiron Thakursingh-Kher
1983 Aasra Pyaar Da Sheela Punjabi


Year Program Language Role Notes
2014 Kitni Girhain Baaki Hain Urdu Herself Narrator[39]
2009- India's Got Talent Hindi Judge All seasons
2004 ER English Mrs. Rasgotra Episode: Damaged
Prratima Hindi
1999 Kanyadaan Hindi
1999- Gubbare Hindi
1988 Isi Bahane Hindi



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Always there, from tiny steps to big leaps". Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Indian Express, 12 May 2002.
  3. ^ a b "Once more, with feeling". Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link).
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  5. ^ a b Kiron Kher in the middle of controversy Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine 12 August 2000 .
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  7. ^ "Distinguished Alumni". Panjab University. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
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  9. ^ All love and Kher Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Hindu, 19 August 2004.
  10. ^ "Shifting roles, yet 'keeping it real'". Hindustan Times. 3 April 2014. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  11. ^ Kiran Kher on her son, Sikander Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 2 June 2008.
  12. ^ "Films are to entertain, not preach: Kirron Kher". Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) The Peninsula, 28 April 2008.
  13. ^ The Making of Neoliberal India: Nationalism, Gender, and the Paradoxes of Globalization, by Rupal Oza, Published by CRC Press, 2006. ISBN 0-415-95186-0. Page 63.
  14. ^ Kirron Kher’s stock zooms higher! Archived 26 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine Times of India, 22 September 2008.
  15. ^ 56th Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland Archived 5 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Tribune, 18 August 2003.
  16. ^ Kiron Kher's film releases in New York Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 8 October 2004.
  17. ^ Visiting Pakistan was like a pilgrimage: Kiron Kher Archived 17 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine Times of India, 20 July 2004.
  18. ^ Mrs Kher comes calling – page 2 Archived 8 May 2005 at the Wayback Machine Times of India, 16 October 2004.
  19. ^ Silent waves, still waters Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Hindu, 2 December 2004.
  20. ^ IFFLA 2004 Film Schedule, 8:00pm: Tribute to Kirron Kher Archived 16 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA).
  21. ^ a tribute to award-winning actress Kiron Kher Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Tribune , 22 March 2004.
  22. ^ "ER" Damaged (2004) on IMDb Anupam Kher played her husband in the episode, as Ajay Rasgotra.
  23. ^ Many shades, same delight Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Hindu, 31 January 2005.
  24. ^ Kiron Kher Archived 11 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine at Rotten Tomatoes.
  25. ^ "Kirron Kher prefers social work to politics". DNA. 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
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  27. ^ "Kiran Kher joins BJP". The Times of India. 26 April 2009. Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  28. ^ Surender Sharma (30 January 2014). "BJP to take partymen's view on Kirron Kher's Chandigarh ticket". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014.
  29. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 7 June 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  30. ^ "Kirron Kher wins Chandigarh". The Indian Express. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 16 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
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  32. ^ "Trying to get Film City for Chandigarh soon: Kirron Kher | Business Standard News". 25 August 2014. Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  33. ^ "Official Website of Chandigarh Administration". Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
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  35. ^ "From Sunny Deol to Urmila Matondkar, here's how star candidates fared in Lok Sabha Polls". News Nation. 24 May 2019. Archived from the original on 24 May 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  36. ^ "Never Blamed Or Shamed Gang-Rape Survivor, Says Kirron Kher After Outrage". Archived from the original on 10 December 2017.
  37. ^ "Kirron Kher shames Chandigarh rape victim, enraged Twitterati erupt". Archived from the original on 9 December 2017.
  38. ^ "When Anupam Kher threatened to ruin the career of an actor". National Herald. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  39. ^ "Kirron Kher to be the sutradhar in Zindagi's Kitni Girhain Baaki Hain". Tellychakkar. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  40. ^ awards Archived 11 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine Internet Movie Database.
  41. ^ Award Citations – 2003 Kara Awards Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine Karachi International Film Festival Official website.

External linksEdit