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Madhuri Dixit (born 15 May 1967), also known by her married name Madhuri Dixit Nene, is an Indian actress, known for her work in Hindi cinema. One of the most popular and highest-paid Hindi film actresses in the 1990s, she has been praised by critics for her acting and dancing skills. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including six Filmfare Awards. She has been nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress a record fourteen times, and along with Raakhee is the most nominated actress in the acting categories, with 16 nominations. In 2008, the Government of India awarded her with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of the country.
Madhuri Dixit Nene
Dixit in 2018
Shriram Madhav Nene (m. 1999)
After making her acting debut in the 1984 drama Abodh, Dixit had her first commercial success with the 1988 action romance Tezaab. She went on to established herself as a leading actress of Bollywood by starring in several top-grossing productions, including Ram Lakhan (1989), Tridev (1989), Kishen Kanhaiya (1990), Dil (1990), Saajan (1991), Beta (1992), Khalnayak (1993), Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), Raja (1995) and Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) — and received critical recognition for her work in Prem Pratigyaa (1989), Anjaam (1994), Mrityudand (1997), Pukar (2000), Lajja (2001) and Devdas (2002). Dixit returned to film acting in 2007 with the musical Aaja Nachle. Subsequently, she starred in the black comedy Dedh Ishqiya (2014), crime drama Gulaab Gang (2014) and made her debut in Marathi cinema with the 2018 comedy drama Bucket List.
In addition to acting in films, Dixit has been engaged in philanthropic activities. She has worked with UNICEF since 2014 to advocate the rights of children and prevent child labour. She was appointed the brand ambassador for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, by the Government of India. She has participated in concert tours and stage shows, hosted Sony TV's Kahin Na Kahin Koi Hai and featured as a talent judge for the dance reality shows Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, So You Think You Can Dance and Dance Deewane. Dixit has been married to Doctor Shriram Nene, since 1999, with whom she has two children.
Early life and backgroundEdit
Madhuri Dixit was born on 15 May 1967 into a Maharashtrian family in Mumbai, Maharashtra to Shankar and Snehlata Dixit. She has two elder sisters and an elder brother. She kindled an interest in dance at an early age of three, and went on to train in Kathak for eight years; later on becoming a professional Kathak dancer.
I received a scholarship as a Kathak dancer when I was nine. I even remember that it was due to a dance performance that the first time my name had appeared in the paper. I was seven or eight years old at that time and had performed at the Guru Purnima festival. And there was a journalist who was there and he had written this article saying that ‘this little girl stole the show’ – something like that. I was over the moon. So dance gave me a sense of achievement. Of worth."
Dixit received her education at Divine Child High School in Andheri. Apart from her studies, she participated in extra-curricular activities, such as dramatics. Aspiring to become a microbiologist, Dixit enrolled at the Sathaye college in Vile Parle (Mumbai) where she studied micro biology as one of her subjects in BSc. However, six months after she had commenced her course, Dixit decided to discontinue studies and pursue a full-time career in films.
Debut and early roles (1984–88)Edit
Dixit made her acting debut in Rajshri Productions' movie Abodh in 1984 opposite the Bengali actor, Tapas Paul. The film failed to do well but Dixit earned positive reviews from critics. Aakash Barvalia on Gomolo praised her as he wrote "Madhuri excels in her role as a young bride who acquits herself well as the naive village girl and does not realize what marriage actually entails." Her only release of 1985 was Awara Baap which turned out to be another failure for Dixit. During this time, a monochrome photograph of hers, shot by Gautam Rajadhyaksha was featured on the cover of the then popular magazine Debonair. She had already appeared as the cover girl of Film Fare in April 1986.
In 1986, Dixit starred in two movies, Swati and Manav Hatya but both films flopped at the box office. Dixit had three releases in 1987 with Mohre, Hifazat and Uttar Dakshin but her films continued to flop at the box office. Among Dixit's three releases of 1988, the first of them - and Khatron Ke Khiladi too failed to do well commercially.
Breakthrough and public recognition (1988–89)Edit
In 1988, Dixit finally attained recognition after a series of consecutive flops when she landed the lead female role of Mohini in N. Chandra's romantic thriller Tezaab opposite Anil Kapoor. The film went on to become that year's highest-grossing movie. It was Dixit's first commercial success and her earliest of several collaborations with Kapoor. Akshay Shah of Planet Bollywood praised Dixit for her dancing skills and her acting. He wrote "Mahduri Dixit gives a fine-tuned performance. Though she is more remembered for her crowd pleasing dance act Ek Do Teen, her acting needs to be noted, especially in the scenes where she is pitted against Anupam Kher. She looks and dances like a dream." Dixit received her first nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her work in Tezaab.
In 1989, her first release was Subhash Ghai's drama Ram Lakhan, in which she was paired once again with Anil Kapoor. The film became a super-hit and went on to become the second highest-grossing film of the year. Dixit's next release, the critically acclaimed romantic drama Prem Pratigyaa, in which she starred opposite Mithun Chakraborty, failed to do well commercially. However, critics were appreciative of her portrayal and she received her second nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award. Thereafter Dixit got success in Rajiv Rai's multi-starrer action thriller Tridev, in which she starred alongside Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff, Sunny Deol, Sangeeta Bijlani, Sonam and Amrish Puri. Dixit was paired with Deol. The movie became the year's third highest-grossing film.
Dixit continued her success with her fourth pairing with Anil Kapoor in Vidhu Vinod Chopra's drama Parinda. Although Dixit's role was small, she received praise for her work. Aniket Joshi has praised her as he wrote "Madhuri Dixit, the only female character in the film, has a small role as Paro (Karan´s love interest and Prakash´s sister) yet still does well in the few scenes she has."
Career expansion (1990–2002)Edit
In 1990, Dixit starred in the romantic drama Dil opposite Aamir Khan. She played the role of a rich and arrogant girl who falls in love with a poorer boy and later leaves her home to marry him. The film became the biggest box office hit of the year in India and Dixit's performance earned her the first Filmfare Best Actress Award of her career. She was also seen in the dramas Sailaab opposite Aditya Pancholi and Kishen Kanhaiya opposite Anil Kapoor; the former flopped while the latter went on to become the third biggest hit of the year. After the success of Dil, Dixit became one of the leading actresses of Bollywood. The following year, she starred in the super-hit movie Saajan opposite Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt. This became the year's highest-grossing movie. Dixit's performance earned her the fourth nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award.
In 1992, Dixit featured in the film Beta opposite Anil Kapoor. Dixit's performance of Saraswati earned her critical acclaim. Upperstall.com praised Dixit's work: "She made Beta her own film totally stealing a march over the film's hero, Anil Kapoor. While the highlight of the film was undoubtedly Dhak Dhak Karne Laga – probably the sexiest and most popular dance of Madhuri's career, her blazing performance – that of a woman married to an illiterate, well-meaning man and who exposes her scheming mother-in-law whom her husband dotes on – had film reviewers gushing with several people jokingly saying the film should have been called Beti instead!" Dixit's performance in Beta won her a second Filmfare Best Actress Award. Following the film's success, Dixit became famously known as the "Dhak Dhak Girl" for her performance in the famous song "Dhak Dhak Karne Laga".
In 1993, Dixit starred in the controversial super-hit Khalnayak opposite Sanjay Dutt and Jackie Shroff. Her portrayal of the police officer Ganga earned her critical acclaim. Shahid Khan of Planet Bollywood praised Dixit's dancing and acting skills in the movie: "In any other film, the heroine would not have much to do with a plot like this. So immense is the star-power of Madhuri Dixit that Subhash Ghai actually carved out a solid role for her in this macho tale of a bad boy and his shenanigans. She gives real competition to Sanjay Dutt. The audiences ran in droves to witness the Madhuri Dixit magic. In every scene, she holds you captive with her stunning beauty, demanding screen presence, expressive acting and excellent dancing skills. Saroj Khan’s dance choreography is entertaining to watch, particularly in "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai". Madhuri's entrance is a riot with a prison inmate asking her, 'Kaisi aurat hai tu? (What kind of a woman are you?)' and she responds by slapping her and saying, 'Aisi aurat hoon main! (This is the kind of woman I am!)'". Dixit's performance in Khalnayak earned her a sixth nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award and became the year's second highest grossing film. In 1994, Dixit starred in Anjaam, being paired with Shahrukh Khan for the first time. Dixit's performance of a revenge-seeking wife and mother earned her a seventh nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award. Dixit was praised for her performance, though the film was an average performer at the box office.
Her next starring role was in the film Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! opposite Salman Khan. The film became one of the biggest hits in the history of Hindi cinema and made ₹ 1.35 billion worldwide, breaking the record of the film Sholay (1975). It became the highest grossing Bollywood film in Hindi cinema history after its theatrical run and held the record for 7 years till the release of Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001). Dixit's role of a modern yet family-oriented young girl fetched her the third Filmfare Best Actress Award of her career. Critics believed the film to be "too sweet" but appreciated Dixit's performance as she mesmerised on the screen. In the Millennium Edition of the "Guinness Book of World Records", Hum Aapke Hain Kaun became the Bollywood's highest-grossing film. Upperstall.com wrote "Madhuri Dixit, reunited with the banner that launched her, stands out and is undoubtedly the life of the film as Nisha. Be it the mischievous but strong-minded, independent girl who gives it to Prem as good as she gets or the woman willing to sacrifice her love believing she is doing the right thing, Madhuri is absolutely spot on creating one of the more memorable female characters of Hindi Cinema."
1995 saw Dixit star in the hit Raja opposite Sanjay Kapoor. The film became the fourth highest grosser of the year and its success was attributed to her immense popularity. Her next release was David Dhawan's Yaraana opposite Rishi Kapoor, in which she played a dancer on the run from her abusive lover. This film was a below average performer at the box office. Both films earned her nominations for the Filmfare Best Actress Award.
Dixit's career went into a slump during 1996 as films like Prem Granth and Rajkumar flopped at the box office. In 1997, Dixit bounced back with Prakash Jha's Mrityudand, in which she performed opposite Shabana Azmi and Shilpa Shirodkar. Dixit played the role of Ketki, one of the three troubled women and earned immense critical acclaim for her performance. Upperstall.com wrote "Madhuri gives a wonderful, insightful performance as the self-respecting educated woman married into a family of male chauvinistic upper class landlords and who is humiliated by her husband when she objects to his misdeeds, never hitting a false note. She more than matches up to seasoned artists like Shabana and Om Puri in their scenes together. In a word, she is mesmerizing."
Dixit starred in Yash Chopra's musical romance Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), opposite Shahrukh Khan and Karisma Kapoor. Her role of a woman faced with a moral dilemma in a love triangle fetched her the fourth Filmfare Best Actress Award. The film also proved to be a success at the box office. However, her career then went to a decline with films like Wajood (1998) and Aarzoo (1999) sinking at the box office.
In 2000, Dixit starred in Rajkumar Santoshi's Pukar opposite Anil Kapoor. A love story based on the backdrop of the Indian Army, the film was shot over the course of 350 days. Dixit's portrayal of a negative role in it earned her the twelfth nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award. She then played the title character in Gaja Gamini, the first feature film directed by painter M. F. Husain. Hussain was fixated with Dixit, and watched her Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! several times, and was certain that he would make a film only with her. The film followed the story of Gaja Gamini, who appears in various incarnations as Mona Lisa, Shakuntala and others. Pukar was an average grosser, while the latter bombed at the box office.
In 2001, Dixit starred in Deepak Shivdasani's love triangle Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke opposite Ajay Devgan and Preity Zinta. Dixit followed up by reuniting with Rajkumar Santoshi in the multi-starrer Lajja (2001). Dealing with the issue of gender inequality, Dixit played the role of a stage player in it. Anita Bora of Rediff.com wrote: "Madhuri slips into her role as Janaki..with consummate ease..and..dazzles us with a class act." The film was a box-office failure in India but was an overseas success. Dixit was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for Lajja. In 2002, Dixit starred in a lead role in the love triangle film Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam opposite Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan. A remake of director K. S. Adhiyaman's own Tamil film Thotta Chinungi (1995), the film took six years in the making, with huge sabbaticals in between shoots due to several production problems. Few critics noted that the delay made the film look outdated.
Dixit's next release was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period romance Devdas, co-starring Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai. It was based on the Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel of the same name. She portrayed Chandramukhi, a courtesan who is in love with the title character. Sita Menon of Rediff.com wrote: "The most understated role and perhaps the one that is most lingering, in terms of virtuosity, is that played by Madhuri Dixit. As Chandramukhi, she is simply stunning, lending passion, fire and gentleness with such consummate ease that watching her perform is sheer delight." The film was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and was featured by Time in their listing of the "10 best films of the millennium". The film emerged as a major international success with revenues of over ₹530 million (US$7.4 million). Devdas was chosen as India's official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. Dixit won the Filmfare Best supporting actress award for the film. It turned out to be her last film for a while as she shifted to Denver with her family.
The following year a film named after her, Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, was released in which a woman (played by Antara Mali) aspires to become the new Madhuri Dixit by trying her luck in Bollywood. Dixit also made her first appearance on television as a host for the India's first reality show Kahin Na Kahin Koi Hai on Sony TV.
Comeback to films (2007–present)Edit
In 2006, Dixit returned to India with her family, and acted in cinematographer Anil Mehta's dance film Aaja Nachle (2007). It was her first release in five years, where she played the role of a choreographer. The film was a box office failure, but Dixit's role was appreciated by critics. Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN criticised the plot, while he wrote about Dixit's performance: "It’s hard to take your eyes off the screen when she’s up there, dazzling you with her spontaneity, her easy charm and her 100-watt smile." Her performance earned her the nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award.
Dixit returned to India in 2012, and made her acting comeback after seven years with the black comedy Dedh Ishqiya (2014). It was a sequel to Ishqiya (2010), where she was cast as con-woman "Begum Para" opposite Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Huma Qureshi. Dixit expressed that she agreed to do the film because of the "unapologetic way" its director Abhishek Chaubey presented Vidya Balan’s character" in Ishqiya. The film opened to positive response from critics who called it "one of the year's most important releases". Anupama Chopra called Dixit "compelling", while Deepanjana Pal of Firstpost wrote "She's still capable of keeping an audience glued to their seats when the credits start rolling, all because she's dancing on screen.". The film earned her the fourteenth nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
Her next release of the year was the debutant director Soumik Sen's Gulaab Gang, alongside Juhi Chawla. Dixit portrayed Rajjo, the leader of a women's activist group. The film and her role were inspired by the real vigilante activist Sampat Pal Devi and her group Gulabi Gang. Pal filed a case against the film claiming that the makers did not take permission to make a film on her life, but the court later lifted the stay from the film.
Gulaab Gang failed at the box office, earning mixed reviews. Subhash K. Jha labelled Dixit's performance and demeanour "inconsistent". However, Sampat Pal claimed that in Dixit's character she finds a "reflection of her own life so stark" that it makes her feel "it was she on screen".
Dixit has participated in several stage shows, concert tours and televised award ceremonies. Between July to August 2008, Dixit, and actors Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Ritesh Deshmukh and Aishwarya Rai starred in the "Unforgettable World Tour" stage production in a 40-day show staged in 11 cities across North America, Europe and the Caribbean. In 2013, Dixit joined the fourth installment of "Temptation Reloaded" where she performed with Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Jacqueline Fernandez and Meiyang Chang in Auckland, Perth, Sydney and Dubai; and in 2014 she performed in Malaysia with Khan, Mukerji and Arijit Singh. She also performed in SLAM! The Tour in the US, Canada, and London.
She also participated in the Hiru Golden Film Awards 2016 in Sri Lanka as a special guest along with Bollywood actors such as Sunil Shetty, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Jackie Shroff, and actresses Sridevi, and Karishma Kapoor.
Dixit opened her own online dance academy "Dance With Madhuri", where her fans have a one-on-one lesson to learn some of her most famous and well known dance numbers.
In 1985, Dixit made her television debut in the Rajshri Production's series Paying Guest, in which she played the role of Neena.
Dixit featured as a talent judge for four seasons of the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa alongside Remo D'souza and Malaika Arora Khan for the fourth season and alongside Remo D'souza and Karan Johar for the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons.
In 2016, Dixit featured as one of the jury of So You Think You Can Dance, which was on officially incensed version of the So You Think You Can Dance franchise, based on the original American production created by Dick Clark Productions.
Legal notice for alleged false representation in endorsementsEdit
In May–June 2015 the Tamil Nadu Consumer's Forum sent her notices for "false representation" in advertisements of Maggi, a noodle brand in which toxic levels of lead were found. She continued endorsing the safety of the product on Twitter, even when food regulators had already found more than 17 times the permissible limits of lead and the product was banned.
On June 5, 2015, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) orders banned all nine variants of Maggi instant noodles from India, terming them "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption. It was also found that the "health oats noodles", a product which had not even completed the mandatory "process of risk assessment", was promoted by the actress.
During her years in the film industry, Dixit has been actively involved in promoting children's education and the safety of women. In 2001, Dixit won ₹ 5,000,000 on Kaun Banega Crorepati, a game show then in its first season on the air. She donated her winnings for the welfare of the victims of an earthquake in Gujarat and to an orphanage in Pune.
In 2009 Dixit performed for NDTV Toyota Greenathon—India's first-ever nationwide campaign for saving the environment and creating awareness about environmental issues. NDTV organised India's first 24-hour live telethon, a fund-raising event that brings in people to donate money to support TERI's initiative—Lighting a Billion Lives which aims at providing solar power to villages without electricity. Dixit became a part of this great social cause, and she performed her hit numbers on the live show.
On 3 February 2011 Dixit spent an evening with 75 orphanage kids of farmers at an ashram in Trimbakeshwar and participated in the birthdays of two children: Hrishikesh and Rani. "We artists are ready to help such children. People from the higher society should come forward and stand firmly behind them," she said on the occasion. Dixit is a Goodwill Ambassador and a patron for "Emeralds for Elephants" — a charity project for the conservation of Asian elephants and other endangered species. This project has been designed to create awareness and raise vital funds for the protection of the critically endangered Asian elephant. A collaborative project between the World Land Trust (a UK based nonprofit environmental organisation) and the Wildlife Trust of India that is creating protected wildlife corridors connecting National Parks and protected areas to others. Speaking about the issue she said: "Elephants are one of my favourite animals and I love them. So what we need to do today is to see how we can preserve our animals. I feel very strongly about this."
On 4 February 2012 Madhuri Dixit interacted with Cancer affected children on World Cancer Day which was organised by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd at Juhu, Mumbai.On World Cancer Day Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited offered a Free Joy Ride to Cancer affected children with the support of Cancer Patients Aid Association.
In 2014, Dixit began working with UNICEF to advocate the rights of children and prevent child labour and child trafficking. She was appointed as the brand ambassador for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign, by the Government of India in 2015, that aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls. She also lent for voice for narrating the story of one of the eight girls who featured in Girl Rising: Woh Padhegi, Woh Udegi, a film on the education and empowerment of girls.
Artistry and media imageEdit
Dixit is regarded as one of the most influential and popular actresses of Indian cinema. In 2012, Dixit was placed at the first position by NDTV in the listing of "The most popular actresses of all time". The same year, she was featured by Yahoo.com at the first position as one of the ten most iconic beauties of Hindi cinema. In a 2013 national poll conducted by CNN-IBN on the occasion of the centenary of Indian cinema, Dixit was voted at the second position, behind Sridevi, as "India's Greatest Actress in 100 Years". Analysing her performance, Reuters published, "In her prime, Dixit was the undisputed queen of Bollywood, the world's largest film industry by audience size, and her popularity and fees rivaled even the biggest male stars."
In addition to acting, she has been noted for her skills as a dancer. Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj, who choreographed Dixit in Devdas, calls her "the best Bollywood dancer" due to her versatility. Saroj Khan, who collaborated with Dixit on numerous occasions, calls her a "choreographer's delight". Dixit was the muse for Indian painter M. F. Husain. He got fascinated by Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!; watching the film 67 times, and booked an entire theatre to see her comeback Aaja Nachle. He made a series of paintings of her, and in 2000 directed Gaja Gamini starring her, which was intended as a tribute to Dixit herself. Film critic Raja Sen describes Dixit as "the industry's numero uno in every sense." Further he elaborates, "She is an exemplary dancer. From Kathak to Dhak Dhak, she's done it all and wowed us every step of the way."
Dixit featured in Box Office India's Top Actresses list for nine consecutive years (1989–97). In 2001, Forbes placed her at fifth position in the list of "top five most powerful Indian film stars". In 2002 and 2014, Dixit featured in Rediff's annual "Top Bollywood actresses" listing. She has been featured frequently on other Rediff lists, including "Bollywood's Most Beautiful Actresses", "Bollywood's Best Actresses Ever" and "Top 10 Bollywood Actresses of all Time". In 2008, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri for her contribution to Indian Cinema.
Dixit is frequently referred to as one of the most attractive Indian celebrities; her smile being identified by the Indian media as her trademark. In March 2012, a wax figure of Dixit was put on display in London's Madame Tussaud's wax museum. From 2012–16 and in 2018, Dixit has featured on Forbes India's "Celebrity 100," a list based on the income and popularity of India's celebrities.
Dixit began dating fellow actor, Sanjay Dutt, in 1990, while filming Saajan. Despite her father's objections, the relationship continued. However, with Dutt's arrest under TADA in 1993, the relationship ended. Talking about the break-up, film journalist Bharati Pradhan reported in The Telegraph that "Madhuri had always been a clean player. A Dutt-Dixit alliance would’ve been disastrous and she was too sensible not to see it."
On 17 October 1999, Dixit married Shriram Madhav Nene, a cardiovascular surgeon from Los Angeles, California. The couple have two sons, Arin (b. March 2003) and Rayaan (b. March 2005). Following her marriage, Dixit relocated to Denver, Colorado, for over a decade. She moved back to Mumbai with her family in October 2011.
Dixit has received six Filmfare Awards, including four Best Actress awards for Dil (1990), Beta (1992), Hum Aapke Hain Kaun! (1994) and Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), and a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for Devdas (2002). She earned a Filmfare Special Award for completing twenty-five years in the Indian film industry. In 2008, she was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth-highest Indian civilian award, by the Government of India for her contributions to the arts.
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