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Sonali Bendre is an Indian film actress, model, television personality and author. Primarily recognised for her work in Hindi films, she has also appeared in Telugu, Tamil, Marathi and Kannada language films. She has established a career in Hindi Cinema and is one of the most popular actresses. Bendre is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Filmfare Award.

Sonali Bendre Behl
Sonali Bendre attends the 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018 (20) (cropped).jpg
Bendre at the 63rd Jio Filmfare Awards 2018
OccupationActress, model
Years active1994–present
Goldie Behl (m. 2002)
Awardssee below

Bendre as a teenager did a few modelling assignments and appeared in several television commercials. At the age of nineteen, made her acting debut with a leading role in the 1994 film Aag. Subsequently, Bendre starred in a number of box office hits, including Diljale (1996), Bhai (1997), Qahar (1997), Major Saab (1998), Sarfarosh (1999), Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999), Kadhalar Dhinam (1998) and its Hindi bilingual Dil Hi Dil Mein (1999) and Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai (2000) — and received critical recognition for her roles in the 1998 drama Zakhm and the 2001 crime comedy Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega. Post a brief appearance in Kal Ho Naa Ho, Bendre took a leave from full-time acting in 2003, and made her comeback with the 2013 gangster thriller Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara.

In addition to acting in films, Bendre is a stage performer. In 2001, Bendre ventured into television and hosted the dance show Kya Masti Kya Dhoom....! and featured as a talent judge for Mr & Mrs Television, the reality shows Indian Idol 4, India's Got Talent, Hindustan Ke Hunarbaaz and India's Best Dramebaaz. She presented the show Mission Sapne and played the leading role in the serial Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh. She has also authored the book The Modern Gurukul – My Experiments with Parenting. She has been running her digital book club since 2017, through her book club, Bendre organizes masterclasses, in-conversations on reading trends and arranged giveaways to popularize reading and bring Indian authors to interact with the urban millennial generation. Bendre has been married to director Goldie Behl since 2002, with whom she has a son.


Early life and familyEdit

Bendre was born in Mumbai in a Maharashtrian family[1] She has a brother who lives in Mumbai. Her father was a government servant who was diagnosed with Asthma.[1]


Bendre started as a model before being selected for the "Star Dust Talent Search". She was invited to Mumbai and received training from a variety of top actors and performers of the Indian film industry. Initially, she was supposed to star in a movie directed by Sohail Khan. Opposite her was Arbaaz Khan. However, this movie never was made. Her first role was in Aag (1994) opposite Govinda. The movie flopped, but she was noticed. Critics loved her performance. She won the Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year and Star Screen Awards for Most Promising Newcomer. She initially struggled to be a successful actress. In 1995, she appeared inBombay. She featured in the item song Humma Humma. It made her really popular.

(1996-2003): SuccessEdit

Bendre on the sets of India's Got Talent in 2011

In 1996, she starred in Rakshak. The film performed well financially. Then, she starred in English Babu Desi Mem along Shah Rukh Khan. This didn't do quite well, but her character, Bijuriya, a bar dancer was liked by people and critics. The same year, she starred in Diljale. Bendre played a girl named character. She was seen opposite Ajay Devgn for the first time. This movie gave her critical acclaim. Next, she made a special appearance with Govinda in Apne Dam Par. In the same year, she starred Sapoot opposite Sunil Shetty. The movie didn't perform well financially. She welcomed Michael Jackson on his arrival in India in a traditional Maharashtrian nauvari sari(Marathi: नऊवारी साडी), and she performed Aarti for Jackson on 1 November 1996.[2]

In 1997, Bendre starred in Bhai. She played a tomboy girl called Meenu. She falls in love with Kundan played by Sunil Shetty. It released during Diwali along Dil To Pagal Hai, Ghulam-E-Mustafa and Deewana Mastana. However, it was a hit. Also, her acting in the movie got praised. Next, she was seen Tarazu along Akshay Kumar. The movie performed moderately well. Lastly, she starred in an action film Qahar opposite Sunny Deol and it became a success. In 1998, Bendre starred in Keemat opposite Saif Ali Khan. The movie was also starred by Raveena Tandon and Akshay Kumar. This movie didn't make a good business. Next, she starred in Duplicate along Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla. Bendre played a bar dancer, Lily. She was in love with the bad guy, Manu. The movie didn't make enough money, but she got critical acclaim. The song Mere Mehboob Mere Sanam in which she featured became an iconic one. Next, she starred in Humse Badhkar Kaun, it was a flop. In the same year, Bendre starred in Major Saab. The movie did very well financially. Again, she got a critical claim. Then, Bendre became a part of Angaaray opposite Nagarjuna. It became a success. Along Ajay Devgn, Bendre featured in a National Award movie Zakhm. Bendre played Sonia, main character's wife. Again, she gained critical claim for her role.

At the beginning of 1999, Bendre starred in two Tamil Movies:Kadhalar Dhinam and Kannodu Kanbathellam. Two of them became a huge success at Indian Box Office. Bendre starred in Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United. She was seen along Karisma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu and Mohnish Bahl. The actress was seen opposite Salman Khan. She played Preeti, a shy girl who is a doctor. Preeti is Prem 's(Salman Khan) childhood, lover. Sonali got a critical claim. Her role and her chemistry with Salman became an iconic one. This movie still runs on Television and it gains huge TRPs. Then, Bendre was seen in Dahek opposite Akshaye Khanna. This movie deals with a love story between a Hindu guy and a Muslim Girl. For the first time, Sonali was seen opposite Aamir Khan in Sarfarosh. She played Seema that became iconic. This role showed her comic talent. With this movie, Bendre became a sex symbol of the 90s. For her role, Bendre got nominated for International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actress category.

Bendre at the IFFI 2017 in Goa

In 2000, Bendre made a brief cameo in Chal Mere Bhai. She was opposite Sanjay Dutt. Her character's name was Piya, Vicky's beloved who dies in a car accident. Also, she appeared in Dil Hi Dil Mein which was a remake of Kadhalar Dhinam. The Hindi remake failed at the Box Office. She played Khushi in Hamaara Dil Aapke Paas Hai. Her character was named after Boney Kapoor and Sridevi's youngest daughter. The movie did really well financially and critics liked Sonali's performance. Bendre won a Star Screen Award Best Supporting Actress and got nominated for Planet - Bollywood People's Choice Awards (Best Supporting Actress) and Best Supporting Actress. Then, Bendre starred in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hain. She played a village belle, Saavni opposite Govinda. The movie was an average success. In the same year, she made her debut in Kannada with the movie Preethse. It was a remake of Darr. Bendre was seen opposite Shiva Rajkumar and Upendra. Preethse was the highest grossing Kannada film of the year. It ran for 25 weeks. Citics loved Sonali's performance.

In 2001, she made her Telugu debut with Mahesh Babu. The movie was a success and Bendre gained critical claim. She was nominated for Filmfare Awards Filmfare Award for Best Actress in Telugu.Then, she was seen in Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega. Bendre's comic timing was praised by critics. She featured in a song in Lajja. Song's name was Mujhe Saajan Ke Ghar Jaana Hai and it became quite popular. Again, Bendre got praise for her performance in Tera Mera Saath Rahen as Madhuri.

In 2002, Bendre starred in 3 Telugu Movies:Indra,Khadgam and Manmadhudu. Three of them became big hits and once again Bendre's performances were loved by audience and critics.

In 2003, Bendre made her Marathi Debut with Anahat. Critics loved her in that movie. Anahat was screened as the opening film of the 2003 Indian Panorama, an International film festival. It was also screened at Jerusalem Film Festival in 2011 along with five other movies. Sonali gave a terrific performance for which she got nominated for Star Screen Awards Best Actress in Marathi. Consecutively, Bendre starred in Pyaar Kiya Nahin Jaatha (Hindi), Palnati Brahmanayudu ( Telugu) and Chori Chori (Hindi). All of them were flops. In Kal Ho Naa Ho, she made a special appearance as Shahrukh Khan's doctor, Dr. Priya. Even though her character was small in the movie, critics loved her in it. She is still remembered for this role.

2004 was the last year of her career. Bendre starred in Shankar Dada MBBS and made a special appearance in Aga Bai Arrecha!. Both movies were successful.

In addition to her acting, she was also recognized as a graceful dancer through films such as Gaddar, Sapoot, Bombay, Lajja and Major Saab.

Bendre also starred in the theatre in a play called Aap Ki Soniya .[3]

Television careerEdit

Sonali Bendre at LFW Summer/Resort fashion show, 2012

Bendre hosted a dance show on television named Kya Masti Kya Dhoom....!. She also hosted the 50th Filmfare Awards with Saif Ali Khan and Farida Jalal on 26 February 2005. She was a judge on Mr & Mrs Television, Indian Idol 4 and India's Got Talent. In 2012, she appeared as a judge on the reality dance series Hindustan Ke Hunarbaaz, on Life OK, along with choreographer Terence Lewis.[4][5]

She also appeared as a judge on India's Best Dramebaaz on Zee TV. She was the narrator on the TV Show Mission Sapne, aired on Colors in 2014.[6] Bendre played the lead role, Shoba Sachdev, in Star Life OK's television serial Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh. The serial started airing in October 2014.[7]

Bollywood comebackEdit

In June 2012, Bendre was rumoured to quit judging India's Got Talent 4. She was said to be likely replaced by Ritesh Deshmukh.[8] However, she opted out of the show in order to give her dates for her comeback movieOnce Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara!; for some period, the channel hasn't spoken to Bendre.[9][10] In July, Bendre announced[10][11] that she would be making her comeback by portraying a character connected to the one played by Akshay Kumar in the movie. Her part was described by the director Milan Luthria: "Sonali's character is called Mumtaz. The name spells enigma and is very crucial to the plot of the film. The character doesn't fit into the usual mould of a mother or a sister or bhabhi but has an identity of its own. That is what makes it special. And that's why Sonali agreed to be a part of the film."[10]

Bendre took a sabbatical from movies after 2004. After giving birth to her son she started acting in television. She refused to star in many movies, saying she wanted to focus on her family, especially her son. However, after she was offered Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Dobaara!, she said yes because of her friendship with Ekta and Shobha Kapoor, and the fact she had previously worked with both Luthria (Chori Chori) and Kumar (in Tarazu, Sapoot, Angaaray, Keemat).[12][13]

In the mediaEdit

During her time, she was considered a style icon and many used to get inspired by her outfits in movies.[14]


Bendre has authored a book, The Modern Gurukul: My Experiments with Parenting, sharing her three principles of parenting that find a balance between traditional and modern values. The book "highlights the need for a return to our roots to raise a healthy, curious and, most importantly, compassionate child".[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Bendre married film director Goldie Behl on 12 November 2002. On 11 August 2005, her son, Ranveer, was born at the Breach Candy Hospital.


On 4 July 2018 she revealed on Twitter that she has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and was undergoing treatment in New York city hospital.[16]

Ram Kadam, politician posted a false tweet about Bendre's death in September 2018. The message (translated from Marathi) was :"Sonali Bendre, the actress who ruled Hindi and Marathi cinema and was dear to all, is no more". Kadam was criticized for spreading this false rumor.[17]


Year Film Role Language Notes
1994 Aag Parul Hindi Hindi debut
Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year
Naaraaz Sonali Hindi
1995 The Don Anita Malik Hindi
Gaddaar Priya Hindi
Takkar Mohini Hindi
Bombay Herself Tamil Special appearance in the song "Humma Humma"
1996 Rakshak Dr. Pooja Malhotra Hindi
English Babu Desi Mem Bijuriya Hindi
Diljale Radhika Hindi
Apne Dam Par Herself Hindi Special appearance in the song "Aara Hile Chapara Hile"
Sapoot Kajal Hindi
1997 Bhai Meenu Hindi
Tarazu Pooja Hindi
Qahar Neelam Hindi
1998 Keemat - They Are Back Mansi Hindi
Duplicate Lily Hindi
Humse Badhkar Kaun Anu Hindi
Major Saab Nisha Hindi
Angaaray Roma Hindi
Zakhm Soniya Hindi
1999 Sarfarosh Seema Hindi
Kadhalar Dhinam Roja Tamil
Kannodu Kanbathellam Kalyani Tamil
Hum Saath Saath Hain Preeti Hindi
Dahek Sabina Bahkshi/Neelima Bahkshi Hindi
2000 Chal Mere Bhai Piya Hindi Cameo appearance
Dil Hi Dil Mein Roja Hindi Official dubbed and partial re-shot version of Kadhalar Dhinam
Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai Khushi Hindi Star Screen Award Best Supporting Actress
Dhai Akshar Prem Ke Nisha Hindi Cameo appearance
Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hain Saawni Hindi
Preethse Kiran Kannada Kannada Film Remake of Hindi Movie Darr
2001 Murari Vasundhara Telugu Telugu debut
Love You Hamesha Shivani Hindi
Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega Sapna Chopra Hindi
Lajja Herself Hindi Special appearance in the song "Mujhe Saajan Ke Ghar Jaana Hai"
Tera Mera Saath Rahen Madhuri Hindi
2002 Indra Pallavi Telugu
Khadgam Swathi Telugu
Manmadhudu Harika Telugu
2003 Anahat Queen Sheelavathi Marathi
Pyaar Kiya Nahin Jaatha Disha Hindi
Palnati Brahmanayudu Siva Nageswari Telugu
Chori Chori Pooja Hindi
Kal Ho Naa Ho Priya Hindi Cameo appearance
2004 Shankar Dada MBBS Dr. Sunita/ Chitti Telugu
Aga Bai Arrecha! Herself Marathi Special appearance in the song "Cham Cham Karta Hai"
2013 Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara! Mumtaz Khan Hindi Cameo appearance

TV showsEdit

Year Serial Role Channel
2001 Kya Masti Kya Dhoom Host TV 18
2008 Mr & Mrs Television Judge Sony Entertainment Television
2008-2009 Indian Idol Judge Sony Entertainment Television
2009-2012 India's Got Talent Judge Colors
2012 Hindustan Ke Hunarbaaz Judge Life OK
2014 Mission Sapne Narrator Colors
2014–2015 Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Ye Shobha Sachdev Life OK
2013–present India's Best Dramebaaz Judge Zee Tv

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Film Award Category Result
1995 Screen Awards Discovery of the Year Won[18]
1995 Aag Filmfare Awards Lux New Face of the Year Won
1995 Aag Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer – Female Won
1998 Zakhm Planet Bollywood People's Choice Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated[19]
2000 Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai Planet Bollywood People's Choice Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated[20]
2000 Sarfarosh International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actress Nominated
2001 Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai Screen Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2002 Murari Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Telugu Nominated
2004 Anahat Screen Awards Best Actress – Marathi Won
2011 India's Got Talent Golden Petal Awards Most Chahiti Personality Won
2012 India's Got Talent Indian Telly Awards Best Judge Panel Won
2015 Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Ye Indian Telly Awards Best Onscreen Couple Nominated
2017 India's Best Dramebaaz Zee Rishtey Awards Best Judge Won
2018 Women Achiever's Awards Pride of Maharashtra Won[21]


  1. ^ a b "Goldie Behl's Maha Mantra". 2010. [Sonali Bendre]'s family is CKP and I like the way they make fish and mutton. I just love their alu ki sabzi.
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "". Sonali Bendre's to star in the theatre. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2007.
  4. ^ "No crying and weeping please............. Just Enjoy!". Hindustan Times. 27 October 2012. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Busker Boys hopeful for 'Hindustan Ke Hunarbaz'". The Times of India. 28 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Sonali Bendre to be Narrator in TV Reality Show Mission Sapne". IANS. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh on Life OK: Sonali Bendre's Dubut in Fiction Space". TellyMirror. Archived from the original on 17 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Ritesh Deshmukh to judge India's Got Talent?". 20 June 2012.
  9. ^ "I might never do another film role". 3 July 2012. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b c "Sonali Bendre returns to films". 2 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Sonali set to make a comeback". 3 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Sonali Bendre makes a comeback in films". 3 July 2012.
  13. ^ "I feel like I'm coming home: Sonali Bendre". 3 July 2012. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Sonali Bendre Behl; Luke Coutinho (2014). The Modern Gurukul: My Experiments with Parenting. Random House, India.
  16. ^ "Sonali Bendre: Bollywood star's cancer posts inspires India fans". BBC News. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  17. ^ "BJP MLA Ram Kadam shares fake Sonali Bendre death news. Gets blasted". India Today.
  18. ^ "Screen Award winners for the year 1994 are". Screen. Archived from the original on 17 February 2005. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "People's Choice Awards". Planet-Bollywood. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  21. ^ "Sonali Bendre receives 'Pride of Maharashtra' award at a recently held award function". Daily News and Analysis. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

External linksEdit