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Urmila Matondkar is an Indian film actress primarily known for her work in Bollywood films. Matondkar has also appeared in Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam language films. Through her film career, she established herself as one of the most influential celebrities in India. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including one Filmfare Award among seven nominations. Her film roles contributed to a then-new on-screen persona for a Hindi film heroine, in which she was known for her intense style and dancing skills. Having done so, Matondkar has established herself as a leading actress of Bollywood.
Matondkar in 2012
4 February 1974|
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Occupation||Actress, Television presenter|
Mohsin Akhtar Mir (m. 2016)
Matondkar made her acting debut as a child artist in the 1980 Marathi film Zaakol, and had her first Bollywood release with the drama Kalyug (1981). She later gained recognition for her child role in the highly acclaimed drama Masoom (1983), following which she appeared in a few other films as a child artist. Matondkar played her first adult role in the blockbuster Malayalam film Chanakyan (1989), and followed it with the box office hit Narsimha (1991), her first Bollywood film as an adult.
Following a brief setback, Matondkar starred in the commercial hit Aa Gale Lag Ja and career prospects improved when filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma cast her as the female lead in the highly successful romantic drama Rangeela (1995), following which she received widespread praise for her performances in the successful drama Judaai (1997), the crime thriller Satya (1998), the romantic comedy Khoobsurat (1999), the thriller Jungle (2000) and the psychological romance Deewangee (2002). Matondkar also achieved success in Telugu and Tamil cinema with roles in Antham (1992), Gaayam (1993), Indian (1996), and Anaganaga Oka Roju (1997). She later garnered critical recognition for portraying a range of intense psychological characters, including that of a serial killer in the 1999 thriller Kaun, an obsessive lover in the 2001 thriller Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, a possessed woman in the 2003 horror film Bhoot, for which she won a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress, and a violent avenger in the 2004 thriller Ek Hasina Thi. Matondkar has also played leading roles in lesser-publicized films of independent filmmakers, including the dramas Tehzeeb (2003), Pinjar (2003), Naina (2005), Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005), Bas Ek Pal (2006), and the Marathi film Ajoba (2014).
In addition to acting in films, Matondkar is involved with several humanitarian causes and is vocal about issues faced by women and children. She has featured as a talent judge for the 2007 reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Season 2. She married Mohsin Akhtar Mir in 2016.
Early life and backgroundEdit
Matondkar was born in Mumbai. She has a younger sister Mamta and an elder brother Kedar, who was in the Indian Air Force as an airman. Mamta is also an ex-actress. Urmila's native language is Marathi.
As a child artist (1977–88)Edit
Urmila's first role as a child artist was in 1977 in the film Karm. Following minor roles in Shreeram Lagoo's Marathi film Zaakol (1980) and Kalyug (1980), she achieved success at the age of nine in Shekhar Kapur's Masoom in 1983. She was praised for her roles by critics.
Adult debut and career beginnings (1989–1993)Edit
She appeared in a few movies such as Bade Ghar Ki Beti in small role. She debuted with the movie Narsimha. She next starred in the fantasy film Chamatkar, along with Shahrukh Khan. In 1989, Urmila was paired opposite Kamal Haasan in the Malayalam blockbuster Chanakyan. She went on to frequently collaborate with film director Ram Gopal Verma, who is known for his thrillers. Her first film with him was Antham (Telugu film), which was a bilingual film and was titled as Drohi in Hindi. She has also made her appearance in the Doordarshan serial Bible Ki Kahaniyan and Indradhanush. Since then, she has starred in numerous subsequent RGV pictures, such as Gaayam (Telugu).
Stardom and public recognition (1994–98)Edit
Urmila returned to film as the female protagonist Mili Joshi, in the romantic comedy Rangeela (1995). Featuring her opposite Aamir Khan, the film relates the story of two people with contrasting personalities. The film was received favourably by critics and became successful at the box office with gross earnings of ₹15.05 crore (US$2.1 million). Gomolo described "Urmila looking the glam girl as ever and superb performances", at the 41st Filmfare Awards, Rangeela was nominated for 12 awards including a Best Actress nomination for Matondkar. The film also gave Urmila's career a new lease of life, and the success of Rangeela... established Matondkar as a leading actress of Hindi cinema.
In 1997 her film Judaai was a hit, but her other releases such as Daud, Aflatoon and Mere Sapno Ki Rani were not as successful. Her performance in Judaai earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award nomination. The film, which co-starred Anil Kapoor and Sridevi, also emerged as a major commercial success.
In 1998, she earned critical acclaim for her performance in Satya, for which she received another Filmfare nomination. The film was received favourably by critics and the film was a big hit at the box office, solidifying Matondkar's position as the leading lady of the 90s. Mohammad Ali Ikram of Planet Bollywood described Matondkar: "Urmila Matondkar as Vidhya, an aspiring singer caught in the deceptive web of Satya's love, proves she is a multi-faceted actress. If in one movie this actress can be street-smart and sexy (Daud), the next minute she is convincingly conservative, innocent and docile". The box-office hit movie Kudrat came next, the film was well received by critics.
Professional expansion and success (1999–2003)Edit
In 1999, Matondkar had six film releases; four of them − Jaanam Samjha Karo, Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain, Mast and Dillagi − were critical and commercial failure . However, Matondkar's performance was generally well received by critics, (Rediff describing "Urmila is just about the only heroine who can give Karisma a run for her money when it comes to pelvic thrusts"). Her first hit that year was Ram Gopal Varma's thriller film Kaun, opposite Manoj Bajpai, in which she played the nameless character. Khalid Mohamed of The Times of India (who would later cast her in Tehzeeb) wrote that she "rivets the viewer's interest, carrying off entire reels on her shoulders, through a gamut of quicksilver facial expressions. Vulnerable and baffled, she is utterly believable as the traumatised girl-next-door". Matondkar next played the love interest of Sanjay Dutt's character in the hit action comedy Khoobsurat.
During the 2000s, Matondkar revealed strong, dramatic and psychological features in her roles, and delivered a number of critically acclaimed performances. In 2000, Matondkar re-united with Ram Gopal Varma for one project, the action film Jungle (2000 film) − (alongside Fardeen Khan and Sunil Shetty). It was a moderate critical and commercial success. In the same year she acted opposite Govinda in Kunwara, a romantic comedy directed by David Dhawan, the film underperformed at the box office, with a grossing of ₹181.8 million (US$2.5 million).
She won favourable reviews for her role as an obsessive lover in Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya (2001), and received various Best Villain nominations for her performance. The film was received favourably by critics and became successful at the box office with gross earnings of ₹28.05 crore (US$3.9 million).
In 2002, Matondkar appeared alongside Fardeen Khan and Anil Kapoor in Anupam Kher's love-saga Om Jai Jagadish. She played the role of Neetu, the love interest of the protagonist (played by Fardeen Khan). The film received positive to mixed comments from critics, but failed commercially. Anees Bazmee's psychological thriller Dewangee was Matondkar's next release; she played a pretty dancer-cum-singer in the film. Co-starring Ajay Devgan and Akshaye Khanna, the film was well received by critics and did moderate business at the box office. Deepa Gumaste, writing for Rediff, praised the performances of the three leads and wrote: "As usual, the heroine has little to do apart from looking cute in the first half and scared in the second. It is another matter that she is supposed to be the object of the film's conflict. For what it is worth, Urmila Matondkar executes her part well".
In 2003, she was part of several projects. She played the role of a north Indian girl in the background of the 1947 India partition in the critically acclaimed Pinjar. She played the title role in Khalid Mohammed's drama Tehzeeb, starring along Shabana Azmi, both of which underperformed at the box office.
However, she was mainly noted for her performance in Bhoot, a horror film. Matondkar enacted a ghost-possessed woman; her performance was much appreciated by critics and audiences and she won her first Filmfare Award under the Best Actress (Critics' Choice) category, as well as various Best Actress awards at different award ceremonies, such as Star Screen Awards, Zee Cine Awards and Bollywood Movie Awards. She later received the national honour Rajiv Gandhi Award for the film, as a recognition to her achievement in Bollywood. Taran Adarsh wrote of her performance: "...the film clearly belongs to Urmila Matondkar all the way. To state that she is excellent would be doing gross injustice to her work. Sequences when she is possessed are simply astounding. If this performance doesn't deserve an award, no other performance should. It beats all competition hollow". Khalid Mohamed wrote, "Matondkar is consistently excellent - controlled and persuasively vulnerable – as the beleaguered wife, evoking your concern and empathy. She’s the major triumph of Bhoot actually".
The film became successful at the box office with gross earnings of ₹224.1 million (US$3.1 million).
Critical acclaim and decrease in workload (2004–present)Edit
In 2004, she got critical recognition for her performance as a merciless avenger in Ram Gopal Verma's Ek Hasina Thi, co-starring Saif Ali Khan. The film was a box office success. She played the role of a deceived woman who is jailed because of her lover, played by Khan, and later flees from prison to seek revenge on him. Once again, Matondkar was nominated for a Filmfare award for her performance.
Next year in 2005, she tried her hand with another horror film, playing the title role in the film Naina. However, her performance as the caring daughter of Anupam Kher in Jahnu Barua's art film Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara was very well received, and she won her second Bollywood Movie Award for Best Actress. She next appeared in Pankaj Parashar's Love Story film Banaras: A Mystic Love Story with Ashmit Patel and Dimple Kapadia, the film was not well received by critics. Raja Sen described it as: "And then there's Urmila. Let's start with the good. She looks great, refreshingly beautiful and striking. That's about it. This is an actress who has worked hard to earn respectability, but this role, like the film itself, suffers from inconsistency". She next starred alonsgide in the woman-centric drama Bas Ek Pal (2006). Matondkar's all four releases underperformed at the box office.
Apart from holding a successful acting career, she is regarded as an outstanding dancer and has been a featured performer in many Bollywood item numbers. Her best-known item number is the Chamma Chamma sequence from the 1998 China Gate. Other hit numbers include Aaiye Aajaye from the film Lajja. She was signed to perform the item song in Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, a remake of the 1975 blockbuster Sholay. She played the role originally played by Helen.
In 2007, Matondkar lent her voice for Asha Bhonsle's album Asha and Friends Vol 1, where she performed with Bhosle the duet song "Mehbooba Dilruba". In fact, throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bhosle sang the most songs for Urmila. In that same year, she was seen on the second season of the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa on Sony Television as a judge along with Jeetendra and Shiamak Davar.
In 2008, Matondkar was seen with Himesh Reshammiya in a remake of the 1980 film Karz, titled Karzzzz. Even though the film was dubbed a failure critically, Urmila was praised for her acting and adding her own flavour to the role of Kamini. In 2012, Urmila Matondkar staged her comeback with an animated Hindi feature film Delhi Safari.
In 2012, Urmila Matondkar was a judge on the Marathi dance reality show Dance Maharashtra Dance on Zee Marathi and was seen in the Marathi movie Hridayanath.
In 2014, Urmila Matondkar made her Marathi film début with the film Ajoba. she was praised for her performance by critics.
Filmography and awardsEdit
- "Urmila Matondkar goes underwater for her birthday". Thaindian.com. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
- Verma, Sukanya (2002). "Star of the Week". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- Verma, Sukanya (29 May 2003). "'My knuckles would turn white'". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- Srinivasan, V S (16 January 1998). "Rangeela Re!". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- Kulkarni, Ronjita (2008). "Bollywood's top 5, 2003: Urmila Matondkar". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- "The Hindu : Urmila Matondkar not to rest on her laurels". thehindu.com.
- "CONGRATULATIONS: 'Rangeela' girl Urmila Matondkar gets MARRIED!". abplive.in.
- "Urmila Matondkar marries Mohsin Akhtar Mir". The Indian Express. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
- "Rangeela - Starring Aamir Khan, Urmila Matondkar, Jackie Shroff, Avtar Gill, Gulshan Grover". Ibosnetwork.com. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "Planet Bollywood: Film Review: Rangeela". Planetbollywood.com. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "Box Office 1997". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "Filmfare Nominations 1997". The Times Of India. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Judaai". Archived from the original on 7 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- "Satya - Movie - Box Office India".
- "Planet Bollywood: Film Review: Satya". Planetbollywood.com. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "Top Hits 1999 - - Box Office India".
- "Rediff On The Net, Movies: The review of Jaanam Samjha Karo". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- Mohamed, Khalid (1999). "First Rate Chiller". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 1999-10-09. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
- "Khoobsurat - Movie - Box Office India".
- "Jungle - Movie - Box Office India".
- "Kunwara - Movie - Box Office India".
- "Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya - Starring Fardeen Khan, Urmila Matondkar, Suresh Oberoi, Kannu Gill, Rajpal Yadav, Ravi Baswani, Sonali Kulkarni". Ibosnetwork.com. 2001-04-27. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- "Om Jai Jagadish - Movie - Box Office India".
- "Deewangee - Movie - Box Office India".
- "rediff.com: Movies: The Rediff Review: Deewangee".
- "Bhoot Review". Bollywoodhungama.com. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
- Mohamed, Khalid (1 June 2003). "By hook or by spook". Mid Day. Archived from the original on 14 April 2004. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Bhoot - Movie - Box Office India".
- "Ek Hasina Thi - Movie - IBOS Network".
- "Banaras: a daft disappointment".
- "2005 Rank".
- Urmila Matondkar comes back Archived 15 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- Kulkarni, Pooja (9 February 2013). "Urmila Matondkar's Marathi debut based on real life story". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-09-06.