Madhoo Shah

  • Actor

Mar 26, 1972  in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Also Known as: Madhoo

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Best remembered for her portrayal of the titular character in Mani Ratnam`s 1992 romantic thriller Roja, Madhoo Shah is an Indian actress who has acted in movies in five different languages; Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. The actress made her debut with K. Balanchander`s Azhagan co-starring Mammooty, Bhanupriya, Geetha and Babloo Prithviraj. She was also seen in crtically acclaimed films such as Roja, Gentleman, Diljale, and Ranna.

Early Life
Born as Madhoobala Raghunath in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to Raghunath and Renuka, a former Bharatnatyam teacher, Madhoo lost her mother to cancer at an early age of 13. Her father, Raghunath, is the brother of Bollywood`s dream girl Hema Malini. Madhoo completed her schooling from St. Joseph High School in Juhu, Mumbai. As a young girl, she idolized her aunt Hema and wanted to become an actress just like her. She then pursued a course in acting from Roshan Taneja`s School of Acting but was abruptly told to leave as she wasn`t physically fit. Madhoo then took up gyming and swimming lessons, and got a complete makeover before appearing for acting assignments.

Personal Life
Madhoo is married to industrialist Anand Shah. After tying the knot on the 19th of February, 1999, the two relocated to the US. Together, the couple has two daughters, Ameeya and Keia, who were born in the year 2000 and 2002 respectively.

Movie Career
Madhoo made her debut in 1991 with the Tamil movie Azhagan, where she was paired opposite Malayalam cinema`s stalwart Mammootty. In her debut movie, she was seen portraying the role of a college student in love with a famous and middle-aged hotelier who does not want to take forward their relationship, considering the age gap between them. The same year she was signed by director Veeru Devgan for his film Phool aur Kaante. The film marked the debut of Veeru Devgan`s son, Ajay Devgn. The film revolves around Ajay who has to takeover his father Nageshwar`s criminal empire. Madhoo essayed the role of Ajay`s wife in the film, which was both a commercial and critical success.

The following year Madhoo bagged the lead role in Mani Ratnam`s romantic thriller Roja in which she depicted the role of a village girl. The film received critical acclaim and was awarded with the Filmfare Best Movie Award - Tamil, and also went on to win three National Film Award. The movie also marked the debut on the musical genius A. R. Rahman, who won National Film Award for Best Music Direction, Filmfare Award for Best Music Director - Tamil, and the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director for his work in the movie.

In 1993, the actress was signed by Shankar for the Tamil vigilante-heist film Gentleman. The movie, which went on to become a commercial and critical success, saw Madhoo essay the role of a woman in love with her boss, constantly demanding his attention. The year 1994 was undoubtedly an important year for the Roja actress as she starred in four consecutive films, which are considered milestones in Madhoo`s career. She appeared in critical acclaimed films such as Guddu Dhanao`s action film Elaan starring Amrish Puri, Akshay Kumar, Farida Jalal, and Monish Behl. The action film was declared a hit at the box office, with all the actors receiving acclaim for their performance. The actress was next paired opposite Tamil actor Prashanth in Sendhamizh Selvan wherein her character elopes with Vijayakumar, played by Prashanth, after their respective parents disapprove of their relationship. Some of her other hits in the same year were Time Bomb and Puttinilla Metinilla.

The following year, Madhoo was paired opposite Mithun Chakraborty in the science fiction film Diya aur Toofan which explores the story of Madhoo`s character who, after a transplant, avenges the death of her brain donor, which is portrayed by Mithun. The film received positive response and was declared a commercial success. The actress next was seen in Hathkadi and Jalaad, both films did average business at the box office.

In 1996, Madhoo was cast opposite Ajay Devgn and Sonali Bendre in Diljale in which she was a part of a terrorist group. Madhoo performed brilliantly despite playing a supporting role in the film, with film critic Nisha Mehta stating, "Diljale was a landmark in Madhoo`s career. The same year the actress was seen in the Return of Jewel Thief which is the sequel to Jewel Thief, starring Dev Anand and Ashok Kumar. Madhoo was next paired opposite Nana Patekar in Anil Mattoo`s crime film Yeshwant, where she essayed the role of an illiterate woman, whose husband encourages her to study so that she can join the Indian Administrative Services. In 1998, she was offered a part in D. Suresh Babu`s Ganesh, starring Venkatesh and Rambha in lead roles. The film received critical acclaim and was awarded with five Nandi awards.

After taking a sabbatical for over twelve years, Madhoo made a comeback in 2011 with the drama romance Love you...Mr Kalakaar, starring Amrita Rao and Tusshar Kapoor. Next, she was signed by Hema Malini in the Esha Deol, Arjan Bajwa, and Sudhanshu Pandey-starrer 2011 drama Tell Me O Kkhudda, which is the Bollywood remake of the Hollywood film Mamma Mia. Bollywood superstar Salman Khan also made a special appearance in the film. Despite having a strong star cast, the film failed to create an impact at the box office and received mixed reviews.

Madhoo then appeared in the Tamil language film Anthaka Mundu Aa Tarvatha starring Sumanth Ashwin and Esha. The film received critical acclaim and also received an IIFA nomination for Best Film. In 2014, Madhoo was seen in Balaji Mohan`s bilingual romantic comedy titled Samsaaram Aarogyathinu Haanikaram in Malayalam and Vaayai Moodi Pesavum in Tamil. The following year, Madhoo appeared in the Kannada remake of the 2013 Telugu action-drama Attarintiki Daredi titled Ranna. The same year, she was signed by director Karthik Ghattamaneni in the relatively successful Telugu romance Surya vs Surya, starring Nikhil Siddharth and Tridha Choudhury in pivotal roles. In 2016, the actress was paired opposite Prithvi Nandan, Malavika Mohanan, and Prakash Raj in the Kanadda action film Naanu Mattu Varalakshmi, which was declared a commercial hit after it grossed over INR 68.50 crore in the first nine days of its release. Her other projects include Seetharama Kalyana, Premier Padmini and College Kumar.