Simran Bagga

  • Actor

Apr 04, 1976  in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Also Known as: Rishibala Naval

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Simran Bagga is an actress known for her work in Tamil and Telugu cinema. She debuted as an actress with the film Sanam Harjai in 1995 with her most popular Hindi film being Tere Mere Sapne. She later found great commercial success in Tamil cinema with films like V.I.P. and Vaali propelling her to the top rung of actresses. In the Telugu film industry, too, Simran became a popular name with commercial blockbusters like Samarsimha Reddy and Narsimha Naidu. But her most notable performance came in the Mani Ratnam film Kannathil Muthamital for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress in Leading Role.

Early Life
Simran was born as Rishibala Naval in Mumbai on 4th April, 1976 to Ashok Naval and Sharadha. Her younger sister, Monal, who, like her, was an actress committed suicide in 2002. She completed her schooling from St. Anthony`s School in Andheri, Mumbai. She later graduated from the Mumbai University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. While pursuing her B.Com, she simultaneously pursued modelling, apart from getting trained as a dancer in Bharatnatyam and Salsa.

Personal Life
At the height of her career, Simran left the film industry after her marriage to her childhood friend Deepak Bagga in 2003. The couple has two sons named Adheep and Aadit from their marriage.

Movie Career
Simran made her movie debut with the film Sanam Harjai in 1995. Her biggest Bollywood film has to be the multi-starrer Tere Mere Sapne produced by A.B.C.L. She plays the role of an industrialist`s daughter in the film. A taxi driver disguised as a rich lad, played by Arshad Warsi, falls for her. The film is loosely adapted from Mark Twain`s Prince and the Pauper.

However, it were the Tamil and Telugu film industries where she won a lot of praise and popularity. She debuted in Tamil with the film Nerruku Ner (1997) but it was VIP (1997) that made her a known figure in Tamil Nadu. In VIP, a pickpocket played by Prabhu Deva falls in love with Simran`s character who is again the daughter of a rich businessman. Her film Once More also released on the same day as VIP. Simran went on to win the Best Debut Actress Award at South Filmfare Awards that year.

Simran`s popularity reached greater heights with her film Vaali (1999) with Ajith. It is an erotic thriller directed by S.J. Surya in which Simran plays a character who is a target of the lust of a deaf and mute brother of her husband. The film was a major hit at the box office and even won her a nomination at the Filmfare Awards South for Best Actress.

The success of the Telugu film Samarsimha Reddy (1999) made Simran a big name in that industry. Starring opposite Nandamuri Balkrishna, the film was a violent revenge thriller. The film not only was commercially successful, but it also earned Simran critical acclaim. She was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress.

1999 was certainly a special year for Simran as another film of hers made an impact. Thulladha Manamum Thullum (1999) had her playing a blind girl who later regains her eyesight due to a singer named Kutty played by Vijay. Misunderstandings make Simran hate Kutty, until she realizes that it is Kutty who was instrumental in getting back her eyesight. Simran`s performance in the film earned her a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress.

Simran again co-starred with Nandmuri Balakrishnan in the film Narasimha Naidu (2001). Directed by B. Gopal, the film had her playing the wife of Nandmuri Balakrishnan who plays the titular role. Narsimha Naidu again was both a big hit and got Simran praise for her performance.

However, Simran`s most notable performance came in the Mani Ratnam film Kannathil Muthamital (2002). The film that delicately explored the Srilankan Tamil War through a touching story of an adopted child in the search of her real mother. Simran who played the mother of the adopted child won the Filmfare Award South for Best Tamil Actress in Leading Role.

At the height of her career, though, Simran took a break from acting after getting married. In 2009, she won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the critically acclaimed romantic drama Vaaranam Aayiram (2008). Among Simran`s notable acting credits in recent years are the action thriller Thupparivaalan (2017) and the action drama Seema Raja (2018). In 2019, she appeared opposite Rajinikanth in the Karthik Subbaraj directorial Petta. Besides this, she also essayed a central role in the spy thriller Dhruva Natchathiram starring Vikram and directed by Gautham Menon.