Kirron Kher was born in Mumbai and was raised by her parents Thakur Singh Sandhu and Diljit Thakar Singh. Since her father was in the army, Kirron and her siblings Kanwal, Amardeep and Sharanjit travelled all over India and finally settled down in Chandigarh. Kirron graduated from the Department of Indian Theatre of Punjab University and was also an avid badminton player along with her sister Kanwal. She was then discovered by Sunil Dutt who was on the lookout for a fresh face for his new project. The film was shelved due financial constraints but Kirron was determined to pursue acting. In the 1980s, she moved to Mumbai to kickstart her career but struggled to find any appropriate roles. Finally she debuted in a Punjabi film Aasra Pyaar Da (1983) and received rave reviews for her performance.
She then took a break from acting and appeared in only one film Pestonjee (1987) between 1983-1996. She returned as the host of three television shows - Purushkshetra, that addressed sexuality for the first time, while highlighting women`s issues; Kiron Kher Today and Jagte Raho with Kiron Kher. She then starred in Karan Arjun (1995), followed by Shyam Benegal`s Sardari Begum (1996) for which she won the National Award-Special Jury. She was then cast in Rituparna Ghosh`s Bengali film Bariwali (1999) which also won her a National Award for Best Actress. She was mostly seen playing supporting roles in acclaimed films like Main Hoon Na (2004), Rang De Basanti (2006), Singh is Kinng (2008) and Dostana (2009). In 2009, she appeared as one of the judges on India`s Got Talent. The Bhartiya Janta Party declared Kirron Kher as the Lok Sabha candidate from Chandigarh for the General Elections 2014 which she subsequently won. She was later seen playing a major role in the romantic comedy Khoobsurat (2014).
Kirron is also an ace badminton player and also played with Deepika Padukone`s father, Prakash at the national levels.