One of the most versatile actresses of the Indian film fraternity, Tabu is famous for starring in movies like Maachis (1996), Virasat (1997), Astitva (2000),Chandni Bar (2001), Maqbool (2003) Cheeni Kum (2007), The Namesake
(2007), Life Of Pi (2012), and Haider (2014). In 2011, this two-time National Award winning actress was felicitated with the Padma Sri, India`s fourth highest civilian award, for her contribution to Indian cinema.
Tabassum Hashmi was born on 4th November 1971 in Telangana, Hyderabad to Jamal Hashmi and Rizwana. After her parents divorced, Tabu was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents. She completed her primary education from St. Anns High School in Hyderabad and moved to Mumbai in 1983 to complete her higher studies from St Xavier`s College. Tabu is the niece of the veteran actress Shabana Azmi
and cinematographer Baba Azmi. Farah Naaz, an actress known for her work in films like Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri, and Begunaah is Tabu`s elder sister.
Tabu started her journey in acting by making a small appearance in the 1982 Bollywood film Bazaar when she was just 10 years old and at the age of fourteen, she played Dev Anand`s daughter in the Bollywood Drama Hum Naujawan. Her first lead role as an actress came with the 1991 Telugu film Coolie No.1, co-starring Venkatesh. The film was a hit at the Box Office. Tabu made her Bollywood debut with Rishi Kapoor in the film Pehla Pehla Pyaar. The film was a failure at the Box Office. After giving a series of flops in the beginning of her career, she received the limelight with her role in the 1994 film Vijaypath. Starring alongside Ajay Devgn
, the film brought her the much-needed appreciation and she won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for the same.
In the years that followed, she went on to give hit films like David Dhawan`s Saajan Chale Sasural (1996) and Priyadarshan
`s Virasat (1997). Both the films were commercial successes and Virasat won Tabu her first Filmfare Critics Award for the Best Actress. She was also seen in the critically acclaimed Malayalam period epic film Kalapani (1996), where she was paired opposite Mohanlal
. Tabu continued her great run with films like Maachis in the year 1996 and Hu Tu Tu in 1999. Her portrayal of a Sikh woman, Virender Kaur in the Gulzar directed Maachis, gave her the National Film Award for Best Actress. She then appeared in the 2000 bilingual film Astitva. Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar
, the film received critical acclaim and won Tabu her second Filmfare Critics Award for the Best Actress.
Following this, the actress starred alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
and Ajith Kumar
in the Tamil film Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000). The next major milestone in her career was Madhur Bhandarkar`s critically-acclaimed film Chandni Bar (2001). The film showcased the hard-hitting reality of the Mumbai underworld, dance bars, and prostitution, where Tabu played Mumtaz Ali Ansari, the lead lady in the film. Her gritty portrayal of the character got her a unanimous appreciation and she won her second National Film Award for Best Actress for the film.
Subsequently, in the year 2003, she was cast in Vishal Bhardwaj`s Shakespearean adaptation Maqbool. With co-stars Pankaj Kapoor, Irrfan Khan
and Masumeh Makhija the film was well appreciated by the critics but failed to create the buzz at the box office. The 2007 film Cheeni Kum saw Tabu as Nina Verma, a 34- year old having a romantic relationship with the 64-year-old Buddhadev Gupta, played by the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan
. The movie, directed by R. Balki, was generally well-received.
The versatile actress made her Hollywood debut with The Namesake in 2007. A Mira Nair directorial, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri and received positive reviews from the critics. Her next Hollywood film was Ang Lee`s American drama Life of Pi (2012), based on Yann Martel`s novel of the same name. She was next seen in the 2014 drama film Haider
. The third installment of Vishal Bhardwaj`s Shakespearean trilogy, the movie Shahid Kapoor
in the titular role, along with Shraddha Kapoor and Kay Kay Menon. Tabu received appreciation nationwide for a flawless portrayal of Ghazala.
She then appeared in a pivotal role in the thriller Drishyam
(2015), which was directed by Nishikant Kamat and opened to much critical acclaim. The film also fared reasonably well at the box office. Among the actress` most recent film credits are the blockbuster supernatural comedy Golmaal Again (2017) and the black comedy thriller Andhadhun
(2018), the latter of which featured her in a central role alongside Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte. Besides these, she is also set to appear in the romantic comedy De De Pyaar De (2019) and the Salman Khan
starrer Bharat (2019), Angu Vaikuntapurathu (2020) and Jawaani Jaaneman (2020).