Kajol Devgn popularly known as Kajol, is an Indian film actress appearing in Hindi films. Kajol was born in Mumbai of Bengali-Marathi descent. Her mother Tanuja is an actress, while her late father Shomu Mukherjee was a film director and producer. Her late maternal aunt, Nutan is the record holder for the most (five times) Filmfare Awards for Best Actress, and her late maternal grandmother Shobhna Samarth and great grandmother Rattan Bai had both been involved in Hindi cinema. Kajol left her school St. Josephs convent at Panchgani and started her career at the age of seventeen.
Kajol made her acting debut in the film Bekhudi (1992) and had her first commercial success with her second film Baazigar (1993) opposite Shahrukh Khan, with whom she would act in such popular movies as Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995),Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and My Name is Khan (2010). Her performances in all four of these films were praised and the first three earned her three Filmfare Awards for Best Actress. After Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001, she took a sabbatical from full time acting for five years. She made a comeback with Kunal Kohli's Fanaa (2006), for which she received her fourth Best Actress Award at the Filmfare. Kajol is regarded as one of India's most successful and talented actresses. She is married to fellow Indian actor Ajay Devgn.
Kajol's younger sister Tanisha Mukherjee is also an actress. Kajol married Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn on February 24, 1999. The couple have 2 children, a daughter named Nysa (born in 2003) and a son named Yug (born in 2010).
In 1993, she shot to fame with her second film, Baazigar. The film was her first major hit, and her pairing with Shahrukh Khan was appreciated. She later went on to make a popular pairing with him in a number of films, all of which were box office successes.
Her first release in 1994, Udhaar Ki Zindagi, was a box-office failure. Despite that, her performance in the film was much appreciated by critics, and she won the BFJA Best Actress Award for her performance. She next starred in her first Yash Raj Film, the romantic drama Yeh Dillagi, co-starring Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan. The film was a box office success and her performance as Sapna, a strong dreamy girl who leaves her paternal home to make her own life in the big city, earned her a first nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards.
The year 1995 proved to be very successful for Kajol, as she went on to star in two of the year's biggest hits. Her first release was Rakesh Roshan's Karan Arjun. The film, which dealt with reincarnation, became the second biggest hit of the year. While her next three releases that year failed at the box office, her last release, Aditya Chopra's directorial debut, the romance Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, was not only the biggest hit of that year, but one of Hindi cinema's biggest hits. In 2008, the film entered its twelfth year in Mumbai theaters, grossing over 12 billion rupees overall, making it one of the biggest blockbusters in Bollywood. Kajol's performance in the film was praised, and she received her first Filmfare Best Actress Award.
Kajol had only one release in 1996, Bambai Ka Babu, opposite Saif Ali Khan, which was a box office failure. Then came her films like Gupt, Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya, Dil Kya Kare, Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, Raju Chacha and many to list some were hits while some missed however Kajol's acting was appreciated. However, she reinvented her success in her second venture with Karan Johar, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, which was one of the biggest hits of the year, and for which she won several Best Actress awards, including her third Filmfare Best Actress Award and her second Star Screen Award for Best Actress. Following the success of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kajol took a sabbatical from full time acting for five years. She gave birth to her daughter Nysa in 2003.
She made a successful comeback in 2006 with Kunal Kohli's drama Fanaa, one of the highest grossing films of the year. Portraying a blind Kashmiri girl who falls in love with a Kashmiri terrorist (played by Aamir Khan) in the film, she won her fourth Filmfare Best Actress Award, which placed her at par with Meena Kumari and Madhuri Dixit, each of whom holds 4 Best Actress awards from Filmfare. (Kajol's late aunt, Nutan currently holds the record for five such awards.)
U, Me aur Hum, which released on 11 April 2008, marked her husband Ajay Devgan's directorial debut. The film performed moderately at the box office and Kajol was critically praised for her sensitive portrayal as an Alzheimer patient. For her performance in the film, she received her tenth Filmfare Best Actress Award nomination.
Kajol was recently seen in Karan Johar's new movie My Name Is Khan, which is based on a true story, against the backdrop of perceptions on Islam post 11 September. Filming commenced in December 2008 in Los Angeles and ended in October 2009. Upon release, the film received positive reviews from critics and became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time in the overseas market. Kajol's portrayal of a single mother was well-received with Rajeev Masand writing, "Bringing emotional depth to what is essentially Rizwan's story, Kajol is immensely likeable as Mandira, using her eyes to convey volumes, topping the performance off with a powerful breakdown scene that literally puts her through the wringer."
She next starred alongside Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in We Are Family, an Indian adaptation of the Hollywood movie Stepmom (1998). Directed by Siddharth Malhotra, the feature received pre-dominantly positive reviews and Kajol's performance of a terminally ill mother was praised by critics. Her recent release is Toonpur Ka Superhero, a live-action/animated film which did not do well at the box-office. She is also giving the voice over for Karan Johar animated film Koochie Koochie Hota Hai(animated adaptation of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) which is in the post production stage right now.
In 2005, she appeared on the TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati hosted by Amitabh Bachchan. She was paired with her husband Ajay Devgan. They won 1 crore (10 million) rupees and donated this to a cancer hospital in Chennai. She has also appeared on Indian Idol, seasons one and two, as a guest judge.
She appeared on Karan Johar's talk show Koffee with Karan with Shahrukh Khan on the first episode. She also appeared on the last episode of the Season 1 together with Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. Back again with Season 2 of Koffee with Karan, Karan's first episode started with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai reunion. After almost a decade since his directorial debut Karan invited her along with Shahrukh and Rani Mukerji.
She modeled and walked the ramp for Manish Malhotra's fashion display Fashion Week 2006, titled Freedom, along with actress Preity Zinta. In 2006, 4 miniature dolls under the name Bollywood legends were introduced. Besides Priyanka Chopra, Hrithik Roshan and Shahrukh Khan, she is one of the dolls.
In 2008, Kajol, husband Ajay Devgan and her mother Tanuja were jury members in the TV show Rock'n'Roll Family. She appeared with Shahrukh Khan in the special anniversary issue of the Indian Vogue in October 2009. Apart from being goodwill ambassador and patron of the Britain-based Loomba Trust - a charity devoted to educating widows' children, particularly in India, Kajol also works with an NGO called Shiksha.
She is a recipient of the Karamveer Puraskar award (26 November 2008), which recognises individuals who have been pivotal in leading change beyond their business by being committed to social issues.