Kajol Devgan, née Mukherjee, popularly known as Kajol, is an Indian film actress appearing in Hindi films. She is regarded as one of India's most successful and talented female actors. 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 earned her Filmfare Awards for Best Actress. After shooting for 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 another Best Actress Award at the Filmfare. Along with her late aunt Nutan, Kajol holds the record for most Best Actress wins at the Filmfare Awards, with five. In 2011, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri for her contribution to Indian Cinema. She is married to fellow Indian actor Ajay Devgn.
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 maternal aunt is the late actress Nutan, with whom she holds the record for the most wins (five times) of the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, and her maternal grandmother Shobhna Samarth and great grandmother Rattan Bai had both been involved in Hindi cinema. Her paternal uncles are film producers; Joy Mukherjee and Deb Mukherjee. Kajol's paternal grandfather, Sashadhar Mukherjee, was a filmmaker. His wife Satirani Devi, Kajol's paternal grandmother, was the sister of Ashok Kumar, Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar. Kajol's cousins Rani Mukerji, Sharbani Mukherjee and Mohnish Behl are also Bollywood actors; whereas her cousin Ayan Mukerji is a director. Kajol's younger sister Tanisha Mukherjee is also an actress. Kajol married Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan on February 24, 1999. The couple have 2 children, a daughter named Nysa (born in 2003) and a son named Yug (born in 2010). On April 10, 2008, Kajol's father died after suffering from a cardiac arrest. His funeral was held the same day and was attended by other Bollywood personalities. Kajol left her school St. Josephs convent at Panchgani and started her career at the age of seventeen. Her debut film was 1992's Bekhudi, which was a box office failure. In 1993, she shot to fame with her second film, Abbas-Mustan's thriller Baazigar. The film saw her co-starring alongside Shahrukh Khan, with whom she later went on to make a popular pairing in a number of films, all of which were box office successes.
Kajol was recently seen alongside Shahrukh Khan in Karan Johar's drama 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 who marries a Muslim autistic man 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." Kajol won her fifth Best Actress award at the Filmfare, a record which she shares with her late aunt, actress Nutan. 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, Hindustan Times critic Mayank Shekhar stated, "The premise is stuff dry tissues are made for. Yet, the pathos here is produced not from moments, but from performances alone: a stunning Kajol’s in particular. She appears superior to Susan Sarandon, I suspect." Her next film, Toonpur Ka Superhero, a live-action/animated film, was released in December 2010.
n 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 she, her 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.
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