- born January 1, 1978 is an award-winning Indian actress who appears
in Bollywood movies.
Vidya Balan began her career starring in many music videos, soap operas
and commercials, made her acting debut in the Bengali film, Bhalo Theko
(2003), for which she won critical acclaim. She later made her Hindi
film debut with Parineeta (2005), for which she received a Filmfare Best
Female Debut Award, and received her first commercial success with
Rajkumar Hirani's Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). Balan has thus
established herself as one of the most promising actresses of the
Early life, until 2002
Balan grew up in Mumbai and attended St. Anthony's Girls High School in
Chembur. She later attended St. Xavier's College, where she graduated
with a sociology degree, and the University of Mumbai.
Her movie career started when she was signed to appear in the Malayalam
film Chakram, alongside superstar Mohanlal but the movie was shelved.
After that, she was signed for a Tamil film, Run, but for reasons
undisclosed, she was dropped after a first schedule and replaced by
Meera Jasmine. In the jinx driven industry, Balan was dropped from
her second Tamil movie Manasellam opposite Srikanth, on the grounds of
'non-performance' and was replaced by Trisha Krishnan.
She then turned to television advertising. From 1998 onwards, she
appeared in numerous television ads, many of which were directed by
Pradeep Sarkar. She also took supporting roles in music videos,
appearing with singers and bands such as Euphoria, Shubha Mudgal, and
Pankaj Udhas. Balan also portrayed the role of Radhika Mathur in a few
episodes of the first season of Hum Paanch, but was later replaced by
Amita Nangia at the end of the first season.
In 2003, she appeared in the Bengali film, Bhalo Theko, for which she
won the Anandalok Puraskar Best Actress award in Kolkata. Balan next
made her Hindi film debut in the critically acclaimed Parineeta. Though
the film didn't do well, her performance was acclaimed by critics,
earning her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award and a nomination for
Filmfare Best Actress Award.
After the success of her first two films, the same producer who dropped
her from Manasellam was keen to sign her opposite Kamal Hassan for
Dasavatharam but she rejected the offer and Asin Thottumkal was signed
instead. In 2006, she appeared opposite Sanjay Dutt in the blockbuster
film Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Once again her performance was well received
by critics and the film went on to become the second highest grossing
film of that year.
Mani Ratnam's critically acclaimed Guru was Balan's first release in
2007, in which she played a woman with a physical disability. The film
did very well at the box office and her role was appreciated. Her
next two releases, Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love (2007) and Eklavya:
The Royal Guard (2007) failed to do well but the latter was selected
as India's official entries to the Oscars for the 80th Academy
Awards. Balan's last two releases of the year, Heyy Babyy (2007) and
Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) have fared very well at the box office.
Her father, P. R. Balan, is the Vice President of ETC Channel whilst her
mother is a homemaker. Balan also has an older sister named Priya. In a
video interview, she stated that she was "extremely spiritual", had a
"firm faith in God" and visited temples everyday.
Gossip columnists have linked Balan with many of her co-stars but she
strongly denied the allegations, saying that they were "vile".
Awards and nominations
2006: Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, Parineeta
2006: Filmfare FairOne Face of the Year, Parineeta
2006: Filmfare Best Actress Award, Parineeta
2008: Filmfare Best Actress Award, Bhool Bhulaiyaa
Star Screen Awards
2006: Star Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female, Parineeta
Zee Cine Awards
2006: Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut, Parineeta
2006: Zee Cine Award for Best Actor - Female, Parineeta
International Indian Film Academy Awards
2006: IIFA Best Female Debut, Parineeta
2007: IIFA Best Actress Award, Lage Raho Munnabhai
2006: Stardust Superstar of Tomorrow - Female, Parineeta
2003: Anandalok Puraskar Awards, Best Actress, Bhalo Theko
2006: Star's Sabsey Favourite Nayi Heroine, Parineeta
2007: Anandalok Puraskar Awards, Best Actress, Bhool Bhulaiyaa