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Manisha Koirala

Birthday
16 Aug 1970 (Age 48)

Manisha Koirala Biography

Manisha Koirala is a Nepalese actress who mainly appears in Hindi films, though she has worked in several South Indian and Nepali films.

Manisha was born into the politically prominent Hindu Koirala family. Her grandfather Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala was the Prime Minister of Nepal during the late 50s to the early 60s, as well as two of her great grand uncles, Girija Prasad Koirala and MP Koirala.
 
She studied at Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi and Vasant Kanya Mahavidhyalaya (VKM), Varanasi. She lived with her grandmother in Varanasi during her schooling days. Her ambition was to become a doctor, but a modelling stint opened a career path into Bollywood. Her brother Siddharth Koirala is also an actor, and collaborated with her once in the film Anwar.

In 2004, she returned from New York after receiving a diploma in filmmaking. She became a member of an independent documentary filmmaker's society.

Her first film was Pheri Bhetaula (We shall meet again), a Nepali movie released in early 1989. Her first Hindi movie was Subhash Ghai's Saudagar in 1991. The film proved to be a good beginning, as it was the biggest hit of the year.

She starred in a number of unsuccessful films during 1992-1993 until Vidhu Vinod Chopra's love saga 1942: A Love Story (1994) and Mani Ratnam's Tamil drama Bombay (1995) came out. Her performance in the latter was particularly appreciated and won her the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance.

She was also seen in more commercial films, such as Mansoor Khan's romantic musical Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995) opposite Aamir Khan. Her role of Kiran, an ignored wife who leaves her husband and child in order to fulfill her wish of becoming a singer and subsequently becomes a popular star, earned her a Filmfare nomination for Best Actress.

Koirala had a particularly successful year in 1996. She received positive reviews for her performance in the drama Agni Sakshi, where she played the role of a battered wife on the run from her mentally sick husband, played by Nana Patekar.

The film became one of the biggest hits of that year at the Indian box office. Later that year, she acted in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's directorial debut, Khamoshi: The Musical. The film saw her playing the role of Annie, a caring daughter to deaf parents. Her performance was highly acclaimed, and won her a second consecutive Filmfare Best Performer Award, as well as a Star Screen Award for Best Actress.

One year later in 1997, she played the leading role alongside Kajol and Bobby Deol in the thriller Gupt: The Hidden Truth. The film became one of the biggest hits of the year.

She went to collaborate once again with Mani Ratnam, and starred in his award-winning film Dil Se (1998) opposite Shahrukh Khan. Her role received similarly good reviews, and earned her several award nominations. Despite performing poorly at the box office in India, the film proved to be a hit overseas.

In 2002, she starred opposite Ajay Devgan in Ram Gopal Verma's Company. The film was a critical success, as was Koirala's performance in it, and she won her third Filmfare Best Performer Award."

After years of success, in 2003 Koirala left the mainstream cinema. She was seen in several low-budget films, yet not less challenging roles. She ventured into strong woman-oriented films in 2003, such as Escape From Taliban which won her the BFJA Best Actress Award. She then played the main protagonist in the movie Market where she enacted the role of a prostitute, portraying a whole life story.

Koirala's only release of 2007 was Anwar, in which she played a supporting role. In 2008, she made her comeback to films, with her first leading role since Mumbai Express, in Tulsi, opposite Irrfan Khan. Although pre-release her comeback was described by the media as "shocking", and the film suffered from poor marketing, her performance as Tulsi, a young homemaker diagnosed with blood cancer, was well received.

Social Work

In September 1999, Koirala was appointed as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador. She is actively involved in social work, specifically working with organizations to promote women's rights, prevention of violence against women, and also to prevent the human trafficking of Nepali girls for prostitution.

Controversies

Ek Chotisi Love Story

In 2002, Manisha accused the director of the film Ek Chotisi Love Story Shashilal Nair of using Koirala's body double to shoot some love scenes in the film and portraying her in bad light by shooting obscene postures using another actress in her place, without Manisha's approval to do so. Koirala required from Nair to re-shoot these scenes because the double's body did not match her physique and required that these scenes be deleted from the film.

The Pet Case

Another controversy occurred in February 2006, when a wake of protests by sections of people following a media report claimed Koirala had named her pet dog after a revered Muslim figure, which caused groups to bring out demonstrations against her. Koirala was provided police security to prevent any problem. In the following days, the accusations continued. However, Koirala denied the accusations and the police said the actress had no pet at all.
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