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Sonali Bendre (born 1 January 1975) is an Indian film actress, model, television personality and author. Primarily known for her work in Hindi films, she has also appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Kannada language films. One of the most popular,successful and beautiful actresses of Indian cinema, Bendre is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Filmfare Award.
Bendre as a teenager did a few modelling assignments and appeared in several television commercials. At the age of nineteen, made her acting debut with a leading role in the 1994 film Aag. Subsequently, Bendre starred in a number of box office hits, including Diljale (1996), the action thrillers Bhai and Qahar (both 1997), Major Saab (1998), Sarfarosh (1999), Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) and Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai (2000) — and received critical recognition for her roles in the 1998 drama Zakhm and the 2001 crime comedy Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega. Post a brief appearance in Kal Ho Naa Ho , Bendre took a leave from full-time acting in 2003, and made her comeback with the 2013 gangster thriller Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara.
In addition to acting in films, Bendre is a stage performer. In 2001, Bendre ventured into television and has hosted the dance show Kya Masti Kya Dhoom....! and featured as a talent judge for Mr & Mrs Television, the reality shows Indian Idol 4, India's Got Talent, Hindustan Ke Hunarbaaz and India's Best Dramebaaz. She presented the show Mission Sapne and played the leading role in the serial Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh. She has also authored the book The Modern Gurukul – My Experiments with Parenting. She has been running her digital book club since 2017, through her book club, Bendre organizes masterclasses, in-conversations on reading trends and arranged giveaways to popularize reading and bring Indian authors to interact with the urban millennial generation. Bendre has been married to director Goldie Behl since 2002, with whom she has a son.
Personal life and education
Bendre was born in Mumbai in a Maharashtrian family She studied at Kendriya Vidyalaya Malleswaram, Bangalore and Holy Cross Convent High School, Thane. Thereafter she went to Welham Girls School, Dehradun. She married film director Goldie Behl on 12 November 2002. On 11 August 2005, her son, Ranveer, was born at the Breach Candy Hospital.
Due to her family background she is a non-vegetarian. She has a brother who lives in Mumbai. Her father was a government servant who was diagnosed with Asthma.
On 4 July 2018 she revealed on Twitter that she has been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing treatment in New York city hospital. Her co-stars and members from the film industry like Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Karan Johar, Manish Malhotra have poured their well-wishes for her speedy recovery.
Bendre has authored a book, "The Modern Gurukul: My Experiments with Parenting", sharing her three principles of parenting that find a balance between traditional and modern values. The book "highlights the need for a return to our roots to raise a healthy, curious and, most importantly, compassionate child".
Ram Kadam, a BJP politician posted a false tweet about Bendre's death in September 2018. The message (translated from Marathi) was :"Sonali Bendre, the actress who ruled Hindi and Marathi cinema and was dear to all, is no more". Kadam was criticized for spreading this false rumor. .
Bendre started as a model before being selected for the "Star Dust Talent Search". She was invited to Mumbai and received training from a variety of top actors and performers of the Indian film industry. Her first role was in Aag (1994) opposite Govinda. The movie flopped, but she was noticed. She won the Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year and Star Screen Awards' Most Promising Newcomer.
Though she initially struggled to be a successful actress, she was eventually given critical acclaim for her performances in Diljale in 1996, followed by Bhai (1997), Sarfarosh, Zakhm, Duplicate, Kadhalar Dhinam (Tamil film), Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999), Tera Mera Saath Rahen (2001) and Anahat (2003) among others. She is also known for being one of the few actresses who acted opposite all four Khans (Shahrukh, Aamir, Salman and Saif). She has also starred opposite Bollywood actors such as Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Ajay Devgn. She also starred opposite Telugu matinee idol Chiranjeevi in films such as Indra and Shankar Dada M.B.B.S.
In addition to her acting, she was also recognized as a graceful dancer through films such as Gaddar, Sapoot, Bombay, Lajja and Major Saab. In 2003, she made a special appearance as Shahrukh Khan's doctor, Dr. Priya, in Kal Ho Naa Ho (produced by Karan Johar), which also starred Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta. Bendre also starred in the theatre in a play called Aap Ki Soniya .
She welcomed Michael Jackson on his arrival in India in a traditional Maharashtrian nauvari sari(Marathi: नऊवारी साडी), and she performed Aarti for Jackson on November 1, 1996.
Bendre hosted a dance show on television named Kya Masti Kya Dhoom....!. She also hosted the 50th Filmfare Awards with Saif Ali Khan and Farida Jalal on 26 February 2005. She was a judge on Mr & Mrs Television, Indian Idol 4 and India's Got Talent. In 2012, she appeared as a judge on the reality dance series Hindustan Ke Hunarbaaz, on Life OK, along with choreographer Terence Lewis.
She also appeared as a judge on India's Best Dramebaaz on Zee TV. She was the narrator on the TV Show Mission Sapne, aired on Colors in 2014. Bendre played the lead role, Shoba Sachdev, in Star Life OK's television serial Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh. The serial started airing in October 2014.
In June 2012, Bendre was rumoured to quit judging India's Got Talent 4. She was said to be likely replaced by Ritesh Deshmukh. However, she opted out of the show in order to give her dates for her comeback movieOnce Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara!; for some period, the channel hasn't spoken to Bendre. In July, Bendre announced that she would be making her comeback by portraying a character connected to the one played by Akshay Kumar in the movie. Her part was described by the director Milan Luthria: "Sonali's character is called Mumtaz. The name spells enigma and is very crucial to the plot of the film. The character doesn't fit into the usual mould of a mother or a sister or bhabhi but has an identity of its own. That is what makes it special. And that's why Sonali agreed to be a part of the film."
Bendre took a sabbatical from movies after 2004. After giving birth to her son she started acting in television. She refused to star in many movies, saying she wanted to focus on her family, especially her son. However, after she was offered Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Dobaara!, she said yes because of her friendship with Ekta and Shobha Kapoor, and the fact she had previously worked with both Luthria (Chori Chori) and Kumar (in Tarazu, Sapoot, Angaaray, Keemat).
Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year
|1995||The Don||Anita Malik||Hindi|
|Bombay||Herself||Tamil||Special appearance in the song "Humma Humma"|
|1996||Rakshak||Dr. Pooja Malhotra||Hindi|
|English Babu Desi Mem||Bijuriya||Hindi|
|Apne Dam Par||Herself||Hindi||Special appearance in the song "Aara Hile Chapara Hile"|
|1998||Keemat - They Are Back||Mansi||Hindi|
|Humse Badhkar Kaun||Anu||Hindi|
|Hum Saath Saath Hain||Preeti||Hindi|
|Dahek||Sabina Bahkshi/Neelima Bahkshi||Hindi|
|2000||Chal Mere Bhai||Piya||Hindi||Cameo appearance|
|Dil Hi Dil Mein||Roja||Hindi||Official dubbed and partial re-shot version of Kadhalar Dhinam|
|Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai||Khushi||Hindi||Star Screen Award Best Supporting Actress|
|Dhai Akshar Prem Ke||Nisha||Hindi||Cameo appearance|
|Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hain||Saawni||Hindi|
|Preethse||Kiran||Kannada||Kannada debut Remake of Hindi Movie Darr|
|Love You Hamesha||Shivani||Hindi|
|Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega||Sapna Chopra||Hindi|
|Lajja||Herself||Hindi||Special appearance in the song "Mujhe Saajan Ke Ghar Jaana Hai"|
|Tera Mera Saath Rahen||Madhuri||Hindi|
|Pyaar Kiya Nahin Jaatha||Disha||Hindi|
|Palnati Brahmanayudu||Siva Nageswari||Telugu|
|Kal Ho Naa Ho||Priya||Hindi||Cameo appearance|
|2004||Shankar Dada MBBS||Dr. Sunita/ Chitti||Telugu|
|Aga Bai Arrecha!||Herself||Marathi||Special appearance in the song "Cham Cham Karta Hai"|
|2013||Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara!||Mumtaz Khan||Hindi||Cameo appearance|
|2001||Kya Masti Kya Dhoom||Host||TV 18|
|2008||Mr & Mrs Television||Judge||Sony Entertainment Television|
|2008-2009||Indian Idol||Judge||Sony Entertainment Television|
|2009-2012||India's Got Talent||Judge||Colors|
|2012||Hindustan Ke Hunarbaaz||Judge||Life OK|
|2014–2015||Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Ye||Shobha Sachdev||Life OK|
|2013–present||India's Best Dramebaaz||Judge||Zee Tv|
Awards and nominations
|1995||Aag||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year||Won|
|1995||Aag||Star Screen Awards||Star Screen Award Most Promising Newcomer - Female||Won|
|2000||Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai||Planet - Bollywood People's Choice Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|2000||Sarfarosh||International Indian Film Academy Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2001||Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai||Star Screen Awards||Star Screen Award Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai||International Indian Film Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|2002||Murari||Filmfare Awards||Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu||Nominated|
|2004||Anahat||Star Screen Awards||Best Actress Marathi||Won|
|2011||India's Got Talent||Golden Petal Awards||Most Chahiti Personality||Won|
|2012||India's Got Talent||Indian Telly Awards||Indian Telly Award for Best Judge Panel||Won|
|2015||Ajeeb Daastaan Hai Ye||Indian Telly Awards||Indian Telly Award for Best Onscreen Couple||Nominated|
|2017||India's Best Dramebaaz||Zee Rishtey Award||Zee Rishtey Award for Best Judge||Won|
|2018||Herself||Women Achiever’s Awards 2018||Pride of Maharashtra Award||Won|