Urmila Matondkar (born 4 February 1974), is an Indian film actress, television personality and politician, primarily known for her work in Hindi cinema, in addition to Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu films. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Filmfare Award, a Screen Award and a Nandi Award. Her film roles contributed to a new on-screen persona for a Hindi film heroine, in which she was known for her acting, intense style and dancing skills. Having done so, Matondkar established herself as a leading actress of Bollywood.After making her debut as a child artiste in the 1980 Marathi film Zaakol, Matondkar made her Hindi film debut with the drama Kalyug (1981). She gained wide recognition with the highly acclaimed drama Masoom (1983), following which she appeared in few other films as a child artiste. Her first feature film as the female lead came with the Malayalam blockbuster Chanakyan (1989), following which she began a full-time acting career, with a leading role in the 1991 box-office hit Narsimha. Following a brief setback, Matondkar starred in the commercial hit Aa Gale Lag Ja. The year 1995 marked a turning point for Matondkar when she was cast by Ram Gopal Varma as the female lead in the highly successful romantic drama Rangeela, following which she received widespread praise for her performances, including, the 1997 drama Judaai, the 1998 crime thriller Satya, the 1999 romantic comedy Khoobsurat, the 2000 thriller Jungle and the 2002 psychological romance Deewangee. She also achieved success in Telugu and Tamil cinema with starring roles in Antham (1992), Gaayam (1993), Indian (1996) and Anaganaga Oka Roju (1997). Matondkar later garnered critical recognition for portraying a range of intense psychological characters, including, a serial killer in the 1999 thriller Kaun, an obsessive lover in the 2001 thriller Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, a possessed woman in the 2003 horror film Bhoot, for which she won a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress and a violent avenger in the 2004 thriller Ek Hasina Thi. Later, she collaborated with independent filmmakers in art-house projects, including, the dramas Tehzeeb (2003), Pinjar (2003), Naina (2005), Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005), Bas Ek Pal (2006) and the Marathi film Ajoba (2014).In addition to acting in films, Matondkar is involved with several humanitarian causes and is vocal about issues faced by women and children. She has featured as a talent judge for Sony TV's Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Season 2, Colors' Chak Dhoom Dhoom and Zee Marathi's Dance Maharashtra Dance.
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