Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala
Manisha Koirala

Portrait of Manisha Koirala
Born Manisha B. Koirala
August 16, 1970 (1970-08-16) (age 41)
Kathmandu, Nepal
Other names Manisha Koirala Dahal
Occupation Film actress
Years active 1989–present
Spouse Samrat Dahal (2010–present)

Manisha B. Koirala (born August 16, 1970) is a Nepali-Indian[1][2] actress who works in Indian films, as well as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and social activist. Koirala has primarily worked in Hindi cinema, though she has appeared in several Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films as well. She is also an accomplished Bharatnatyam and Manipuri dancer.

Making her acting debut in the Nepali film, Pheri Bhetaula in 1989, Koirala made her Bollywood debut in 1991 with Subhash Ghai's top-grossing drama, Saudagar. She went on to collaborate with some of the most prominent Indian filmmakers of her times, and throughout the 1990s, was one of the best-known actresses in India, mostly recognised for her critically acclaimed performances.[3]

Noted for her portrayals of strong dramatic characters, Koirala mostly ventured into serious and realistic cinema ranging from 1942: A Love Story, Bombay to Khamoshi: The Musical and Dil Se. Although box office collections of her films have varied considerably, critics have noted that her niche as an actor remains unharmed irrespective of box office collections.[3][4]


Early life

Manisha Koirala was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, into the politically prominent Koirala family to Prakash Koirala and Sushma Koirala. Her grandfather Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala was the Prime Minister of Nepal during the late 50s-early 60s, as well as two of her late great-uncles, Girija Prasad Koirala and Matrika Prasad Koirala. She studied at Vasant Kanya Mahavidhyalaya (VKM), Varanasi till Class X. She stayed with her grandmother in Varanasi during her studies. After passing tenth standard she shifted to the Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi (APS).[5] Her ambition was to be a doctor, but a modelling stint opened a career path into Bollywood.[6]

Her brother Siddharth Koirala is also an actor, and collaborated with her once in the film Anwar.[7]

In 2004, she returned from New York after receiving a diploma in filmmaking. She became a member of an independent documentary filmmaker's society.[8]


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.[9][10] 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 singing talent 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,[11] where she played the role of a battered wife on the run from her mentally ill husband, played by Nana Patekar. The film became one of the biggest hits of that year at the Indian box office.[12] 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,[13] and won her a second consecutive Filmfare Best Performance Award, as well as a Star Screen Award for Best Actress. One critic from Channel 4 wrote, "Koirala... demonstrates the full range of her acting ability, rather than playing against it as she has had to do in more traditional films. The scene where she shouts at her father through the door, screaming and using sign language even though she knows he can neither see nor hear her, is extremely powerful"[14]

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.[15]

Manisha Koirala from Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997)

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 including the Filmfare Best Actress Award nomination. Despite performing poorly at the box office in India, the film proved to be a hit overseas.[16]

Success followed for Koirala, and she went on to act in several critically and commercially successful projects. In 1999, she starred in the moderately successful Kachche Dhaage (1999), which was followed by six more releases, the most notable of them being Indra Kumar's drama Mann. She played the role of a traffic accident victim in the film, which entered into the top five highest grossing films of the year.[17] Her performance in the film won her favorable reviews. Film critic M. Ali Ikram wrote about her performance, "If there is respite for Manisha's innumerable fans of late, this flick is it. We may not care about hits and flops, but it is painful to watch this acting virtuoso in the innumerable side roles she has been seen in of late. Indra Kumar's decision to cast Manisha here, is a case of perfect casting, and she never lets him or the audience down. This lady is truly the Meena Kumari of her generation. It is great fun watching Manisha and Aamir Khan's perfect chemistry opposite one another. The film's climax has both stars permanently molding a spot for themselves in Bollywood history, and it will have you shedding tears by the bucketful."[18]

In 2001, she starred in the drama Grahan opposite Jackie Shroff. Her portrayal of a rape victim in the film who quests for justice was appreciated, but the film was a major commercial failure. She next played the main protagonist in Rajkumar Santoshi's drama Lajja along with an ensemble cast that included Rekha, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit. The film received a positive reception from critics, and Koirala's performance was particularly praised.

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 Critics' Best Actress Award. Critic Alok Kumar wrote about her performance, "Manisha Koirala has yet another solid performance to add to her already overflowing portfolio of excellent roles. She has proved herself once again with a powerful and sensitive performance. She holds her own in every scene she's in and is amazing in her emotional scenes, displaying confidence and maturity. Her new look suits her well. Here's a girl who can really act."[19]

After years of success, in 2003 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 Award for Best Actress. She then played the main protagonist in Market (2003), a film portraying the whole life story of a young prostitute enacted by Koirala. The film was a decent success at the box office.[20]

After receiving a diploma in filmmaking, she produced the small-budget caper-comedy Paisa Vasool (2004) in which she starred along with Sushmita Sen; this was probably the first ever chick-flick in Indian cinema in that it did not have a male lead nor a love story.

Overall, Koirala starred as the leading role in 6 high-budget, successful Tamil movies: Bombay (1994) co-starring Arvind Swamy, Indian (1996) co-starring Kamal Hassan, Mudhalvan (1999) co-starring Arjun, Aalavandhan (2001) co-starring Kamal Hassan, Baba (2002) co-starring Rajnikanth and Mumbai Express (2005) co-starring Kamal Hassan.

Since then, she has played supporting and leading roles in various unsuccessful films, some of which being well received by critics, such as the historical epic drama Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story (2005), the thriller Tum - A Dangerous Obsession (2005), and the horror film Anjaane - The Unknown (2006).

In Anwar, she played a supporting role along with her brother Siddharth Koirala, her only release in 2007.

In 2008, she made her comeback to films, with her first leading role since Mumbai Express (2005), in Tulsi, opposite Irrfan Khan. Although pre-release her comeback was described by the media as "shocking", and the film suffered from poor marketing,[21] her performance as Tulsi, a young homemaker diagnosed with blood cancer, was well received. Taran Adarsh from indiaFM wrote, "Manisha Koirala sinks her teeth in this role and delivers a fine performance."[22] She next starred in Sirf (2008), a movie about four couples from different strata of life, which portrays the lifestyle of people in metro. The film, which was released without any notice or publicity, was a major critical failure and faced a low box-office opening, with most shows being cancelled out due to its poor critical response.[23] Her first Bengali film Khela directed by Rituparno Ghosh also released the same year along with long delayed Hindi film Mehbooba, both films released on the same day.[24]

In December 2009, she served as the Jury member in the fifth edition of Dubai International Film Festival.[25]

In 2010, she made her foray into Malayalam cinema with Shyamaprasad's Elektra, a psycho-sensual drama based on Sophocles's ancient Greek tragic play Electra. She plays the main antagonist in the film which revolves around the concept of Electra Complex that is a daughter's psychosexual competition with her mother for her father's affection.[26] Later that year, she acted in Partho Ghosh's, Ek Second... Jo Zindagi Badal De?. She also acted in her native Nepali-language film Dharmaa after a gap of 22 years since her first film.[27]

In 2011 Koirala appeared in Mappillai, her first Tamil movie in 5 years. A remake of the 1989 film of the same name, the film saw her reprising the role originally played by the late Srividya. She was next seen in director Onir's critically acclaimed anthology film I Am, sharing the screen with Juhi Chawla.[28][29][30] Her forthcoming releases include Deepti Naval's directorial debut titled, Do Paise Ki Dhoop,Char Aane Ki Barish and Rohit Kaushik's Badalte Chehere.

Personal life

On June 19, 2010, Koirala married Samrat Dahal in a traditional ceremony held in Kathmandu.[31] The couple spent their honeymoon in Finland.[32] They met through the online social networking website, Facebook. She was reportedly engaged in 2001 to Crispin Conroy, the former Australian ambassador to Nepal, but they broke up later. There were also reports of her dating American speaker and author, Christopher Dorris, but that relationship too ended.[31]

Social work

In September 1999, Koirala was appointed as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador.[6] 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.[6]


Ek Chotisi Love Story

In 2002, Koirala 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 positions using another actress in her place, without her 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. She later claimed that Nair had stipulated he would re-shoot the scenes only if she agreed to bear half the expenses.

I always believed in Shashi. I did this film out of sheer goodwill. I had nothing to gain from it financially as I did the film for free. I also gave him all the dates immediately. It was his first chance to direct a film in four years. He has a family to support and I couldn't bear to see a friend in hardship.[33]

Koirala decided to sue Nair and moved the court against him, objecting to the alleged nudity and obscene postures, and pleaded that these scenes be deleted from the film, saying she had not performed in these scenes and that Nair had made use of another actress for this.[33] Finally, the court decided to stay the release of the film.[34]

The pet case

Another controversy occurred in February 2006, following a media report claiming Koirala had named her pet dog after a revered Muslim figure, which caused demonstrations against her. Koirala was provided police security to prevent problems. The accusations continued, although Koirala denied them and the police said the actress had no pet at all.[35]





Year Film Role Other notes
1989 Pheri Bhetaula Nepali film
1991 Saudagar Radha
1991 First Love Letter Radha
1992 Yalgaar Meghna Kumar
1993 Insaaniyat Ke Devta Nisha
1993 Anmol Anmol
1993 Dhanwan Imli
1994 Yun Hi Kabhi Pooja
1994 1942: A Love Story Rajeshwari "Rajjo" Pathak Nominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1994 Sangdil Sanam Sanam
1994 Criminal Shweta Kumar Hindi/Telugu Bilingual film
1995 Bombay Shaila Bano Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance
Filmfare Best Tamil Actress Award
Tamil film
1995 Anokha Andaz Reema
1995 Milan Priya
1995 Guddu Salina Gupta
1995 Ram Shastra Anjali Sinha
1995 Akele Hum Akele Tum Kiran Kumar Nominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1996 Dushmani Sapna Oberoi
1996 Agni Sakshi Shubhangi/Madhu
1996 Majhdhaar Radha Rai
1996 Khamoshi: The Musical Annie Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance
Star Screen Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1996 Indian Ishwarya Tamil film
1997 Sanam Sanam
1997 Loha Manisha Koirala
1997 Gupt: The Hidden Truth Sheetal Choudhry
1997 Dil Ke Jharokhe Mein Suman
1998 Yugpurush: A Man Who Comes Once A Way Sunita
1998 Salaakhen Special appearance
1998 Achanak Pooja
1998 Dil Se Meghna Nominated—Filmfare Best Actress Award
1998 Maharaja Shaili Mathur
1999 Kachche Dhaage Rukhsana
1999 Lal Baadshah Kiran (Life Insurance Agent)
1999 Laawaris Anshu Mehra
1999 Jaihind Sheetal
1999 Mudhalvan Thenmozhi Tamil film
1999 Kartoos Mini
1999 Mann Priya Verma
1999 Hindustan Ki Kasam Roshanaara
2000 Champion Sapna Khanna
2000 Khauff Neha
2000 Baaghi Rani
2000 Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya Manisha/Sapna Khanna
2001 Grahan Paro, Parvati Shastri
2001 Chhupa Rustam: A Musical Thriller Nisha
2001 Lajja Vaidehi
2001 Aalavandhan Sharmilee Tamil film
2001 Moksha Ritika Sanyal
2002 Company Saroja Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance
2002 Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani Vasundhara/Divya (Nagin - The Female Serpant)
2002 Ek Chotisi Love Story The Woman
2002 Baba Chamundeeswari Tamil film
2003 Escape From Taliban Sushmita Bannerjee/Sayed Kamal
2003 Calcutta Mail Sanjana
2003 Market Muskaan Bano/Kaalia
2004 Paisa Vasool Maria
2004 Tum - A Dangerous Obsession Kamini
2005 Chaahat - Ek Nasha Mallika Arora
2005 Mumbai Express Ahalya Tamil film
2005 Mumbai Xpress Ahalya
2005 Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story Jahan Ara
2005 Anjaane - The Unknown Shivani Malhotra
2006 Darwaza Bandh Rakho Julie
2007 Anwar Anita
2008 Tulsi Tulsi
2008 Nagaram Special appearance Telugu film
2008 Sirf Devika
2008 Mehbooba Varsha
2008 Khela Sheela Bengali film
2010 Ek Second... Jo Zindagi Badal De? Rashi
2010 Dharmaa Nepali film
2010 Elektra Diana Malayalam film
2011 Mappillai Rajeshwari Tamil film
2011 I Am Rubina
2012 Do Paise Ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane Ki Baarish Juhi


See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ a b Roy Mitra, Indrani (December 20, 2005). "I need to move on: Manisha Koirala". Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  4. ^ Taliculam, Sharmila (March 6, 2000). "'When I see some of my films, I am ashamed'". Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  5. ^ "The eat is on… Kakoris entice Bollywood to Lucknow". Indian Express. April 26, 2006. 
  6. ^ a b c "Who's Who: Biographycal notes". "".  July 26, 2007
  7. ^ "Siddharth Koirala makes a serious comeback. No 'Fun' this time." IndiaFM. November 11, 2006.
  8. ^ "Suresh Kohli and Manisha Koirala - More than a survivor." The Hindu. May 11, 2006.
  9. ^ Verma, Sukanya. "I, me, myself - Manisha Koirala, a love affair - 1942". Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  10. ^ Verma, Sukanya. "I, me, myself - Manisha Koirala, a love affair - Bombay". Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  11. ^ Verma, Sukanya. "I, me, myself - Manisha Koirala, a love affair - Agni Sakshi". Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  12. ^ "Box Office 1996". BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  13. ^ Verma, Sukanya. "I, me, myself - Manisha Koirala, a love affair - Khamoshi". Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  14. ^ "Khamoshi (Silence: The Musical) Review". Channel 4. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  15. ^ "Box Office 1997". BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  16. ^ "Overseas Earnings (Figures in Ind Rs)". BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  17. ^ "Box Office 1999". BoxOfficeIndia.Com. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  18. ^ Ikram, M. Ali (July 9, 1999). Film review: Mann. Planet Bollywood. Retrieved September 22, 2007.
  19. ^ Kumar, Alok (April 12, 2002). Film review: Company. Planet Bollywood. Retrieved September 22, 2007.
  20. ^ "Box Office - Hits & Misses". Movies. 2003-09-16. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  21. ^ Tuteja, Joginder (January 16, 2008). "Manisha Koirala's shocking comeback this Friday". indiaFM. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  22. ^ Adarsh, Taran (January 18, 2008). "Tulsi". indiaFM. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  23. ^ Mirani, Vinod (April 28, 2008). "Tashan loses at the box office". Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  24. ^ "Manisha to skip three releases next week". Hindustan Times. Indo-Asian News Service. 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  25. ^ "Accomplished film professionals on jury of DIFF’s Muhr Awards - Dubai International Film Festival". Retrieved 2010-06-25. [dead link]
  26. ^ Saraswathy Nagarajan (20 May 2010). "Electrifying Elektra". The Hindu. Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b "Bollywood beauty Manisha Koirala gets married". NDTV Movies. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  32. ^ "Bollywood Star Spends Honeymoon in Finland's Forests". Yle. 8 July 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  33. ^ a b "Koirala's controversy with Shashikal Nair. Times of India. June 6, 2007.
  34. ^ "HC stays release of Ek Choti Si Love Story." Times of India. September 5, 2002.
  35. ^ Koirala finds herself in a controversy.Times of India. June 6, 2007.
  36. ^ "King Gyanendra is all ears for Kali Baba". 2006-04-13. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  37. ^ "Manisha honored". Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  38. ^

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Look at other dictionaries:

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