Rani Mukerji was born on 21 March 1978 is an Indian film actress. Described in the media as one of the most successful and popular Celebrities of Bollywood, Mukerji has established a reputation for playing both conventional female leads in male-centric productions, and character driven roles in a range of genres. She has received seven Filmfare Awards from fourteen nominations, and her film roles have been cited as a significant departure from the traditional portrayal of women in mainstream Hindi cinema. Born to the Mukherjee-Samarth family, where her parents and relatives were members of the Indian film industry, Mukerji did not aspire to a career in film. While in school, she experimented with acting by playing a supporting role in her father's Bengali-language film Biyer Phool (1992). While studying Home Science at SNDT Women's University, Mukerji accepted a leading role in the 1997 social drama Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat on the insistence of her mother. The following year, she began a full-time career in film and gained widespread public recognition for a supporting role in the blockbuster romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Following this initial success in her career, Mukerji's films fared poorly at the box-office for the next three years. Her career prospects improved when Yash Raj Films cast her as the star of the critically acclaimed relationship drama Saathiya (2002). By the year 2004, Mukerji had established herself as a leading actress of Bollywood with a primary role in the romantic comedy Hum Tum and supporting roles in the dramas Yuva and Veer-Zaara. She received further success for portraying a deaf, blind and mute woman in the highly-acclaimed 2005 drama Black and an unfaithful wife in the 2006 box-office hit Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. Mukerji's popularity declined from 2007 onwards, when she collaborated with Yash Raj Films on several commercially unsuccessful films. . The 2011 semi-biographical thriller No One Killed Jessica proved Mukerji's first commercial success in three years, and she followed it with a critically acclaimed performance in the 2012 supernatural thriller Talaash: The Answer Lies Within. In the year 2013 saw the release of the experimental anthology film Bombay Talkies consisting of four short films. Mukerji was part of the segment titled Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh in which she played Gayatri, a journalist who discovers that her husband (played by Randeep Hooda) is gay; it was her fourth collaboration with director Karan Johar. The film was screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival as part of the centenary year celebrations of Indian cinema. Despite poor box office returns, Bombay Talkies met with widespread critical acclaim, with special praise directed to Johar's segment.In addition to acting in films, Mukerji has been actively involved in philanthropic endeavours related to women and children. She has participated in concert tours, performed on stage for televised award ceremonies, and featured as a talent judge for the 2009 reality show Dance Premier League. Despite constant speculation, she remains guarded about her personal life and is sometimes labelled a recluse by members of the media.
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