Tenacious Tabu @43

Updated: November 04, 2014 11:00 IST

For Tabu, one of Bollywood's most versatile and respected actresses, it's been a long and glittering journey from her Bollywood debut opposite an ageing Dev Anand in Hum Naujawan to her recent success with Haider. As she celebrates her 43rd birthday, we take a look at her life and times.

Tenacious Tabu @43
Actress Tabu has carved a niche for herself in Bollywood with her intense and versatile performances. The much talented actress commands respect with her powerful performances on-screen, right from her Bollywood debut opposite Dev Anand in Hum Naujawan to her recent cricitically acclaimed performance in Haider. As she celebrates her 43rd birthday, we take a look at her life and times.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Tabassum Hashmi was born on November 4, 1971 in Hyderabad. Her parents were divorced soon after and Tabu and her sister, actress Farah Naaz, were raised by her mother Rizwana, a school teacher. Tabu is the niece of actress Shabana Azmi.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Tabu studied at Hyderbad's St Ann's High School and then went to St Xavier's College in Mumbai. In 1980, while still a student, she made a small appearance in Bazaar (1980).
Tenacious Tabu @43
At 14, Tabu made her Bollywood debut playing Dev Anand's daughter, who is raped and murdered, in Hum Naujawan (1985).
Tenacious Tabu @43
The first Bollywood film Tabu signed as a heroine was Prem, produced by Boney Kapoor and starring his younger brother Sanjay. However, Prem's release was delayed by years and Tabu appeared in three films before it finally saw light of day.
Tenacious Tabu @43
With Prem on the shelf, her first release as lead actress was Telugu movie Coolie No 1 (1991) opposite Venkatesh.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Among the films that released before Prem was the well-received Vijaypath (1994), opposite Ajay Devgn. Tabu's performance won her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. Tabu was reportedly cast in Vijaypath after actress Divya Bharti died.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Even as she made inroads into Bollywood, Tabu was forging a parallel career down South. Her first Tamil film was Kadhal Desam (1996). Ninne Pelladatha (1996) fetched her the Filmfare Best Actress Award - Telugu.
Tenacious Tabu @43
1996 was a good year for Tabu with the release of Saajan Chale Sasural, Himmat, Tu Chor Main Sipahi, Jeet – for which she was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – and the acclaimed Maachis, directed by Gulzar. Tabu's performance as a young Punjabi woman who becomes a terrorist won her the National Award for Best Actress.
Tenacious Tabu @43
In 1997 came the superhit Virasat opposite Anil Kapoor. Tabu's performance as a village belle was singled out for praise and earned her the Critics' Choice Filmfare Award for Best Actress. The same year, she appeared in Kalpana Lajmi's acclaimed Darmiyan, ensemble film Border and made a small but impressive outing in Mani Ratnam's Iruvar, the film in which beauty queen Aishwarya Rai made her debut.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Now established as an actress of repute, Tabu also starred in mainstream and commercial films. In 1997, she had a major hit opposite Kamal Haasan in Chachi 420, the Bollywood remake of Robin Williams' cross-dressing blockbuster Mrs Doubtfire.
Tenacious Tabu @43
In 1999, Tabu was cast by Gulzar in Hu Tu Tu, playing the disillusioned daughter of a power-hungry politician, and received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Tabu also had massive box office success with ensemble films Biwi No 1 (1999), Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) and superhit comedy Hera Pheri (2000).
Tenacious Tabu @43
However, while filming Hum Saath Saath Hain in Rajasthan,actor Salman Khan allegedly shot the endangered chinkara and blackbuck deer. Tabu and her fellow stars were accused of abetting him. The trial began in July this year.
Tenacious Tabu @43
One of Tabu's best known films is Astitva (2000), in which she played an ageing wife who is rejected by her husband after it is revealed that their son is the product of an affair she had when young. Tabu was the Critics' Choice for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards again. Astitva was praised for dealing with the topics of infidelity and divorce without standing in judgement.
Tenacious Tabu @43
In 2001, Tabu had another critical high as bar dancer Mumtaz Ali Ansari in Madhur Bhandarkar's Chandni Bar (2001), winning her second National Award for Best Actress.
Tenacious Tabu @43
In Vishal Bhardwaj's acclaimed Maqbool (2003), an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Tabu was praised for her performance as Nimmi, the equivalent of Lady Macbeth, opposite actors Irrfan Khan, Pankaj Kapoor, Naserrudin Shah and Om Puri.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Tabu's first Hollywood film, Mira Nair's The Namesake (2007), based on Jhumpa Lahiri's novel, did very well abroad. She was paired opposite Irrfan once again (after Maqbool), playing Bengali woman Ashima who marries and moves to the US.
Tenacious Tabu @43
In 2007, Tabu acted in Cheeni Kum opposite Amitabh Bachchan, a film that celebrated a relationship between a young woman and a much older man and even discussed pre-marital sex.
Tenacious Tabu @43
In 2011, Tabu received the Padma Shri from President Pratibha Patil.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Her 2010 romantic comedy Toh Baat Pakki got positive reviews at the box office. In the film, Tabu played Rajeshwari Saxena, who is in search for a groom for her sister.
Tenacious Tabu @43
In 2012, Tabu featured in Ang Lee's Oscar-winning film Life Of Pi, based on Yann Martel's Booker winner Life Of Pi.
Tenacious Tabu @43
The following year, she starred in the Hindi and Tamil versions of thriller David.
Tenacious Tabu @43
Tabu stunned the audience with her powerful performance in Vishal Bhardwaj's Haider this year, playing the role of Haider's mother Gazala.

We wish Tabu a very happy birthday.

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