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Sridevi , born on August 13, 1963, is an Indian actress who has starred in hundreds of Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam language films. She started acting at the age of four, and made her debut as an adult in the early 80s. She established herself as one of the leading actresses of her times, and although Sridevi left the industry in 1997, she has been regarded by the industry members, as one of the most talented and prominent actresses of India.
Sridevi was born and brought up in Sivakasi, a district in Tamil Nadu. Her mother tongue is Tamil. Her father's name was Ayyapan (a lawyer) and her mother's name was Rajeswari. Sridevi has a sister, Srilatha. She has two step brothers from her father's previous marriage. Her father died while she was filming Lamhe, her mother while she was making Judaai. Although it is the Hindu custom that the son lights the funeral pyre, Sridevi lit the pyre for her mother's last rites.
Sridevi married film producer Boney Kapoor on June 2, 1996. Boney and his first wife Mona Shourie Kapoor had accommodated Sridevi in their home during Sridevi's stay in Mumbai.At that time Boney and Mona had been married for several years and had two children Arjun and Anshula. Mona Kapoor stayed in Boney Kapoor's parents home for 10 years after the divorce to give her children a sense of family. Boney Kapoor and Sridevi have two daughters: Jhanvi and Khushi. Through her husband she is related to the large Surinder Kapoor film clan (see List of Bollywood film clans). Actor Anil Kapoor, her co-star in a number films, is her brother-in-law.
Sridevi started her career as a child artist in the Tamil movie Kandhan Karunai (1967) and acted in many Tamil and Telugu movies. During her early adult career, she acted in a number of Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movies. Many of her Malayalam movies were directed by I. V. Sasi. Some examples of her notable Malayalam movies are: Aadhyapaadam, Aalinganam, Kuttavum Sikshaiyum, Aa Nimisham. In 1976, Sridevi got her first big break as a heroine in K. Balachander's Moondru Mudichu, where she starred opposite Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth. In many ways, this movie was a landmark in Tamil filmdom. It was also one of Rajnikanth's first major movies.
After Moondru Mudhchu, Sridevi had a succession of huge hits with both these Tamil superstars. With Kamal Haasan, she acted in movies such as Guru, Sankarlal, Sigappu Rojakkal, Thaayillamal Naanillai, Meendum Kokila, Vaazhve Maayam, Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu, Neela Malargal, Moondram Pirai, 16 Vayathinile. With Rajnikanth, she acted in movies such as Dharmayuddham, Priya, Pokkiri Raja, Thanikattu Raja, Adutha Varisu, Nan Adimai Illai, etc. Sridevi was the number one actress in Tamil films during the period 1979-83.
During the same time, Sridevi also made inroads into Telugu language movies. She acted with all major heroes in Telugu. A number of her Telugu movies were made by K. Raghavendra Rao. With N. T. Rama Rao, she acted in movies such as Konda Veeti Simham, Vetagadu, Sardar Paparayudu, Bobbili Puli etc. With A. Nageswara Rao, she acted in movies such as Mudulla Koduku, Premabhishekham, Bangaru Kanku, Premakanuka etc. With Krishna she acted in movies such as Kanchu Kagada, Kalavari Samsaram, Krishnavatharam, Borripellum Bolludu, Khaidi Rudrayya etc. After Kamal Haasan, Sridevi has acted the most number of movies with Krishna. Towards the tail end of her Telugu career, she started acting in Hindi movies. Many of her initial Hindi movies starred Jeetendra and were remakes of her Telugu movies, mostly directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, and K. Bappaiah.
In 1978, Sridevi starred in her first Hindi film, Solva Saawan which failed at the box office. However, her second movie, Himmatwala, went on to be a success and established her status in Bollywood. The film also earned her the famous nickname Thunder Thighs. This was followed by the critically acclaimed drama Sadma, which is often cited by critics as the most definitive child-woman performance of her career. Throughout the 1980s, she starred in a galaxy of box office hits, including Tohfa, Nagina, Mr. India, Chandni and Chaalbaaz, in which her double-role won her the first Hindi Filmfare Best Actress Award. The commercially successful Nagina is remembered for her iconic dance sequence in the film's climax. Her performance in Shekhar Kapur's blockbuster Mr. India won her rave reviews, and her comic-timing was praised. Yash Chopra's poetic fairy-tale mega-hit Chandni earned her another nomination at the Filmfare.
Yash Chopra again directed Sridevi in the path-breaking modern day classic Lamhe (1991), where the sensitive and intense double-role act immortalised her forever in Hindi Cinema. It also won her, her second Filmfare Best Actress Award. She followed it with acclaimed performances in films like Khuda Gawah, Gumrah and Laadla. Kshanam Kshanam released in 1992 won her the fourth Filmfare Best Actress Award. Sridevi is one of the few Bollywood actresses who dictated terms and for whom exclusive roles were written. The failure of the multicrore Roop ki Rani Choron ka Raja proved to be a major setback. After the drama Judaai (1997), she left the industry in order to marry filmmaker Boney Kapoor and raise her two daughters, Jhanvi and Khushi.
After a six-year hiatus, Sridevi returned to the small screen, briefly, in the popular Sahara sitcom Malini Iyer (2004-2005). She also appeared on Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai for Karishma Kapoor (2004) and as a judge in the TV show Kaboom (2005). She is a member of the Board of Directors at the Asian Academy of film and television. Sridevi performed a medley of some of the popular songs previously picturised on herself at the 52nd Filmfare Awards 2007.