Happy Birthday Madhuri Dixit! She is the only Bollywood female actor to have a star named after her. A star located in the constellation Orion is named after Madhuri. Apart from her the only other Bollywood actor to have a celestial body named after him/her is superstar Shah Rukh Khan. A lunar crater in the moon’s sea of tranquility has been named after SRK.

What is it about Madhuri which sets her apart from others. Is it her smile, her looks or her acting or is it her dancing, which legend Pandit Birju Maharaj calls the best in the industry. Madhuri indeed is different, and that is why in a male dominated industry, she is only one of the few lady actors who are superstars.

Happy Birthday Madhuri Dixit
Happy Birthday Madhuri Dixit: From Mohini To Madhura; A Journey To Cherish Forever!

Today on May 15th, on her birthday, let us take a quick journey through her career and also reminiscence some rare trivia about her.

Madhuri, a trained Kathak dancer, had enrolled for a course in microbiology in Mumbai’s Parle College when she signed up for her 1st movie, Abodh. It did not do well and it was Tezaab which made her a star overnight. Anil Kapoor was fresh from his super hit Mr India, and he and Madhuri combined to make Tezaab the biggest hit of 1988. The song “Ek do teen….” became a blockbuster and apart from getting Alka Yagnik the best singer award established Madhuri as a terrific dancer.

Madhuri-Anil were a top pair who went on to act in as many as 15 movies together. Some of their huge hits and appreciated movies were Ram Lakhan, Kishen Kanhaiya, Parinda and Beta. After Anil, maximum movies of Madhuri are ten in number with Sanjay Dutt while she has worked in 7 movies with Shah Rukh Khan, 4 with Salman Khan and 3 with Aamir Khan.

Dil, Saajan, Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Dil to Paagal Hai are some of her biggest hits. Madhuri has had hits with all superstars Anil, Aamir, SRK, Salman and Sanjay Dutt. She was the highest paid female actor of her time and reportedly she was paid 2.7 crore for Hum Aapke hain Koun which was more than Salman’s remuneration. Madhuri has shared screen space with Amitabh Bachchan only once, in Bade Miyan Chote Miyan and this movie marked a successful comeback for Amitabh.

Major Awards:
Madhuri was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2008. The Government of Maharashtra honoured her with the Raj Kapoor Special Contribution Award in 2012.

Madhuri has had a record 16 nominations at the Filmfare Awards , a record she shares with Raakhee. However, Raakhee had 8 nominations each for Best actor (female) and Best supporting actor. However Madhuri had just 2 nominations for best supporting actor and as many as 14 nominations for Best actor, which is her own record. Her dominance and popularity can be known from her being nominated for 8 years in a row from 1989 to 1996 including two nominations each twice.

Madhuri has received the best actor award four times for Dil, Beta, Hum Aapke hai Koun and Dil to Paagal Hai. She has also received best supporting actor for Devdas. In 1991 she also won the Filmfare Special Award for overall contribution.

Currently, Madhuri has successfully reinvented herself and wears many hats. She is a successful celebrity judge, she is involved in charitable activities and works for child and women’s rights. She works for conservation of Asian Elephants and other endangered species. She has been named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She indeed is an all-rounder.

Happy Birthday Madhuri!

Ritesh Misra is an IRS officer currently based in Mumbai. He blogs & tweets @riteshmisra.

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