From an aspiring Microbiologist to the Queen of Bollywood, Madhuri Dixit Nene has had quite a legendary journey through the years. On the occasion of her birthday, let’s take a look back at her journey to the top.
Madhuri Dixit was born on 15 May 1967 into a Maharashtrian family in Mumbai, to Shankar and Snehlata Dixit.
She has two elder sisters and an elder brother. She was swept with dance and developed a deep interest at the early age of three and went on to train in Kathak for eight years and later on became a professional Kathak dancer.
At one point she aspired to become a microbiologist. She even got enrolled at the Sathaye college in Vile Parle (Mumbai) where she studied microbiology as one of her subjects in BSc.
However, six months down the line, Madhuri decided to discontinue studies and pursue a full-time career in films.
Her debut film Abodh (1984) was a commercial flop, but her performance stood out.
After her first movie, she had to endure a slew of 9 flop movies back-to-back between 1984-1988, but nothing deterred her from following her dreams.
It was after the release of the movie “Tezaab” (1988) that Madhuri Dixit “arrived” in the real sense.
The path-breaking song from the movie “Ek Do Teen” stole millions of hearts and made Madhuri a household name giving her an identity she much deserved.
In her words, this was a “life-changing dance”. Even today people refer to her by the name “Mohini”.
After Tezaab there was no looking back. Her career peaked, and she became the only female actor to be nominated for Filmfare awards 14 times.
She also received the iconic Black Lady trophy four times in the Best Actress category and twice in other categories.
She was bestowed with the Padma Shri award (2008), India’s fourth-highest civilian award and was also the highest paid female actor of her time.
The late MF Husain, an acclaimed artist was awed by Madhuri’s beauty. He claimed that he had watched “Hum Aapke Hain Koun” (1994) 67 times and made her his muse, inspiring a string of paintings and even a movie, by the name of Gaja Gamini (2000) with Shah Rukh Khan.
She married Los Angeles based Dr. Shriram Madhav Nene on October 17, 1999, at the peak of her career and took a sabbatical from films. She settled down in the US where she raised her two sons, Raayan and Arin and stayed there for 10 years.
During this time, she was seen intermittently in some films and TV shows. She came back to India in 2011 with her family to finally settle in her homeland.
Madhuri is a trained Kathak dancer and the only female actor of her times to have been choreographed by Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj.
Even though she has learned and mastered various dance styles, she still considers Kathak as her favourite dance form.
Her love for dance is ever expanding and hence to commemorate her relationship with this art and to impart the beauty of dance to the entire world she launched her own virtual dance academy, dancewithmadhuri.com in 2013.
Madhuri Dixit has been involved in many humanitarian and animal welfare causes. She was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador Advocate for Child and Equal Woman’s Rights in 2014, a Goodwill Ambassador and a patron for Emeralds for Elephants - a charity project for the conservation of Asian Elephants and other endangered species.
She and her family recently adopted a rescued Indian pup through PETA India and named him Carmelo Nene.
Some of her most memorable films are Tezaab, Hum Aapke Hai Koun..!, Ram Lakhan, Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Devdas, etc.