Early Life of Vidya Balan
Vidya Balan was born on 1st January 1978 in Puthur town located in Palakkad district of Kerala. She grew up in Mumbai and did her schooling in St. Anthony's Girls High School. She attended St. Xavier's College in the same place. She graduated with a degree in Sociology and later earned a Masters degree from the University of Mumbai Vidya is conversant in many languages including her native Tamil, Malayalam, English, Hindi, and Bengali. Her father, P. R. Balan is the Vice President of ETC Channel and mother Saraswathy Balan is a housewife. Vidya has received formal training in Carnatic music and has also learnt Bharatnatyam and Kathak dance forms briefly.
Career of Vidya Balan
Vidya first began her career by modelling in the Surf Excel ad in the year 1998. She was successful in the field and continuously acted in not less than 25 TV advertisements. Most of the ad films were directed by Pradeep Sarkar. While she was studying in college, she got some offers of films from south. Out of them there was a Malayalam film titled Chakram with Mohanlal and a Tamil film. However, Chakram was postponed mid-way and she was dropped from the Tamil film. Her next film was in Bengali. She acted in Bhaalo Theko and won awards for her performance. She also acted in two Hindi TV serials Hanste Khelte and Ekta Kapoor's Hum Paanch, which was a sitcom. She acted in three music videos with Pankaj Udhas, Euphoria and Shubha Mudgal, directed by Pradeep Sarkar.
This beautiful actress made her Hindi film debut with Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parineeta, which was directed by Pradeep Sarkar. The movie, based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel of the same name, was well received by the audiences and her acting was appreciated by the critics. It also fetched her Filmfare Award. Her next venture was a blockbuster, Lage Raho Munnabhai, opposite to Sanjay Dutt. The film became a phenomenal success and even went to the Oscars. Guru was her next release, directed by acclaimed director Mani Ratnam where she played a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis. The film was a great success too and although she had a supporting role, it was quite appreciated. Her next releases Salaam E Ishq and Eklavya: The Royal Guard also did well. She also starred in Bhool Bulaiyaa with Akshay Kumar and Shiny Ahuja in which she essayed the role of a woman with dissociative identity disorder. Her acting received great appreciation. In the following years she acted in Heyy Baby with Akshay Kumar, Rhitesh Deshmukh and Fardeen Khan; Halla Bol featuring Ajay Devgan and Pankaj Kapoor and Kismat Konnection alongside Shahid Kapoor. In 2009 Vidya has acted in R. Balki-directed Paa opposite Amitabh Bachchan as his mother, for which she got critical acclaim and rare reviews. Her films Ishqiya with Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah and No One Killed Jessica with Rani Mukherjee added to her fame. Vidya next appeared in Ekta Kapoor's production The Dirty Picture, which was a based on the life of Silk Smitha, a controversial Indian actress. Vidya received unanimous praise for her acting while many critics reviewed it as her best performance till date. With 2012 Bollywood flick Kahaani, directed by Sujoy Ghosh, Vidya climbed one more step of success. The movie as well as her performance won world wide critical acclaim. Her next releases were Ghanchakkar opposite Emraan Hashmi and Shaadi Ke Side Effects alongside Farhan Akhtar which were also well received by the viewers. Vidya has also been a jury member of 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Other Ventures of Vidya Balan
Apart from films Vidya supports charitable organizations and promotes humanitarian causes. She is associated with AmFar (Americans for AIDS Research) and Hale House, a home for children born with HIV and those affected by drug addiction. She also involves herself with the Harvard AIDS Institute, by Hosting Forums and participating in events throughout the year. In 2011 she endorsed World Wildlife Fund's Earth Hour campaign in India and also campaigned for a non-profit organisation of Kolkata, CINI (Child in Need Institute) for the cause of nutrition in India. She was a part of a campaign to promote women empowerment and children's education in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, in 2012. She is also a brand ambassador of Government of India for driving the masses to improve the sanitary condition of the country. She was the grand marshal of the India Day parade organized in New York City in August 2013. Vidya has also introduced a technology-based learning platform for educating the underprivileged children of Thanapur village in Uttar Pradesh.
Achievements of Vidya Balan
Filmography of Vidya Balan