Vidya Balan is a Hindi-language actress. She is the recipient of multiple prizes, including a National Film Award and six Filmfare Awards, for her roles in female-led films that helped transform the way women were portrayed. In 2014, India’s government bestowed the Padma Shri upon her.
Childhood and Upbringing
Vidya was born into a Tamil Brahmin family on January 1, 1979, in Bombay (modern-day Mumbai). P. R. Balan, her father, is the executive vice-president of Digicable, and Saraswathy Balan, her mother, is a stay-at-home mom. According to Vidya, they speak a combination of Tamil and Malayalam at home. Priya Balan, her older sister, is a publicist. Her second cousin is the actress Priyamani.
Vidya attended St. Anthony Girls’ High School in Chembur, Mumbai, where she grew up. Since she was a child, she longed to be a film actress, inspired by Shabana Azmi and Madhuri Dixit’s work. She played Radhika, a bespectacled adolescent, in the first season of Ekta Kapoor’s sitcom Hum Paanch when she was 16 years old. Vidya declined director Anurag Basu’s offer to star in a television soap opera once the series concluded, focusing on a film career. Her parents were supportive but advised her to finish her schooling first. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from St. Xavier’s College and a master’s degree in sociology from Mumbai.
Debut And Rise To The Top
Vidya made her feature film debut in Goutam Halder’s Bengali drama Bhalo Theko (2003). A combination of innocence and experience he discovered in her, he put her in the lead character of Aanandi, a young woman reflecting on her past. Vidya was overjoyed to be a part of a Bengali film, later describing it as a “dream come true” and emphasising its significance in her subsequent career. For her performance, she received the Anandalok Purashkar Award for Best Actress.
Vidya has won six Filmfare Awards, including Best Female Debut for Parineeta, Best Actress for Paa, The Dirty Picture, Kahaani, and Tumhari Sulu, and Critics Award for Best Actress for Ishqiya.