Born on February 4, 1974, Urmila Matondkar was three-year-old when she made her acting debut in Hindi cinema. Urmila acted as a child artist in 1977's Karm. She went on to act in Marathi film Zaakol (1980), by Sreeram Lagoo and Kalyug (1981), by Shyam Benegal. However, it was 1983's Masoom, where Urmila Matondkar was praised by critics for her role in the film. She was just 9 then. (All photos/Urmila Matondkar's Instagram page)
In picture: Urmila Matondkar with her businessman hubby Mohsin Akhtar Mir.
At age 15, Urmila made her Malayalam debut 'Chanakyan', which went on to become a huge blockbuster. Two years later, Urmila finally made her Bollywood debut with Sunny Deol and Dimple Kapadia's Narsimha in 1991.
Though Narsimha did not give her much recognition, it was Shah Rukh Khan and Naseeruddin Shah's Chamatkar which gave Urmila Matondkar enough screen space to get noticed. Urmila Matondkar's breakthrough was the 1995 film 'Rangeela' which starred Aamir Khan and Jackie Shroff in lead roles. It was directed by Ram Gopal Varma.
Some of the notable films Urmila Matondkar was part of are - Rangeela, Judaai, Daud, Satya, Chhota Chetan, Kaun, Janam Samjha Karo, Mast, Dillagi, Khoobsurat, Jungle, Pyaar Tune Kiya, Bhoot, among others.
Pictured: A throwback picture of Urmila Matondkar with filmmaker Karan Johar.
From being the bubbly girl in Rangeela to a film star in Mast, from a psycho lover in Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya to getting into a traditional Indian wife in Pinjar, Urmila Matondkar has never failed to prove three strong elements as an actress in her career - power of acting, unmatched dancing skill and image of being desirable.
Urmila Matondkar has also appeared in various special numbers such as - Chamma Chamma song from China Gate, Aa Hi Jaiye song from Lajja, Mehbooba Mehbooba song from RGV Ki Aag, Deewangi Deewangi song from Om Shanti Om and recently in Bewafa Beauty song from Blackmail.
Urmila Matondkar says as a woman, she always finds the tough but right chord to be seductive and not vulgar as the line is very thin. "Being seductive is a part of womanhood and if a woman feels it strongly as a part of her personality, it is never represented in a wrong way. There is a very thin line between being seductive and vulgar, but it comes from the performer. I think I never fell in the grey area or went over the top because I am a strong-headed actor and I feel seductive as a woman," she said.
"So whatever bold dance that I performed on-screen, it never looked vulgar," Urmila added. While objectifying women in an 'item song' has been common practice in most of the mainstream Bollywood films, it is very interesting how Urmila's last released song 'Bewafa Beauty' from Irrfan Khan's Blackmail, teased the intellect of a man in the film.
Urmila Matondkar may be missing from the scene, but keeps us up-to-date with her posts on social media.
In times of social media, several actresses who wear bikinis and bold outfits get criticism. Asked if people are becoming over critical and bully actors, Urmila said, "Yes, that is happening. But in the era of social media, when we are putting out our videos, photos for promotional purpose and giving our audience a chance to share their opinion, we should expect both good and bad. Otherwise, one shouldn't put it out there in the first place."
Urmila Matondkar also gave advice to the actors, who take social media criticism to heart. "There is a difference between constructive criticism and personal attack. As actors, we should identify that before considering the opinion. One should never take the latter to their heart, never," she said.
Urmila Matondkar's career has been a mix of films in the commercially successful space as well as those with strong content with titles like Bas Ek Pal, Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara and Pinjar.
When asked if it was a conscious decision to balance out both kind of cinema, Urmila Matondkar said, "Not really, because, for me, every character that I play is an experience. So, the criteria were to try out something that I have never done before... Then of course overall story, the director... But it was never a strategy to balance out commercial and art house cinema. It was never that."
"Look, our film industry now is going through a transition where some films are made on a middle-aged woman. I think it is a combination of what the audience wants to watch and what makers can deliver. I do not think there is any dearth of stories, but with the success of each film, makers will gain confidence to make more films on women of all ages," said Urmila Matondkar, who is not really planning for her next film outing with any filmmaker soon.
"Life goes on between what we plan and what the situation offers us. Like the way I did not plan 'Bewafa beauty', my next film will come to be when it is destined to happen," she winked.
In 2016, Urmila Matondkar surprised the film fraternity at large when she announced her marriage to Kashmir-based businessman and model Mohsin Akhtar Mir.
Ever since her hush-hush wedding with Mohsin Akhtar Mir, Urmila has been quite active on social media and keeps giving her fans a peek into her personal life.
Urmila Matondkar's husband Mohsin had acted in Saurabh Sengupta's 2008 film, It's a Man's World, which had telly actress Mouli Ganguly as his co-star. Mohsin was also part of Mumbai Mast Kallander (2011) which starred Shilpa Shukla (of Chak De! India fame). He also did a bit role in Zoya Akhtar's Luck By Chance (2009) apart from featuring in A. R. Rahman's music video about the Taj Mahal.
The big question now is whether Mohsin Akhtar Mir will revive his acting career now considering he is Urmila's hubby. He may be described as a Kashmiri businessman, but he has been part of Bollywood.
Well, coming back to the birthday girl, Urmila Matondkar has turned 45 now. But, we must admit, the Rangeela actress looks fit and fab even today.
Urmila Matondkar turned 45 on February 4, 2019. We bring you 20 stunning pictures from her Instagram diaries. Take a look...
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