Neither is she a beauty queen nor has she ever been tagged as hot and sensuous diva but yes when it comes to acting no actress of her time can stand beside her. A girl next door with an extraordinary spark, a traditional beauty with a bold stance, Rani Mukerji turns 34 today. This Bengali beauty set a milestone with movies like Kuch kuch hota hai, Veer Zara, Black, Hum Tum, Bunty Aur Babli and many more. 5 feet 2 inch tall Rani hails from a strong family background. Her father Ram Mukherjee was a director and founder of Filmalaya studios in Mumbai while her mother Krishna was a playback singer. Rani’s cousin Kajol, is a popular Bollywood actress and another cousin, Ayan Mukerji is the writer and director of Wake Up Sid.

Rani Mukerji's Filmy Journey

Rani Mukherjee’s enigmatic personality is beyond definition. She is like a dormant volcano waiting to erupt at the right moment. This enthusiasm of her has added the X-factor to many roles she has portrayed, a staunch example being the bold and bindaas journalist in No One Killed Jessica.

Rani faced the camera for the first time at the age 14 in 1992 for her father’s movie ‘Biyer Phool’. In 1994 family friend Salim Akhtar offered the film ‘Aa Gale Lag Ja’ to Rani but her parents turned it down.

Salim once again offered her another film ‘Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat’ in 1997 which she agreed to do. Her first film failed to generate the required responses in Bollywood so she decided to head back to college to complete her education. Kajol’s successful career inspired her to try once again in the film industry. It was like, as her fate waited this to happen as she gets a chance to work opposite Aamir Khan in Ghulam. The song ‘Aati kya khandala’ gave her a popular name. But her distinctive husky voice was replaced by a dubbing artist in the film. Rani received a setback when Karan Johar showed inhibition in dubbing Rani’s dialogues in her original voice and suggested to opt for a dubbing artiste. But she took it as a challenge and did lot of practice to improve the diction. And later the same voice became her identity.
After this film Rani didn’t look back. But despite her beauty and talent she did not receive the due eulogies. Her strong performances in the films ‘Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai’ and ‘Calcutta Mail’ failed to strike a chord with the film critics as these flopped at the box-office. Movies like ‘Yuva’ and ‘Hum Tum’ highlighted her versatility. Veer Zaraa’s sober and soft Samia Siddique evolved as Meera in No One Killed Jessica. Laaga Chunari Me Daag, Black, Kabhi Alveeda Na Kehna and Sawariya also showcase the true spark of Rani.

Rani with a golden Heart

Rani’s acting and versatility is well acclaimed but some people would know the off-screen Rani. Besides acting in films she is also actively participating in NGOs. Rani raised funds for the National Centre For Promotional of Employement Disabled People (NCPEDP). She was also part of the HELP telethon which raised money for Tsunami victims in 2005. The actress donated her prize money, her half share of half-a-million rupees from her 2007 appearance on "Kaun Banega Crorepati?" (2000) to the Holy Family Hospital. She said that this institution looks after children with heart problem which is a major setback in India. Besides, a sari was also auctioned off which Rani wore in Babul and the money was spent for charity.


1.Won a Filmfare award for best supporting actress for ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. Directors then started taking her seriously, and then she signed up to do 22 films.

2.Mukherji was offered a lead role in Hollywood film, The Namesake (2006) but owing to clashing dates with Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), she couldn’t commit to Mira Nair’s project.

3.She is the first actor to ever win both the Best Actress (Hum Tum) and Best Supporting Actress (Yuva) trophies in a single year (2004) at the Filmfare.

4.The Indian government found out that Mukherji was Begum Musharraf’s favourite Bollywood star and invited her to dinner to greet General Pervez Musharraf in company of the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2005).

5.She has been featured in the list of Rediff's "Best Dressed Actresses" several times.

6.Appeared at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian culture, on behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, held in Delhi.

7.In early 2007, the actress performed an act with Saif Ali Khan in Versailles for Lakshmi Mittal's guests at his daughter's 30 million/65 million dollar wedding.

8.For her three minutes dance act at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, alongside Saif Ali Khan, she was reportedly paid 1.5 million rupees.

9.In November 2006, Mukherji was shooting a film in Varanasi when avid fans crowded the set. Security personnel beat the crowd back with sticks. A media storm followed as various groups insisted that Mukherji should have stopped the security guards. The actress later issued an apology.

10.On Women's International Day 2007, a special article was released to pay tribute to Bollywood heroines. Rani Mukherji came in the fourth position on the "All-Time Best Bollywood Actresses Ever" Listing after Madhuri Dixit, Madhubala and Nargis.

11.She performed in the "Temptations 2004" concert alongside Shahrukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Arjun Rampal, Preity Zinta, and Priyanka Chopra in nineteen stage shows across the globe. It was the most successful Bollywood concert in its time and it broke all records.

12.She was honored by an audience of 50,000 at the Casablanca Film Festival (2005) in Morocco where her selected four movies were presented to the foreign masses of people

13.The actress has been an active stage performer and has participated in numerous world tours. Her first world tour was in the year 1999 with Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Akshaye Khanna and Twinkle Khanna. It was called the "Magnificent Five". The show was widely watched in every city where it was showcased.

14.She changed the English transliteration of her surname from Mukherjee to Mukerji several years ago. At the time, it was reported that she did this for numerological reasons. Recently, she has claimed that numerology was not a concern; her name had been put down as Mukerji on her passport, and she wished to harmonize her name with her passport.

We wish Rani Mukerji a long career ahead and all the best for her upcoming movie 'Talaash' and a very very Happy Birthday from JagranPost team.

(Jyotika Sachdeva/JPN)