New Delhi: Today is a special day for Bollywood's queen of hearts, Rani Mukherji, as the hazel eyed beauty turns 35 today. After a short cameo in Bengali film Biyer Phool (1992), Rani made her major debut in Hindi cinema five years later with Raja Ki Ayegi Baraat (1997), a non-starrer that failed at the box-office.

Exclusive! Rani on Her B'day

Although the movie didn't catapult Rani into Bollywood, it certainly gave her a stepping-stone. However, the actress shined at the big screen after the success of Shahrukh Khan, Kajol starrer 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' (1998), for which Rani won the Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actress.

Neither she is a beauty queen nor has she ever been tagged as hot and sensuous diva but when it comes to acting, no actress of her time can stand against her. A girl next door with an extraordinary spark, a traditional beauty with a bold stance, Rani Mukerji always wooed audiences by her charm. 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’s acting and versatility are well acclaimed but perhaps very few people are familiar with her off-screen life.

Besides acting in films, she is also actively involved in social activities through NGOs. Rani raised funds for the National Centre for Promotional Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP). She was also a part of the HELP telethon which raised money for Tsunami victims in 2005. 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 on charity.

Trivia

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 actress 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 Government of India 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 projects and a very very Happy Birthday from JagranPost team.

JPN/Agencies

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