On Meenakshi Seshadri’s Birthday, Know How 1983 Film Hero Made Her An Overnight Star

Meenakshi Seshadri was one of the leading actresses of the 80s and the 90s, mesmerising the masses with powerful performances in Damini and Ghatak. With her acting prowess, complimented by her charm and dancing skills, she had carved a niche for herself in Hindi cinema. However, at the peak of her career, she left the industry to start a married life in the USA. She has hardly made a public appearance since, but after many years, she recently appeared on Indian Idol. As the actress celebrates her 59th birthday on November 16, let us take a sneak peek into her journey to success.


Proficient in dance forms like Kathak and Bharatnatyam since childhood, Meenakshi won the title of Miss India in 1981 at the age of 17. Winning the beauty pageant eventually landed her a role in her first film, Painter Babu, with a lesser-known cast. The film failed to create a mark. However, Subhash Ghai then cast her opposite Jackie Shroff in the cult 1983 film Hero, and it became a smashing hit, making her an overnight star. This is why Hero is often wrongly credited as being her debut film.

Over the years, Meenakshi Seshadri was paired with legendary actors like Rishi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan. It is a lesser-known fact that Rajkumar Santoshi had suggested Meenakshi’s name when Sridevi refused to act in the film Ghayal. Meenakshi’s career-best performance is said to be in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Damini, a woman-oriented film at a time when heroines were merely cast as the love interest to the larger-than-life heroes.

1996’s Ghatak, starring Sunny Deol in the lead role, proved to be Meenakshi’s last film, following which she married banker Harish Mysore and settled in the USA. The couple has two children together, and the former actress now runs dance classes in America.


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