MK
Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala (pronounced [mʌˈnisa ˈkoirala]) is a Nepali actress who works in Indian films, predominantly in Hindi and Tamil. Known for her work in both commercial and independent cinema, she is the recipient of several accolades, including three Filmfare Awards and one Filmfare Awards South. In 2001, the Government of Nepal awarded her with the Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu. Born to the politically prominent Koirala family, she is the daughter of Prakash Koirala and granddaughter of Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, former Prime Minister of Nepal. Koirala made her acting debut with the Nepali film Pheri Bhetaula (1989), and went on to feature in the Hindi drama Saudagar (1991). Following a setback, she established herself as a leading actress with the romantic dramas 1942: A Love Story (1994) and the Tamil-language Bombay (1995). She had further commercial successes in Agni Sakshi (1996), Indian (1996), Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997), Kachche Dhaage (1999), Mudhalvan (1999), Company (2002) and Ek Chhotisi Love Story (2002). Koirala also received critical recognition for playing an ambitious wife in Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995), the daughter of deaf-mute parents in Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), a terrorist in Dil Se. (1998), a mistreated woman in Lajja (2001) and Sushmita Banerjee in Escape From Taliban (2003). Post-2003, Koirala began to work with independent film makers in art-house projects and in other language films. Her performances in the drama Tulsi (2008), the Malayalam psychological drama Elektra (2010), the anthology I Am (2010) and the romantic comedy Mappillai (2011) were praised. She took a break from acting after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and returned five years later with the coming-of-age drama Dear Maya (2017). The following year, she featured in the Netflix production Lust Stories and portrayed Nargis in Sanju. She has since starred in the period drama series Heeramandi (2024). In addition to acting in films, Koirala was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund in 1999 for India and 2015 for Nepal, and was involved in the relief works after the April 2015 Nepal earthquake. She promotes causes such as women's rights, prevention of violence against women, prevention of human trafficking and cancer awareness, contributing as an author to the novel Healed: an account of her struggle with ovarian cancer.
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