Manoj Bajpayee was born in Belwa, a small village in West Champaran,Bihar. He went to Ramjas College, Delhi University for pursuing graduation. He started his career with a tele-serial aired on Doordarshan, Swaabhimaan. The same serial also brought Tyaagi-Ashutosh Rana and Rishab-Rohit Roy into limelight.
Manoj appeared in several small roles in films like Droh Kaal (1994), and Bandit Queen (1994), before getting a big break in 1998 film Satya directed by Ram Gopal Varma. His performance as Bhiku Mhatre, won him several awards, as he portrayed the hotheaded and compassionate sides of this small-time gangster, with equal panache. Another important film where he played a dark character was Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's film Aks in 2001, for which again he won many awards.
He work was also appreciated in films like, Zubeidaa (2001), Pinjar (2003) for which won the National Film Award and Veer Zaara in 2004.
Despite being one of the most talented and critically acclaimed actors in India, Manoj Bajpai has not been able to enjoy much commercial success.
He is married to Neha, a Bollywood actress who worked in movies namely Kareeb, Fiza etc.