Raveena Tandon (Hindi: रवीना टंडन) is a National Film Award winning Indian actress, producer, and a former model. She has primarily worked in Bollywood films, though she appeared in a few Tamil and Telugu language movies as well.
Tandon made her acting debut with Patthar Ke Phool (1991), and won a Filmfare Lux New Face Award for her performance in the film. During the 90s, she was part of several commercial successes such as Mohra (1994), Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996) and Ziddi (1997), among others.
Despite attaining popularity, she was not particularly recognised as an actor. This was however changed in the early 2000s, when she ventured into more serious roles and turned towards arthouse and parallel cinema.
She got high critical acclaim for her performances in films like Aks (2001) and Satta (2003), and had the peak of her career in 2002, when she won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Kalpana Lazmi's Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence (2001).
Raveena Tandon is the daughter of filmmaker Ravi Tandon and his wife Veena. Her name is an amalgamation of her parents' name. She attended Jamnabai Narsee School in Juhu and studied at Mithibai College. She completed her first and second years at the college.
During her time as an intern, she got her first film offer from Shantanu Sheorey which she accepted. She dropped out of college and decided to pursue her film career. Her maternal uncle is an actor Mac Mohan.
Raveena got her name from a combination of her father's name, Ravi Tandon and mother's name Veena. Her father was a producer and director of some films in the 1970s and 1980s. She has a brother called Rajiv Tandon. She also has a cousin name Kiran Rathod who is a South Indian actress. Her first film Patthar Ke Phool (1991) was a hit, she received the Filmfare Lux New Face Award for her debut performance.
Her next films Mohra (1994) and Dilwale (1994) were big hits at the box office whilst Laadla (1994), although an average performer, still earned her a Filmfare nomination as best supporting actress. Mohra was the second biggest hit of 1994. Her other releases of that year included the thriller Imtihaan and the comedy Andaz apna apna.
The former was an average performer whilst the latter was unsuccessful at the box office but has since gained a strong cult following over the years. She reportedly got into a fight with her co-star Karisma Kapoor on the sets of the film.
In 1995, she starred with Shahrukh Khan for the first time in Zamana Deewana, the film failed to do well. Her following films failed to do well at the box office and her career saw a drop in her success. Her career was back on track with hit films like Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996) and Ziddi (1997), being big hits each of its respective year. In 1997 she was to play her first villainous role in Dus but the film was shelved after the director's death when 40% of the film's shooting had been completed.
In 1998, Tandon had eight releases. Her last release of that year Bade Miyan Chote Miyan co-starring Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda turned out to the second biggest hit of the year. Coincidentally, Tandon was offered the second lead in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai which went on to be the biggest hit of 1998, but she turned it down. Her other releases of that year were Gharwali Baharwali which gained a below average status and Vinashak, Pardesi Babu and Aunty No. 1 all of which were un-successful.
In the 2000s, Tandon turned her career professionally. She went on to work more with art film directors and realistic cinema. It proved to be a good turning as films like Shool (1999), Bulandi (2000) and Aks (2001) won her huge acclaim. She won many awards as well as the Filmfare Special Performance Award for her performance in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Aks.
Her years in the industry paid off when she won the coveted National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Kalpana Lazmi's Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence (2001), where she played a battered wife to an abusive husband. She surprised critics and audiences with her performance in the film and received much appreciation for her work. Critic, Taran Adarsh said "Raveena Tandon lends credibility to the role of a battered wife and walks away with the honours. The pathos she conveys through her expressions makes you realise that she's a performer of substance".
Since then, she has starred in a number of critically acclaimed films, such as Satta (2003) and Dobara (2004), but has not had much box office success. Her role as a middle class woman thrust into the world of politics in the former was praised. Critic, Taran Adarsh wrote "Raveena Tandon delivers a bravura performance. The actress takes giant strides as a performer, giving the right touches to her character. Here's a performance that's bound to be noticed".
Her role as a schizophrenic in Dobara was also praised with one critic saying, "Raveena is in sync with her character, essaying her part with elaan". Her last release was Sandwich in 2006 which opened to poor reviews and reception. She has not acted in films since. Tandon has produced the films Stumped (2003) and Pehchaan: The Face of Truth (2005), neither had much success at the box office.
She adopted two children Pooja and Chhaya as a single mother in the 1990s. Tandon previously dated actor Akshay Kumar and was set to be engaged to him, however they broke up soon after.
Tandon began dating film distributor Anil Thadani during the making of her film Stumped (2003). Their engagement was announced in November 2003. She married Thadani on February 22, 2004 in Jag Mandir Palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan according to Punjabi style. She gave birth to a baby girl called Rasha on March 16, 2005. She gave birth to her second child, a baby boy named Ranbir on July 12, 2007.
Tandon was chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India from 2003, but from 2004 the actress began to get complaints that she did not attend the organization's meetings and that she was not involved with the activities set up by the society. In September 2005, Tandon resigned from her post citing personal reasons.
In November 2005, Tandon sued Shaadi.com and Shaaditimes.com, claiming that they were using un-authorized images of her to promote the site. She also sued the owner Satyanet Solutions, as they claimed that Tandon and her husband had met through the website.
In November 2002, Tandon signed on to support the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. She has posed in many advertisement campaigns joining the likes of Shilpa Shetty, Amisha Patel and John Abraham. On the issue of cows being slaughtered for their skin, she said "their abuse at the hands of corrupt skin and meat traders must be stopped".
In June 2006, Tandon contributed to the Lotus Eye Hospital in Mumbai for underprivileged children.