Multi-Talented Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala is a woman of many talents and strong convictions. Renowned for her talents as an actress, and her expertise in the Indian classical dance forms of Manipuri and Bharatnatyam, Manisha is also a social activist and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a UN organization dedicated to promoting the right of every child, woman and man to enjoy health and equal opportunities.

Born in Kathmandu on August 16, 1970, to Prakash Koirala and Sushma Koirala, Manisha is a member of a politically prominent family in Nepal. Her grandfather, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, and two of her great-uncles Matrika Prasad Koirala and Girija Prasad Koirala, have all been Prime Ministers of Nepal during their careers. Manisha originally wanted to become a doctor, but her career took an entirely different direction when she did some modelling, which opened up opportunities for her as a Bollywood actress, with her first film being a Nepali release in 1989 named Pheri Bhetuala (We Shall Meet Again). Her appearance in the 1991 film Saudagar proved to be a breakthrough in her career, as it was the biggest hit of that year, making Manisha a celebrity. The following two years were disappointing as the films she played in were unsuccessful. However the love saga 1942: A Love Story which came out in 1994 and Bombay which was released in 1995, were both successful and she was presented with the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance for her role in Bombay. She also received a Best Actress nomination for her role in the romantic musical Akele Hum Akele Tum.

Proving that she could use her acting skills in a variety of roles, in 1996 Manisha Koirala played the role of a battered wife escaping from her mentally disturbed husband in the drama Agni Sakshi, for which she received positive reviews. That same year she won both the Filmfare Best Performance Award and the Star Screen Award for Best Actress for her role in Khamoshi: The Musical. Success followed success for this talented actress in the following years as she starred in films of both light-hearted nature and those portraying dramatic life-changing events. In 2011 Manisha appeared in a remake of the 1989 film Mappillai, as well as in the critically acclaimed film I Am.

Manisha Koirala married Samrat Dahal on June 19, 2010, in a traditional ceremony in the city of her birth, Kathmandu. Manisha remains actively involved in social work, particularly in promoting the rights of women and fighting against abuse and human trafficking.