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4 April 1976 
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
4 April 1976 
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Simran (born Rishibala Naval; 4 April 1976) is an Indian actress who has predominantly appeared in Tamil, Telugu and a few Malayalam films. She debuted in Bollywood and acted in several Hindi films, before starring in her first Tamil film V.I.P and her first Telugu film Abbai Gari Pelli in 1997.
Having a string of successes in her early career, in 1999, Simran received critical praise for playing a blind woman in Thulladha Manamum Thullum. However the turning point of her career came with the success of Vaali (1999) which made Simran the most sought-after actress in the industry. At the peak of her career she agreed to play the role of an antagonist in Parthen Rasithen (2000) and a suffering woman from a premarital agreement in Priyamaanavale (2000), both went on to become commercial and critical successes. She received her first Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actress for Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), as the mother of an adopted 9 year old daughter. Other than romantic dramas, Simran had also appeared in two blockbuster comedy films alongside Kamal Hassan; Pammal K. Sambandam and Panchathantiram, both released in 2002. In Telugu, Simran starred in a series of commercially successful films, Samarasimha Reddy (1999), Kalisundam Raa (2000) and Narasimha Naidu (2001), and for the latter, she received her first Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress nomination. With the success of the 2004 sci fi film New, Simran left the film industry following her marriage with her childhood family friend Deepak Bagga. In 2008 she made a comeback to Tamil cinema with Vaaranam Aayiram, where she played the role of a mother and a wife to the characters played by Suriya and won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1998, entertainment portal Rediff.com called her "one of Tamil cinema's top female draws". In 1999, she was featured in Forbes Magazine as the most prolific actress with a diverse portfolio from the Indian sub continent. Well noted for her dancing and acting skills in the Indian film industry, she won three Filmfare Awards South including Best Female Debut for Once More, V.I.P and Nerrukku Ner, one Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress for Thulladha Manamum Thullum, three Cinema Express Awards and was awarded twice with the Kalaimamani award in 1999 and 2003.
Simran was born as Rishibala Naval in Mumbai; her father is Ashok Naval and mother is Sharda. Simran has two sisters, Monal and Jyothi Naval, and a brother named Sumith. She did her schooling from St. Anthony's high school, Versova and finished her B.Com in Mumbai and was modelling simultaneously. She speaks Punjabi, Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu. Simran is a trained dancer and can perform Bharatanatyam and Salsa.
Simran made her debut in the 1995 Hindi film Sanam Harjai directed by Saawan Kumar.It was the first Indian film to be shot in New Zealand and Simran stayed shot abroad for three months, though the film was disaster at box office. Jaya Bachchan saw Simran presenting the show Superhit Muqabla on Doordarshan’s Metro channel, and subsequently offered her a leading role in her production, the romantic drama Tere Mere Sapne (1996). She then starred in supporting roles in Muqaddar, Angaara and Daadagiri, Bal Bramhachari, Agni Morcha, Gunda Gardi opposite Ayub Khan and along with Dharmendra. Meanwhile she was acting in South Indian languages and was a huge star in Tamil and Telugu.
She moved to south Indian movies by acting first in a high-budget Malayalam film, Indraprastham with megastar Mammootty in the lead role and she tasted success, too. In 1997, she appeared in her only Kannada film till date, Simhada Mari opposite Shivarajkumar. She then received her first film offer from the Tamil movie industry, Vasanth's multi-starrer Nerukku Ner], produced by Mani Ratnam, and she signed on to work on the film swiftly in order to work with the noted producer. Then Simran starred in several successful movies such as V.I.P (1997), Natpukkaga (1998), Aval Varuvala (1998) and Kannedhirey Thondrinal (1998) with leading actors Prabhu Deva, Sarath Kumar, Ajith Kumar and Prasanth respectively . She got her first break through the movie Thulladha Manamum Thullum opposite Vijay in 1999.It was a super hit Movie.
Following successful debut in Tamil and Telugu films, in 1998 she had her first release in K. S. Ravikumar's Kondattam opposite Arjun Sarja. She also appeared in a supporting role with Akkineni Nagarjuna and Deepti Bhatnagar in Auto Driver. Both performed averagely at box office. She tasted her first success with Ajith Kumar in Aval Varuvala, a remake of 1997 Telugu film Pelli. Her role was well received by the critics.
In the same year she acted in blockbuster Vaali opposite Ajith Kumar and she won several awards for her acting which includes a Kalaimaamani award; she was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She revealed that after working on the film, she became “alert in her choice of films”, only signing ventures which had big production banners. Later in 1999 she acted in Jodi which was a super hit. Her success streak continued in 2000 with the films Priyamaanavale and Parthen Rasithen in which she acted in a negative role.
She saw a low in her Tamil career in 2001, as she concentrated in Telugu, and once again became the leading actress in 2002 with several successes such as Ramana opposite Vijaykanth, Pammal K. Sambandam and Panchathantiram opposite Kamal Haasan, Thamizh opposite Prasanth and Mani Ratnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal opposite Madhavan. She won several accolades for her performance in Kannathil Muthamittal including a Filmfare award. However the movie was an average grosser, although it won several accolades from the audience.
She enjoyed stupendous success in Telugu movie industry as she acted with the superstars of Tollywood such as Chiranjeevi, Balakrishna, Nagarjuna and Venkatesh. Her debut Telugu movie was Abbai Gari Pelli in 1997 opposite Suman which was a flop. After starring in some unsuccessful movies in 1997 and 1998, she became overnight sensation with her first blockbuster Samarasimha Reddy opposite Balakrishna in 1999. In 2000 she starred in Kalisundam Raa opposite Venkatesh and Nuvvu Vastavani opposite Nagarjuna. Both of the movies were blockbusters.
2001 was a mixed year in her career since her movie Mrugaraju opposite Chiranjeevi becoming a flop and Bava Nachadu opposite Nagarjuna and Daddy opposite Chiranjeevi becoming above-average grossers. But her movie Narasimha Naidu opposite Balakrishna became a huge blockbuster.
In 2002 she starred with Balakrishna in Seema Simham and the film was just an average grosser in spite of great openings. This was her only release in 2002. With Seetayya opposite Harikrishna in 2003, she left the industry after her marriage. She made a comeback with Okka Magadu opposite Balakrishna in 2008 and John Appa Rao 40 plus.
After her marriage, Simran took a break from acting in films and moved on to the small screen where she acted in Jaya TV's serial Simran Thirai which hosted of a series of mini-serials all featuring Simran in the lead role and included many popular stars like Ramji, Raaghav, Saakshi Siva and Abitha playing supporting roles. In 2009, she started acting in the Telugu serial Sundarakanda telecast on Gemini TV, where she did a guest role appearing as an advocate who rescues Sujitha, the protagonist, from the troubles she suffers in America. The serial won the "Highest TRP Rating" as the "Most Watched Serial" and was dubbed in Tamil as Sundarakandam and telecast on Polimer TV. Now she is hosting Jackpot, a game show in Jaya TV which was earlier hosted by Kushboo and Nadhiya.
On March 2002, Simran was signed up to endorse Fanta, the tangy orange-flavoured drink from Coca-Cola. According to a company spokesperson, "Film stars cut across various segments to establish a direct connect with the brand." The ad has been conceived by the Lowe and directed by filmmaker Latha Menon. On the same year, Jyoti Labs launched Jeeva soap with Simran to endorse the brand and the ad. The brand uses the tagline "The complete Ayurvedic Soap" which is further reinforced by the focus on 27 ingredients.
On June 4, 2008, PepsiCo India Holdings (FritoLay Division) announced Simran as the new brand ambassador for Kurkure for their first brand ambassador in the South Indian market. She joined the brand's long-standing endorser Juhi Chawla as a part of the Kurkure family.
Simran was chosen as the brand ambassador for a low calorie sugar substitute — 'Sugar Free Gold' by Cadila Healthcare Ltd. Anand Deo, senior vice-president, consumer division told reporters that the star was chosen since she was a "fitness icon." Simran says it's her fitness secret and poses for that brand with her slim figure. She is also tied with General Mills India for Pillsbury Atta to help spread the health message and has appeared in several TV commercials.
Simran's real estate firm in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh Housing Board for low-income groups has developed a proposal to buy acreage in the outskirts of major cities and develop them into self-sustained communities for people under the poverty line. She has donated rupees 10 lakhs towards Kargil cause.
Simran's has 70 acres of land on Mumbai Nasik Highway named Rishi Farms out of which 7 acres was donated for old age homes managed by her father.
|1996||Bal Bramhachari||Seema Choudhary||Hindi|
|1996||Tere Mere Sapne||Pooja Mathur||Hindi|
|1997||Abbai Gari Pelli||Telugu|
|1997||Once More||Kavitha||Tamil||Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South|
(also for V.I.P and Nerrukku Ner)
|1997||Priya O Priya||Telugu|
|1997||Maa Nannaki Pelli||Lahari||Telugu|
|1999||Thulladha Manamum Thullum||Rukmani||Tamil||Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress|
|1999||Kachche Dhaage||Hindi||Special appearance in song "Khali Dil Nahi"|
|1999||Edhirum Pudhirum||Tamil||Special appearance in song "Totthu Totthu"|
|1999||Vaali||Priya||Tamil||Cinema Express Award for Best Actress – Tamil|
|1999||Sirf Tum||Herself||Hindi||Special appearance|
|1999||Anthapuram||Simran||Tamil||Special appearance in song "Mana Madurai"|
|2000||Annayya||Telugu||Special appearance in song "Aata Kavala"|
|2000||Khauff||Ritu Pereira||Hindi||Special appearance|
|2000||Unnai Kodu Ennai Tharuven||Indhu||Tamil|
|2000||Priyamanavale||Priya||Tamil||Cinema Express Award for Best Actress – Tamil|
|2001||Narasimha Naidu||Sravanthi||Telugu||Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu|
|2001||Parthale Paravasam||Simi Madhava||Tamil|
|2002||Pammal K. Sambandam||Janaki||Tamil|
|2002||Dhaya||Tamil||Special appearance in song "Thorakkaatha Pettiya"|
|2002||Kannathil Muthamittal||Indra Thiruchelvan||Tamil||Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil|
Cinema Express Award for Best Actress – Tamil
ITFA Award for Best Tamil Actress
|2002||Youth||Tamil||Special appearance in song "Altothe Boopathi"|
|2002||I Love You Daa||Priya||Tamil|
|2003||Raghavendra||Telugu||Special appearance in song "Calcutta Pan"|
|2004||Jai||Tamil||Special appearance in song "Alek"|
|2004||Yuva||Radhika||Hindi||Uncredited appearance in one scene|
Her scenes were re-shot with Esha Deol
|2005||Kichaa Vayasu 16||Nirmala||Tamil||Extended guest appearance|
|2005||Inidhu Inidhu Kaadhal Inidhu||Tamil||Special appearance in song "Naan Puttam Pudiyai"|
|2007||Heart Beats||Thangam George||Malayalam|
|2008||John Appa Rao 40 plus||Pravallika||Telugu|
|2008||Vaaranam Aayiram||Malini Krishnan||Tamil||Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil|
Vijay Award for Best Supporting Actress
|2009||TN-07 AL 4777||Subhalakshmi Mani||Tamil|
|2014||Aaha Kalyanam||Chandralekha||Tamil||Extended guest appearance|
|2008||Simran Thirai||Tamil||Jaya TV|
|2008||Super Stars||Main Judge||Tamil||Jaya TV|
|2010-2012||Sundarakanada||Telugu||Gemini TV||dubbed in Tamil as Sundarakandam and telecast on Polimer TV & as Asoakavanam and telecast on Puthuyugam TV|
|2013||Dance Tamizha Dance Season I||Main Judge||Tamil||Zee Tamizh|
|2013-2014||Agni Paravai||Madhavi||Tamil||Puthuyugam TV|
|2014-present||DTD Little Masters Season II||Main Judge||Tamil||Zee Tamizh|
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