Tabu: Three Decades of Captivating Performances and Unwavering Grit

Rashika Sharma
4 Min Read

Tabu, a name synonymous with powerful performances and captivating screen presence, has carved a unique niche in Indian cinema. Renowned for her ability to portray complex characters with remarkable depth, she has earned the respect of audiences and critics alike. Here’s a glimpse into the illustrious journey of this celebrated actress.

Tabu Career

Born Tabassum Fatima Hashmi in 1971, Tabu’s connection to the silver screen began early. With her father, Jamal Hashmi, being a noted filmmaker, she had an uncredited appearance in the film “Bazaar” at the tender age of 11. Though her teenage years saw her starring in a few films, her breakthrough came in 1991 with the Telugu movie “Coolie No. 1.”

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The following years witnessed Tabu establish herself as a force to be reckoned with in Hindi cinema. The 1994 film “Vijaypath” marked her official Bollywood debut, and her performance earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She soon became known for her willingness to experiment with diverse roles, effortlessly transitioning between mainstream and independent films.

The latter half of the 90s proved to be a defining period for Tabu. Her portrayal of a woman caught amidst the Punjab insurgency in Gulzar’s “Maachis” (1996) garnered widespread acclaim and her first National Film Award for Best Actress. Films like “Virasat” (1997), “Hu Tu Tu” (1999), and “Astitva” (2000) further solidified her reputation as a powerhouse performer.

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The turn of the millennium saw Tabu break new ground with her portrayal of a bar dancer in the critically acclaimed “Chandni Bar” (2001). The film shattered conventional norms and earned her numerous accolades, including another National Film Award.

Throughout her career, Tabu has consistently challenged herself with unconventional roles. From the Shakespearean adaptation “Maqbool” (2003) to the heartwarming romance “Cheeni Kum” (2007) opposite the legendary Amitabh Bachchan, her versatility has been unmatched. Her foray into Hollywood with Mira Nair’s “The Namesake” (2006) showcased her talent to a global audience.

While commercially successful ventures like “Drishyam” (2015) and “Golmaal Again” (2017) cemented her place in mainstream cinema, Tabu continued to gravitate towards character-driven roles. Her portrayal of a cunning blind woman in the black comedy thriller “Andhadhun” (2018) stands as a testament to her ability to redefine boundaries.

Beyond her on-screen prowess, Tabu is known for her selective approach to projects. Renowned for her dedication and meticulous preparation, she commands respect within the industry. In 2011, she was honored with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for her contributions to the arts.

Today, with over three decades in the industry, Tabu remains a force to be reckoned with. Her upcoming projects continue to pique audience interest. Whether gracing the screen with established actors or mentoring newcomers, Tabu’s influence on Indian cinema is undeniable. Her journey is an inspiration for aspiring actors, a testament to the power of talent, and a celebration of artistic integrity.

Tabu’s performance in the film “Crew” has been widely praised for bringing comedic flair to the heist plot.  Reviews highlight her character Geeta Sethi, the air hostess, as a scene-stealer with sharp wit and undeniable charm.  Many viewers have taken to social media to express their admiration for Tabu’s ability to shine alongside the other leading actresses in this female-driven film.

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Rashika Sharma, Entertainment News Editor at, You may reach or
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