Smriti Zubin Irani (born 23 March 1977) is an Indian actress and politician, popularly known from the famous Hindi television soap opera, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, in which she used to play the main character of Tulsi Virani.
Her character “Tulsi” was of the ideal wife, mother, and family member. The huge initial success and the subsequent continued patronage of the largely female audience of the show has been instrumental in changing the fortunes of the production house Balaji Telefilms and in creating a successful genre of tearjerker family dramas, which still continues in the Indian TV industry.
In 2003, she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party which was quick to give her a ticket to fight the Lok Sabha elections from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk constituency. Although she suffered a defeat in the elections, this five consecutive best actress award winner continued with the BJP, while most other actors who had joined the party during the time deserted the party. Her commitment and hard work made the party realize her true potential and it made her a member of the National Executive (the highest decision making body of the Party) as also Secretary BJP Maharashtra and a member of the Maharashtra Executive. Smriti Irani while campaigning for the BJP has traveled the length and breath of India and interacted with various people understanding India’s diverse culture. She also runs her own “NGO” under the name of People for Change, which is providing drinking water to the poor in India’s remote areas.
Today Smriti Irani has also turned a producer with her own entertainment company Ugraya Entertainment. Its first production “Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan” (A little bit of land a little bit of sky) was in collaboration with Balaji Telefilms, after which her company entered into a strategic alliance with the Aditya Birla Group for producing software for television with it’s first production being “Virrudh” (Opposite/Against), a daily soap for Sony TV. Her production house also is running another serial “Mere Apne”(My own) where Smiti Irani is one of the lead characters with Vinod Khanna. Besides producing television drama-series, Smriti’s production house also has produced two stage presentations Kuch Tum Kaho, Kuch Hum Kahein (Something you say, somethings I will say), a social comedy and Maniben.Com, a comedy.
On April 2007, Smriti decided to quit Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi due to a fall-out between her and her producer, Ekta Kapoor. Smriti’s last episode was on 6 June 2007 where she dies in a truck accident. She has currently stepped back into the role replacing Gautami Kapoor, who played the role for approximately 11 months while Smriti was absent.
Smriti Irani was born as the eldest of the three sisters to a Delhi based family. Her father owned a courier business and her mother is a Bengali, related to Tripti Mitra, a well known Bengali actress of yesteryears.
She married her childhood best friend Zubin Irani. She is the mother of little Zohr Irani and Zoish Irani, and step mother to Shanelle Irani who is Zubin’s daughter from an earlier marriage with model coordinator Mona Irani.
At the age of 18, she told her father that she wanted to come to Mumbai to work. In 1998, she entered the Miss India contest without the knowledge of anyone in her family and was surprised to be short-listed and came to Mumbai to participate in the finals. Her father was astounded at her decision to enter the contest. No one believed she could make it to the finals. She borrowed Rs 2 lakh from her father on the condition that she would return it. She came to Mumbai and began preparations to enter the final of the contest with earnestness. She had her contest outfit designed and made by Manish Malhotra. She made it to the final round becoming one of the final five contestants.
Desperate to pay her loan back, she appeared for the Jet Airways hostess interview. Her sister, who also applied, got the job but Smriti was rejected. She then took a counter job at McDonalds, serving burgers and swabbing the floors and cleaning tables. Throughout these months of desperation, she kept visiting various agencies, doing auditions and portfolios and leaving her pictures at every TV production company. She was present in the Famous Studio in Mumbai for auditions every day but no one took her seriously.
Finally, lady luck began to shine on her. She was chosen to do the black and white commercial for Whisper. Next, she anchored a show called Filmi Batein for In Mumbai and Etc. channels. Shrey Guleri of Prime Channel saw these appearances on television and called her. As a result, she did some episodes of the show called Bakeman’s Oh La La. Shobha Kapoor in turn saw these and she asked her to meet Ekta at Balaji Telefilms. Smriti met Ekta and as time passed, thought nothing was coming through. But one day, she was asked to come over to audition for Tulsi’s role in KSBKBT she was chosen for this role and the rest, as they say, is history. After KSBKBT became the top soap in India, her career was made.
|2008||Teen Bahuraniyaan||Vrinda Masi||Aman Verma||Zee TV|
|2000||Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi||Tulsi Virani||Ronit Roy||Star Plus|
|2008||Virrudh||Vasudha Raisinghania||Sushant Singh||Sony TV|
|2007||Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan||Uma||Kiran Karmarkar||Star Plus|
|2001||Kavita||Kavita||Ram Kapoor||DD National|