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Mrinal Kulkarni

Artists
  • Real Name: Mrinal Deo
  • Born: 21 June, 1971 (Pune, Maharashtra)
  • Parents: Veena Deo and Dr Vijay Deo
  • Spouse: Ruchir Kulkarni
  • Children: Virajas Kulkarni
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Talented and popular actress Mrinal Kulkarni is known for her work in Marathi and Hindi films such as The Kashmir Files (2022), Pawankhind (2022), Yellow (2014), Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar (2000), and Made In China (2009). She has also written and directed films like Ti and Ti (2019), Machiwarla Budha (2017), Rama Madhav (2014), and Prem Mhanje Prem Mhanje Prem Asta (2013). Her performances in TV serials such as Son Pari (2000-2001), and Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat (2008-2010) have won her nation-wide popularity, not to forget ads such as Vicco, which made her a household name. 

Born Mrinal Deo on 21 June, 1971 in Pune, to parents Veena Deo and Dr Vijay Deo, she earned a Master's degree in Linguistics from Pune University. 

At the age of 16, she made her acting debut in the historical Marathi TV serial Swami (1988). She played the role of Ramabai Peshwe, wife of Peshwe Madhavrao, whose character was essayed by Ravindra Mankani. It brought her considerable popularity.

She was said to be not too keen on a career in acting, and wanted to complete her doctorate in Philosophy. However, with offers coming her way, she accepted and went on to act in Hindi and Marathi serials such as Shrikant which was based on a novel by Saratchandra Chatterjee, The Great Maratha, Draupadi, Hasratein, Meerabai, Teacher, Khel, Sparsh,  Sonpari, Raja Shivchhatrapati, and Avantika. She made her mark on the small screen playing a range of historical characters, from Meerabai, and Draupadi to Ahilyabai Holkar, Ramabai, and Jijabai – mother of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. 

Featuring in Marathi and Hindi films, she played roles in Jamla Ho Jamla (1995), Lekroo (2000), Jodidar (2000), Aashiq (2001), Kuchh Meetha Ho Jaye (2005), Bayo (2006), Raasta Roko (2006), Quest (2006), Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag (2007), Deha (2007), Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein (2012), Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha (2012), Aarohi Gosht Tighanchi (2012), Rama Madhav (2014), Rajwade And Sons (2015), Ye Re Ye Re Paisa (2018), Welcome Home (2019), Goshta Eka Paithanichi (2020), Sher Shivraj (2022), and Dear Dia (2022).

She made her debut as a director in 2013 with the Marathi film Prem Mhanje... Prem Mhanje.... Prem Asta. A romance film, the story revolved around a woman trapped in a loveless marriage who finds herself falling for a divorcee. Co-written by Kulkarni along with Manisha Korde, the cast comprised Mohan Agashe, Sunil Barve, Siddharth Chandekar, Neha Joshi, Pallavi Joshi, Suhaas Joshi, Vidyadhar Joshi, Sachin Khedekar, Mrinal Kulkarni herself, and Smita Talwalkar. 

She went on to direct the Marathi historical drama Rama Madhav, which portrayed a young royal couple come of age grappling with the intrigues of the court in this celebratory account of Maratha history. Co-written by Kulkarni along with Manaswini Lata Ravindra, the film starred Parna Pethe as Ramabai, Kulkarni herself as Gopikabai, Ravindra Mankani as Nanasaheb Peshwe, and Sonali Kulkarni as Anandibai. 

Her directorial Machiwarla Budha revolved around a 50-year-old man who deserts his urban lifestyle, and seeks solace and love in the nature of his homeland which is devoid of humans, where he experiences the change in his lifestyle. It starred Smita Gondkar and Suhas Palshikar

Ti And Ti, which she directed in 2019, told the tale of a man who gets another shot at wooing the girl he had a huge crush on in school. The star cast comprised Prarthana Behere, Pushkar Jog, and Sonalee Kulkarni. It was written by Marmabandha Gavhane and Virajas Kulkarni, who is the son of Mrinal Kulkarni. 

On the personal front, she married her childhood friend Ruchir Kulkarni in 1990 and has a son Virajas who is also a part of the Marathi film industry.

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