Tabu’s full name is Tabassum Fatima Hashmi. Her parents separated after her birth and she was raised by her maternal grandparents and mother in Hyderabad. After finishing her primary school education from St. Anns High School in Hyderabad, she relocated to Mumbai. She did her junior college from the famous St. Xavier’s college.
Her acting career started as a child artist in the year 1980 when she did a brief role in the Hindi film titled Bazaar. She then portrayed the role of Dev Anand’s daughter in the film called Hum Naujawan in the year 1985. She was signed by Boney Kapoor to play the lead actress role opposite his younger brother Sanjay Kapoor in the film called Prem. The film took 8 years to complete and was among the biggest flop film of that year. Her first released Hindi film was Pehla Pehla Pyar. The film though was hardly noticed. She made her full-fledged acting debut through the super hit Telugu film Coolie No.1 in the year 1991. She shared screen space with Telugu superstar Venkatesh in this film.
The film which earned her recognition in Hindi film industry was Vijaypath in the year 1994. She was cast opposite Ajay Devgan in this film and the film was a smash hit at the box-office. This film earned her best Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. The year 1996 saw the emergence of Tabu as an actress to reckon with. She had as many as eight releases that year out of which Jeet and Saajan Chale Sasural were among the biggest hit film of the year. The very same year she received her maiden National Award under the category of Best Actress for her performance in much-acclaimed film Maachis.
Since then Tabu has never looked back and gave some of the finest performances in films like Virasat, Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United and Chandni Bar among others. The latter film earned her second National Award. She experimented and innovated with two acclaimed films like Namesake and Cheeni Kum. Both films garnered her lot of acclaim and proved that even with offbeat roles she can nail it. She took a break from Bollywood for three years and staged her comeback with the acclaimed film Toh Baat Pakki! The film though boomed at the box-office but her performance was praised. Her later films include Drishyam, Haidar, Jai Ho and the latest released Rohit Shetty’s film Golmaal Again. All of them were declared hit at the box-office.
In addition to Hindi, she has also acted in some award-winning regional films as well. Malayalam film Kaalapani did exceedingly well at the box-office and so was the performance of her Telugu film Ninne Pelladata. Tamil films like Kandukondain Kandukondain and Kadhal Desam too did a good business at the box-office.