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Esha Deol
Esha Deol snapped at her mother Hema Malini’s 75th birthday celebration (cropped).jpg
Deol in 2023
Born (1981-11-02) 2 November 1981 (age 42)
Alma mater Mithibai College
Occupation Actress
Years active 2002–present
Bharat Takhtani
(m. 2012)
Children 2
Family Deol family

Esha Deol Takhtani (born 2 November 1981) is an Indian actress who predominantly appears in Hindi films. The daughter of actors Dharmendra and Hema Malini, Deol made her acting debut in the romantic thriller Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe (2002), which won her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.

Following a series of poorly received films, Deol had success in the political film Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004), the horror film Kaal (2005), the action thrillers Dhoom (2004) and Dus (2005), and the comedy No Entry (2005). This was followed by a setback and a hiatus. Deol returned to acting with the streaming series Rudra: The Edge of Darkness (2022) and Hunter Tootega Nahi Todega (2023).

Early life and family

Hema, Esha and Ahana perform together in 2010 (01)
Deol performing with her mother and sister in 2010

Esha Deol was born in Bombay (present Mumbai) on 2 November 1981. She is the elder daughter of Bollywood actors Dharmendra and Hema Malini. She has a younger sister named Ahana. She is the half sister of actors Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol and the first cousin of actor Abhay Deol. Her father is Punjabi Jat, and her mother Tamil Hindu Iyengar Brahmin. She speaks Tamil with her mother and sister.

During her school days at Jamnabai Narsee School, she was passionate about football and played as a midfielder. She was the captain of her school football team, represented her college in handball at the state level. She played as a national level footballer and was also selected to play for Maharashtra in the Senior National Championship at Punjab in 2001.


Debut and early work (2002–2003)

Esha Deol
Deol at an event

She started her acting career in a lead role with Vinay Shukla's Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe (2002) opposite Aftab Shivdasani, with Sanjay Kapoor, Jaya Bachchan and Anupam Kher playing supporting roles. The movie was a box office failure. Deol received mixed reactions from critics upon her performance. Savera R Someshwar of wrote "Esha, as a person, exudes a confidence that almost borders on arrogance." Rakesh Budhu of Planet Bollywood wrote "She isn't horrible, but given the hype, the demands and of course, comparisons, she surely isn't up to the mark. … Of course, she is nowhere close to being a washout and if you are her fan you can appreciate the other aspects of her performances without completely losing faith in her future projects." Despite mixed reactions and box office failure, Deol won numerous awards for her performance including the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut at the 48th Filmfare Awards.

Deol's second film was Arjun Sablok's love triangle Na Tum Jaano Na Hum opposite Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan. Taran Adarsh of IndiaFm praised her acting and wrote "it is Esha Deol who surprises you with a mature performance. Although her looks are inconsistent, the youngster takes on the role with utmost sincerity and comes out with a natural performance. She has been better presented when compared to her debut film." Bhavna Giani of Rediff praised Deol's acting and dancing and compared it to Deol's mother Hema Malini. Deol's third and final release of the year was Sanjay Chhel's Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa opposite Tusshar Kapoor. It was Deol's third consecutive flop but she earned critical acclaim and Taran Adarsh observed that it was her better performance as compared to her previous two films.

Deol's first two movies of 2003: Kucch To Hai and Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne were box office failures. For Kucch To Hai, Deol earned mixed reviews from Taran Adarsh, who wrote "Esha Deol shows improvement in terms of performance as well as her overall appearance." Taran Adarsh considered Deol to be "alright" in Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne.

Deol was one of the heroines of J.P. Dutta's multi starrer war epic LOC: Kargil and was paired with Abhishek Bachchan. Though Deol and all the other heroines could not get much scope, she earned critical acclaim for her performance. The film became the sixth highest-grossing film of the year.

Breakthrough and success (2004–2008)

In 2004, Deol made her debut in Tamil cinema by playing a French teacher in Mani Ratnam's political film Aayutha Ezhuthu opposite Suriya. She earned critical acclaim for her performance. defined her as "surprisingly fresh and sparkling". To prepare for her role, Deol learned nuances of the language with Mani Ratnam's assistant R. Kannan. This was the only Tamil film she ever acted in. After completing Aaytha Ezhuthu, Deol started filming the Hindi version of the movie titled Yuva. In Yuva, Deol repeated the same role and was paired opposite Ajay Devgn. Both movies were released on the same date but could not attain success. Yuva had a below average opening and flopped at the box office.

Deol finally got her breakthrough with Yash Raj Films' action film Dhoom opposite Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Uday Chopra and Rimi Sen. It was Deol's first action role and she was paired opposite Chopra. The film had a decent opening and became a hit at the box office, becoming the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year. Deol did not get much scope in the film, but her performance earned her a nomination for the IIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 6th IIFA Awards.

Esha at promotion of her film

After the success of Dhoom, Deol starred in Krishna Vamsi's war film Insan opposite Akshay Kumar. It was Deol's first release of 2005. The film was a failure at the box office. Her next release was Main Aisa Hi Hoon opposite Ajay Devgn. The film was a remake of the Hollywood movie I Am Sam (2001). Deol played a supporting role and earned praise by Patcy N. Subhash K. Jha of IANS also praised Deol, writing: "Esha Deol as the fey unstable nomadic and maladjusted Maya is a mix of Zeenat Aman in Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Anooradha Patel in Ijaazat. Playing this zonked-out character Esha Deol comes into her own as an actress. Her far-way looks of pain, anger, neglect and insecurity remain with you long after the film. Yup she too has matured along with Hindi cinema."

In 2007, Deol's portrayal of a notorious and vengeful ghost for Ram Gopal Verma's Darling was reviewed positively. Her next release was Cash again opposite Ajay Devgn. In 2008, she performed her first item number in Ajay Devgn's film Sunday. She further appeared in Hijack and took a sabbatical break from films for two years.

Hiatus and return to acting (2011–present)

Deol's next film was Tell Me O Kkhuda (2011) directed and produced by her mother Hema Malini. She portrayed the lead role in the film opposite Arjan Bajwa, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor and her father Dharmendra.

Deol released her short film Ek Duaa in which she acted and also produced alongside her husband. The film was released on Voot, and it was met with mixed to positive reviews.

Deol reunited with Ajay Devgan in the 2022 web series Rudra: The Edge of Darkness which marked her comeback. In 2023, She appeared alongside Suniel Shetty in the series Hunter Tootega Nahi Todega.

Other work

Like their mother, Esha and her sister are trained in classical dance forms. Esha is a professional Odissi dancer and was also trained in Bharatanatyam.

In February 2020, Deol announced her first book Amma Mia! on Instagram. This book is a hands-on guide on parenting and children diet.

Personal life

Bharat Takhtani, Esha Deol at Esha Deol's wedding at ISCKON temple 02
Esha with her husband Bharat Takhtani on their wedding day

On 29 June 2012, Esha Deol married Bharat Takhtani in a low-key wedding ceremony at the ISKCON temple in Mumbai.

In April 2017, it was announced that the couple was expecting their first child. She gave birth to her daughter in October 2017 at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai and named her Radhya. On 10 June 2019, she gave birth to her second daughter, Miraya.



  • All films are in Hindi unless otherwise noted.
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2002 Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe Esha Singh
Na Tum Jaano Na Hum Esha Malhotra
Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa Esha Kapoor
2003 Kucch To Hai Tanya Oberoi
Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne Tina Khanna
LOC: Kargil Dimple Cheema
2004 Aayutha Ezhuthu Geethanjali Tamil film
Yuva Radhika
Dhoom Sheena
2005 Insan Heena Khan
Kaal Riya Thapar
Main Aisa Hi Hoon Maya Trivedi Thakur
Dus Agent Neha (Fake)
No Entry Pooja Khanna
Shaadi No. 1 Diya Saxena
2006 Pyare Mohan Preeti Ahuja
Ankahee Kavya Krishna
2007 Just Married Ritika "Ritu" Khanna Sachdeva
Darling Geeta Menon
Cash Pooja
2008 Sunday Herself Special appearance in song "Kashmakash"
Money Hai Toh Honey Hai Herself Special appearance in song "Ta Na Na"
One Two Three Jiya
Hijack Saira
2011 Tell Me O Kkhuda Tanya R. Kapoor
2015 Kill Them Young Meera Simultaneously shot in Kannada as Care of Footpath 2
2019 Cakewalk Shilpa Sen Short film
2021 Ek Duaa Abida Short film


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2012 Roadies X2 Gang Leader Season 12
2022 Rudra: The Edge of Darkness Shaila "Shai" Durrani Singh
2023 Hunter Tootega Nahi Todega Divya

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result Ref.
2003 Bollywood Movie Awards Best Female Debut Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe Won
48th Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut Won
Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer - Female Won
6th Zee Cine Awards Best Female Debut Nominated
4th IIFA Awards Star Debut of the Year - Female Won
2005 8th IIFA Awards Best Supporting Actress Dhoom Nominated
2007 Bollywood Movie Awards Best Villain Ankahee Nominated
Screen Awards Best Actor in a Negative Role Nominated
Screen Awards Best Actor in a Negative Role Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Esha Deol para niños

  • List of Indian film actresses
  • List of Hindi film actresses
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