Manju Warrier is a South-Indian film actress, born on November 1, 1978, in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, to an accountant father and a homemaker mother. She completed her schooling from Chinmaya Vidyalaya and further from Chovva Higher Secondary School, both situated at Kannur. She graduated from SN College, Kannur. Manju was only seventeen when she made her debut in the film industry with ‘Sakshyam’, a classic Malayalam drama directed by Mohan.
At the age of eighteen, she worked in ‘
Sallapam’, a love story by
Sundar Das. In the first three years of her career, she was awarded for her work in four major films. First is with the film ‘
Ee Puzhayum Kadannu’, a drama thriller starring Dileep in the lead role, won her the Kerala State Film Award, Filmfare, and the Screen-Videocon Award. Secondly, she was also awarded Filmfare Award and the Screen-Videocon Award for ‘Aaraam Thampuran’. The movie was a record-breaking hit at the box office in the year 1997. Apart from these, for two other films titled ‘Kanmadam’ and ‘Pathram’, she was awarded Filmfare and Asianet Awards. Manju got married to actor, Dileep in 1988 and gave birth to a baby girl named Meenakshi.
However, in 2015 the couple got divorced through mutual consent and the daughter’s custody belongs to Dileep. After her marriage, she retired from the industry for good. But fifteen years later, post the divorce, she has made her comeback with the critically acclaimed film ‘
How Old Are You?’ The film is a Magic Frames’ production and revolves around the dramatic life lead by a working middle-aged wife. Manju has been awarded Filmfare Award, Asianet Award, Asiavision Award, South Indian International Movie Award, and the Vanitha Film Award for her work in the above film. The film is also being made in Hindi, starring
Ajay Devgan and Kajol, to be released in 2016.
Manju is a trained Kuchipudi dancer, having performed at the Kerala Youth Festivals and in her films as well. She has also authored a book in 2013 titled ‘Sallapam’, which consists of thirteen chapters (a compilation of articles written by her for a Malayalam daily). She is a versatile actress and has also played a male character for ‘
Daya’, a period film directed by Venu in 1998. She was also awarded the Special Jury Award at the
National Film Awards for her performance as a clever woman, who sets out to avenge her parents’ murder in ‘Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu’.