Rati Agnihotri was born on December 10, 1960 to a Punjabi family inBombay, India. Although, she came from a traditional, conservativefamily, she was allowed to model at age 10. When she was a teenager,her father relocated the family to Madras, Tamil Nadu because of hisjob. There, she attended Good Shepherd's Convent school and acted in aschool play.
Bharati Raja, one of Tamil Nadu's famous film director,was in the audience and was on the lookout for a heroine to star in hisnew film. He met with Rati's father and promised the film would wrap ina month. Her father reluctantly agreed, and a sixteen-year-old Rati wasvery excited to star in her first film, Pudhiya Varpukal (1979). It wasalso her hero Bhagyaraj's first film, and he coached her with her linesby teaching her Tamil. The film became a blockbuster, with Rati anovernight sensation.
Bharati Raja soon directed her in her second film,Neeram Maradapukal (1979). Even though she was Punjabi, South Indianaudiences embraced her as if she was truly one of their own, and shereciprocated the feeling by calling herself "Tamilian at heart" andcalling Madras her "home. " She also starred in Telugu and Kannada filmsand made 32 films in just three years. She worked with big banners andtop stars, such as Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Shobhan Babu,Chiranjeevi, Vishnuvardhan, N. T.
Rama Rao, Krishna, and Nageshwara Rao. Ironically, her entry into Hindu films came from her strong connectionto South Indian cinema. She had worked with director K. Balanchanderonce before and had been Kamal Haasan's leading lady in many SouthIndian films, so she wasn't surprised when they approached her for theHindi remake of their Telugu blockbuster, Marocharithra (1979). Nowre-titled "Ek Duje Ke Liye" (1981), the film was about passionatelovers who are torn apart by their parents in the storytellingtradition of Romeo and Juliet.
It became the top grossing hit of 1981and introduced into Hindi films the 5 stars of the South Indian filmindustry: director K. Balachander, hero Kamal Haasan, heroine RatiAgnihotri, supporting actress Madhavi, and playback singer S. P. Balasubramaniam. Although all received Filmfare nominations, only Ratiand S.
P. Balasubramaniam were the real beneficiaries, both becoming topstars in their field. The unforgettable musical score byLaxmikant-Pyarelal rose the film to soaring heights, and there wererumors about how the film's love story about tragic lovers inspiredreal life lovers to take their own lives. Rati's father, who was alsomanaging her career, shielded her from the hysteria as she was still soyoung. He effectively kept her starring in only Hindi films after EkDuje Ke Liye, and she ended the decade starring in over 43 Hindi films.
Her biggest hits were Shaukeen (1982), Farz Aur Kanoon (1982), Coolie(1983), and Tawaif (1985) for which she received her second Filmfarenomination as Best Actress. Her father's death along with her marriage to businessman and architectAnil Virwani on February 9, 1985 convinced Rati to leave Hindi filmswhen she was still at the top. In 1987, her only son Tanuj was born,and she concentrated on raising him and focusing on other creativeinterests, such as designing her husband's architectural creations. Shealso received a degree in Reike, where she distantly heals people. Eventhough she retired from films, she would still appear at film eventslooking beautiful and glamorous, and as a result, the film offers keptcoming in.
After 16 years of saying no, she finally said yes realizingthat her son is growing up and she had more time for herself. Herfamily supported her decision. She returned to films by playing Kajol'sglamorous mother in Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi (2001). More film offerscame in, and she took them, such as Yaadein (2001) and Dev (2004). After a 20-year absence from South Indian films, she returned to theSouth in the Tamil film Majnu (2001).
She also made her Malayalam debutin Anyar (2003) and English debut in An Ode to Lost Love (2003). Shealso has acted on stage in plays such as "Please Divorce Me Darling"(2005) and television serials, such as Sixer (2005). She still keeps upwith supporting her husband's architectural creations and devotes timeto social causes like cancer, AIDS and menopause awareness for 40 pluswomen. In 2010, she supported her son Tanuj Virwani's decision to enterfilms as an actor. In 2015, she separated from her husband.
|1||Admissions Open... Do What You Are Born For...||2010||as Radhika|
|2||Chatur Singh Two Star||2011||as Savitri Y. Singh|
|3||Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha||2004||as Dr. Shashi Rawat|
|4||Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi||2001||as Archana Khanna|
|5||Kyun! Ho Gaya Na...||2004||as Meenakshi Khanna|
|6||Mazdoor||1983||as Smita K. Batra/Smita R. Saxena|
|7||Shaadi Ke Side Effects||2014||as Trisha's Mother|
|8||1:1.6 An Ode to Lost Love||2004||as Mrs. Bhat|
|9||Aao Wish Karein||2009||as Nisha V. Mehra|
|10||Aap Ke Saath||1986||as Deepa/Salma|
|11||Aisa Kyon Hota Hai?||2006||as Kiran|
|12||All Rounder||1984||as Ritu|
|13||Ayaash||1982||as Mrs. Jaswant Singh|
|15||Begaana||1986||as Rama Kumar/Rama K. Rana|
|16||Bepanaah||1985||as Bhavna Bhardwaj|
|17||Bhavani Junction||1985||as Shakun|
|18||Bin Bulaye Baraati||2011||as Kusum/Kuki|
|19||Blue Oranges||2009||as Uma Dixit|
|20||Boxer||1984||as Rajni Khatau|
|21||Chal Chalein||2009||as Navneet's Mother|
|22||Chupke Se||2003||as Almera Kochar|
|23||Dadagiri||1987||as Deepa Singh|
|24||Dehraadun Diary||2013||as Neelima Sharma|
|25||Dekha Pyar Tumhara||1985||as Anu|
|26||Dev||2004||as Dr. Bharati Singh|
|27||Diary of a Butterfly||2012||as Mum|
|28||Dictator||2016||as Mahima Rai|
|29||Dil Tujhko Diya||1987||as Rati|
|30||Downtown||2016||as Mrs. Oberoi|
|31||Dukaan: Pila House||2004||as Wahidanbai|
|32||Ek Aur Sikander||1986||as Doctor|
|33||Ek Duuje Ke Liye||1981||as Sapna|
|34||Ek Se Bhale Do||1985||as Jenny|
|36||Ho Jaata Hai Pyaar||2005||as Asha B. Roy|
|37||Hot Money||2006||as Sunita Sanyal|
|38||Hum Phirr Milein Na Milein||2009||as Namrata Ahuja|
|39||Hum Tum||2004||as Anju Kapoor, Karan's mother|