Mamta Kulkarni is a former Bollywood actress featured in various super hit movies between 1991 and 2003. She was active in the Hindi and South film industries and acted in around 40 movies. She was the lead actress in that time's hit movies like Tirangaa, Karan Arjun, Waqt Hamara Hai, etc.
Mamta was born on 20 April 1972 in a middle-class Marathi Brahmin family in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Her family used to live in the Versova area of Mumbai.
She completed her education at St. Joseph's Convent High School in Mumbai. Initially, she was not interested in acting, but her mother instigated her to become an actress. Her mother dreamed of being an actress and getting fame, but she could not fulfil that due to family pressure. Then she made up her mind to put her daughter in acting.
Mamta is a very religious person. She said in an interview that if she didn't choose acting as a career, she might have moved towards spiritualism.
When she took a break from acting, she started meditation and penance, which continued for around 12 years. At that time, Mamta was fully turned towards spirituality. She went to Maha Kumbh in 2013. She claimed that now she had attained enlightenment and surrendered herself to God with the grace of her Guru.
In her 10-year-long career, she acted in numerous hit films with superstars like Salman Khan, Govinda, and others. She started her career in the Tamil movie Nanbargal in 1991, a very successful regional cinema at that time. The Tamil audience appreciated her role as Priya. Her Tamil fans made tattoos of her name. Mostly Mamta was liked in the romantic, love story, and sensual genres.
She made her debut in Bollywood with the film Tirangaa starring Nana Patekar and Raj Kumar, in 1992. It was a blockbuster that gave boom to her career. In the same year, she played the role of Priya R. Singh in "Mera Dil Tere Liye".
After that, she appeared in the sequence of movies, i.e.:
Awards and Achievements
Mamta Kulkarni was awarded Filmfare Award for Lux New Face of the Year in 1994 for her performance in Aashiq Awara.
How her career ended
The controversy about her career started with the film China Gate, whose director was Rajkumar Santoshi. The Relation between them worsened when Rajkumar dropped her from the movie as a lead role. It is said that when he dropped her, he received threats from underworld don Chhota Rajan to take her in his film. Rajkumar was now forced to take her in that film. When the film was released, it didn't perform well at the box office. Still, Urmila Matondhkar's featured song in the movie Chamma Chamma became very popular, and Urmila got all the applause and popularity from the public despite Mamta.
Mamta got immensely angered and held Rajkumar responsible for the failure, accusing him of cutting her screen time for not fulling his desires. Rajkumar took himself apart from all these controversies, and this incident backfired on Mamta. After that, she did not receive any big projects because other directors also became cautious of Mamta. Later she did some regional movies in Bengali and Malayalam, and her last Hindi movie was "Kabhi Hum Kabhi Tum". This incident was the real reason behind the end of her journey.
Her relationship with Vicky Goswami
At the end of the 90s, many Indian actresses who were not getting movie offers started doing dance performances in Dubai, for which they were paid very well, as Bollywood celebrities were hit then. The same happened with Mamta, who also did various dance nights in Dubai. During one of her shows, she met Vicky Goswami. At that time, he had a hotel and Food Pulp Processing Business in Dubai as a front legal business, but he was a drug dealer who had business connections with Velden Findley, a Zambian drug lord.
Due to Mamta's frequent visits to Dubai, their meeting increased, and they became close. But after some time, Vicky was arrested in a drug case in Dubai and punished with capital punishment. When he went to jail, he gave all the responsibility of his legal business to Mamta because he didn't have faith in anyone. Mamta took care of his business very well in his absence.
She had good connections as she used to do shows for wealthy people in Dubai; she worked very hard and did not leave any stones unturned to take Vicky out of jail. With those rich people's help, firstly, she managed to cancel the death penalty, and then she successfully got the benefits of various leaves given to the prisoners to Vicky. Finally, due to her efforts, Vicky was released from jail on the ground of good behaviour in just eight years.
When all these things were happening with Vicky, Mamta lost her mother. Now she was alone, and in Dubai, Vicky was also alone. Then she decided to leave the film industry and went to Dubai to live with Vicky.
According to some reports, Mamta married Vicky in 2013, but whenever she was asked about her marriage, she refused to accept this every time. She ways said she had a good relationship with Vicky.
Top Controversies related to Mamta
Mamta's topless pose picture was published in Stardust Magazine in 1993. The public criticized her for such boldness; none were comfortable with that. A suit was filed against her, and she was penalized with a fine of Rs.15000.
People of the Muslim community stood against her when she arrived at the court hearing, dressed up in a burqa. According to them, she misused and disrespected the outfit, which hurt their religious sentiments. She received death threats for this act from several fringe Muslim organizations.
Performance in the party of Bihar's former legislator
Mamta gave a dance performance at the party of a former Legislator of Bihar in Ranchi, who is said to be involved in the Fodder Scam of Bihar. This matter became controversial because it was claimed that Rs. 1.25cr was spent on her performance, and the whole amount was related to Fodder Scam.
Some people claimed that Mamta was involved in the scam, but that wasn't proven.
Drug racket case in Mumbai
On 12 April 2016, news came that the Mumbai crime branch registered a suit against her and Vicky Goswami for being involved in Rs. 2000 cr. Drug racket active in Thane Mumbai and declared them as proclaimed offenders, under NDPS Act.
At that time, she was living in Mombasa, Kenya. Court ordered to freeze her bank accounts and three FDs in Mumbai banks. The police also sealed her two flats in Mumbai.
Conversion to Islam
It is said that she, along with Vicky, converted to Islam in Kenya. It was done to get the benefit of a reduction in his sentence because he was detained in Kenya also for a drug case in 2013. Later in an interview, she declined about her conversion to Islam.
In 2016 she faced the camera again after 16 years for an interview with a news channel, in which she openly talked about her past, her life and cinema, and the controversies related to her, including the drug case. She busted all the rumours and presumptions and put her side of the story.
She also wrote her autobiography, The Autobiography of a Yogini, in which she discussed her life and how it changed because of spiritualism.