Tabu (born Tabassum Hashmi on November 4, 1970) is an Indian film actress. She has mainly acted in Hindi films, though she has also starred in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali language films, as well as one American film in English. She has won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice, and she holds the record for the most wins of Filmfare's Critics Award for Best Female Performer, with four.
Despite a few exceptions, Tabu is best-known for acting in artistic, low-budget films that go on to garner more critical appreciation than substantial box office figures. Her appearances in commercially successful films were few, and her parts in these films were small, such as Border (1997), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Biwi No.1 and Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United (1999). Her most notable performances include Maachis (1996), Virasat (1997), Hu Tu Tu (1999), Astitva (2000), Chandni Bar (2001), Maqbool (2003) and Cheeni Kum (2007). Her leading role in Mira Nair's American film The Namesake also drew major praise. Known to be selective about her film roles, she has said, "I do films which move me and most of all, the unit and the director should appeal to me."
Tabu was born in Hyderabad to Jamal Hashmi and Rizwana. Soon after, her parents divorced. Her mother was a school teacher and her maternal grandparents were retired professors who ran a school. Her grandfather, Mohammed Ahsan was a professor of Mathematics and her grandmother was a professor of English Literature. She went to St. Anns high school in Hyderabad. Tabu moved to Mumbai in 1983 and studied at St. Xavier's College for two years.
She is the niece of Shabana Azmi and the younger sister of actress Farah Naaz. She has homes in Mumbai and Hyderabad.
She is the life member of International Club of Asian Academy Of Film and Television, Noida.
In 1998, Tabu was charged with poaching two blackbucks in Kankani during the filming of Hum Saath Saath Hain along with co-stars Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre and Neelam. The charges were dropped soon after and Tabu was acquitted.
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