Vidya Balan is an Indian actress, who appears in Hindi films. After graduating with a degree in sociology, she started her career starring in music videos, television shows and commercials, before appearing in feature films.
Balan made her movie debut in the Bengali film, Bhalo Theko in 2003. She later made her Hindi film debut with Parineeta (2005), which earned her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut as well as her first Best Actress nomination at the same ceremony. She subsequently essayed a variety of character roles, receiving her first commercial success with Rajkumar Hirani's Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). She subsequently appeared in such films as Guru (2007), Heyy Babyy and Bhool Bhulaiya (both 2008), the latter earning her another Filmfare nomination.
In 2009 she appeared as a single mother of a child suffering from progeria in R. Balki's Paa, her performance in which ultimately won her a Best Actress award at Filmfare. 2010 saw the release of Ishqiya, starring Balan in a role for which she was praised and awarded, and a year later she followed it with two acclaimed portrayals of real-life characters—Sabrina Lal and Silk Smitha—in the biopics No One Killed Jessica and The Dirty Picture, respectively.