Manisha Koirala (born August 16, 1970) is a Nepali-Indian actress who works in Indian films, as well as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and social activist. Koirala has primarily worked in Hindi cinema, though she has appeared in several Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films as well. She is also an accomplished Bharatnatyam and Manipuri dancer. Born to politician Prakash Koirala and Sushma Koirala in the politically prominent Koirala family of Nepal, she made her acting debut in the Nepali film Pheri Bhetaula (1989). A year later, Koirala made her Bollywood debut with the top-grossing drama Saudagar (1991). She went on to establish herself as one of the leading actresses in the 90s with such mainstream films as 1942: A Love Story (1994), Agni Sakshi (1996) and Gupt (1997).
Recognised for her acting prowess, Koirala was noted for her performances in films such as Bombay, Akele Hum Akele Tum (both 1995), Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), Dil Se.. (1998), and Company (2002). She has won the Filmfare Critics' Award thrice and has received four nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress so far. Although box-office collections of her films have varied considerably, critics have noted that her niche as an actor remains unharmed irrespective of her commercial potent. Off-screen she is frequented in the media as a "controversy’s child" with her bohemian stance and candid comments often described as "outspoken" and "bold".