Mamta Kulkarni was born in a Marathi-speaking household, and lived at Yari Road, Versova, Andheri West, along with two sisters, Mithila and Moulina.
Nothwithstanding Mamta’s Marathi accent, and her inability to speak fluent English, she did land several roles in Bollywood flicks, starting in 1992 with Tiranga, and thereafter in Karan Arjun, Sabse Bada Khiladi, Baazi, until the 2002 release of Kahbhi Tum Kabhi Hum. In role in Aashiq Awara opposite Sharmila Tagore’s son, Saif Ali Khan, got her an ‘New Face’ award from Filmfare & Lux.
In most of her films she is shown as a glamorous, sexy, song-and-dance girl. She did try to change this in Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Chinagate, but the movie flopped, and this, amongst other misunderstandings, led to souring of relationships between Mamta and Santoshi.
It was during 1993 that Mamta created controversy by appearing topless, albeit with her arms crossed across her breasts, in the September issue of ‘Stardust’. This angered several conservative groups, leading to her her arrest, subsequent conviction by the courts in the year 2000 and a fine Rs.15,000/-.
She was involved in another controversy by appearing in Court wearing an Islamic Burkha – incurring the wrath of Islamic groups.
Controversy again followed her when she appeared on a stage show in 1997 at the invitation of a Bihar-based Legislator, who was subsequently arrested for his involvement in a scam. Mamta has denied her involvement in this scam.
Her natural beauty and outspokenness sparked jealousies and fears amongst other leading ladies, thus leading to considerable diatribe between herself and other actresses, Urmila Matondkar in particular.
It cannot be denied that Mamta is breathtakingly beautiful, and deserves a second chance in movies. Although she has re-located in the U.S., she continues to have many fans, who wish her well, and hope she makes a comeback someday.