Madhuri Dixit might still be the most popular actress in India, even though she is not making as many films today as she was back in the 90's. She can afford to choose her roles more carefully now. Throughout that whole decade she had at least one hugely profitable hit film, or at least one best actress award, (or both!) in every year.
It's sad that Madhuri Dixit isn't better known in America, because she's a good role model in several ways. For example she got a good education before heading into lines of work that can make someone turn out to be shallow. Starting from the earliest years of her film career there have always been short sighted people telling her to give up, but she kept her determination and proved them wrong more than once.
Her early acting work started in 1984, mostly small parts in films that were not very profitable. The directors seemed blinded by her previous career as a successful fashion model. You might think earning a bachelor's degree in microbiology would prove her able to handle deeper roles. But instead she was given scenes based mostly on her youthful sex appeal. Her full range of talents stayed hidden until 1988, when her performance in a film called "Tezaab" attracted attention from more perceptive directors. Then her career started to take off.
In the early 90's she had several starring roles in hit films and several awards already behind her. In 1993 and again in 1996, she was in films that were unprofitable (even though she won best actress awards in both years). Both times, that was all it took for a lot of critics to predict her career was over. She ignored the talk that it was time for her to step aside and let younger actresses take over. Her 1994 film "Hum Aapke Hain Kaun" and her 1997 "Dil To Pagal Hai" each earned her yet another best actress award. Both took in huge profits at the box office too.
By the end of the 90's Madhuri Dixit was the highest paid actress working in the Indian cinema. Since then someone else has taken over that spot, mostly because her last major work was in 2000. Some critics have already started again with gossip of her career being over, but the ones who have learned their lesson know: her career won't be over until she decides it's over.
Madhuri was born on May 15, 1967, in Mumbai. She is fully fluent in three languages - English, Hindi, and Marathi - and has also made at least one film in the Tamil language. In 1999, she married a doctor named Sri Ram Nene, who lives in Los Angeles.
You can get more info on her at some of these sites: