Simran Bagga (born Rishibala Naval; 4 April 1976), also known by the mononym Simran, is an Indian film actress, model and television personality. She has predominantly appeared in Tamil films, along with Telugu language films, as well as a few films in Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada. She is considered to be one of the most versatile actresses of her period.
Simran was born in Mumbai and spent most of her childhood there. Although Simran initially aspired to become a fashion designer, she accepted offers to join the Indian film industry, which came as a result of her fame as an anchor in the show Superhit Muqabla, making her Bollywood debut in Sanam Harjai (1995). Having acted in a few Hindi films, she later achieved her first success with Tere Mere Sapne (1996). Subsequently, she made her debut in South Indian cinema through the Malayalam film Indraprastham in 1996 and acted in her first Kannada film Simhada Mari and Telugu film Abbai Gari Pelli the following year.
The same year, she debuted in Tamil through V. I. P. and was followed by string of commercial successes in her early career. In 1999, Simran received critical praise for playing a blind woman in Thulladha Manamum Thullum. However, the turning point of her career came with the success of Vaali (1999), which made Simran the most successful actress in the industry. At the peak of her career she agreed to play the role of an antagonist in Parthen Rasithen (2000) and a suffering woman from a premarital agreement in Priyamaanavale (2000), both went on to become commercial and critical successes. She received her first Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actress for Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), as the mother of an adopted 9-year-old daughter. Other than romantic dramas, Simran had also appeared in two blockbuster comedy films alongside Kamal Haasan; Pammal K. Sambandam and Panchathantiram, both released in 2002. In Telugu, Simran starred in a series of commercially successful films; Samarasimha Reddy (1999), Kalisundam Raa (2000) and Narasimha Naidu (2001), and for the latter, she received her first Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress nomination. With the success of the 2004 sci fi film New, Simran left the film industry following her marriage with her childhood family friend Deepak Bagga. In 2008, she made a comeback to Tamil cinema with Vaaranam Aayiram, where she played the role of a mother and a wife to the characters played by Suriya and won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1998, entertainment portal Rediff.com called her "one of Tamil cinema's top female draws". In 1999, she was featured in Forbes Magazine as the most prolific actress with a diverse portfolio from the Indian subcontinent. Well noted for her dancing and acting skills in the Indian film industry, she won three Filmfare Awards South including Best Female Debut for Once More, V.I.P and Nerrukku Ner, one Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actress for Thulladha Manamum Thullum, three Cinema Express Awards and was awarded the Kalaimamani award in 2003.
Simran was born as Rishibala Naval to Punjabi parents in Mumbai; her father is Ashok Naval and mother is Sharda. Simran has two sisters, Monal and Jyothi Naval, and a brother named Sumith. She did her schooling from St. Anthony's high school, Versova and finished her B.Com in Mumbai and was modelling simultaneously. She speaks Punjabi, Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu. Simran is a trained dancer and can perform Bharatanatyam and Salsa.
She married Deepak, her childhood family friend, on December 2, 2003. They have two sons, Adheep and Aadit.