Kasthuri Shankar is an Indian actor, model, television presenter, and activist, who works in the South Indian film industry. She is known for her work in films like ‘Indian’ (1996), ‘Soggadi Pellam’ (1996), and ‘Tamilarasan’ (2023).
Kasthuri Shankar was born on Tuesday, 15 June 1976 (age 47 years; as of 2023) in Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India. Her zodiac sign is Gemini. She graduated from Ethiraj College For Women, Chennai.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.): 60 kg
Hair Colour: Dark Brown
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Body Measurements (approx.): 34-30-34
Her father, P. S. Shankar, was an engineer, who attended IIT, while her mother, Sumathi Shankar, was a lawyer.
Husband & Children
Kasthuri Shankar got married to Ravikumar, a doctor, in 2000. She has a son named Sankalp Ravikumar and a daughter named Shobini Ravikumar, who is a leukaemia survivor.
Kasthuri Shankar follows Hinduism.
While participating in a debate regarding language row in Tamil Nadu, Kasthuri Shankar revealed that she considers herself both Brahmin and Shudra. She specifically highlighted her connection to the Shudra community and said “I am a proud Shudra.” NDTV
Kasthuri Shankar was crowned Miss Chennai in 1992. In the same year, she won the Femina Miss Madras beauty pageant.
Kasthuri Shankar made her debut in the Tamil film industry, also known as Kollywood, with the film ‘Aatha Un Koyilile’ in 1991; she appeared as ‘Kasthuri’ in the film.
In 1996, she played the role of ‘Kasthoori’ in the vigilante action film ‘Indian.’ Shankar appeared in many other films including ‘Suyamvaram’ (1999), ‘Naan Rajavaga Pogiren’ (2013), ‘Tamizh Padam 2’ (2018), and ‘Tamilarasan’ (2023).
Kasthuri debuted in the Malayalam film industry, also known as Mollywood, with the film ‘Chakravarthy’ in 19991. She played the role of ‘Praseetha’ in the film.
In 1998, she appeared in a comedy film titled ‘Mangalya Pallakku’ as Seethalakshmi. Kasthuri played the role of ‘Princess Adheena’ in the 2002 film ‘Adheena.’ She worked in many other films including ‘Radholsavam’ (1995), ‘Sneham’ (1998), and ‘Panchapaandavar’ (1999).
In 1992, Kasthuri Shankar made her debut in Tollywood with the film ‘Gang War’ in which she appeared as Kaveri. In 1993, she appeared as ‘Bharathi’ in the action film ‘Nippu Ravva.’ Kasthuri played the role of ‘Aruna’ in the 1995 film ‘God Father.’ She worked in many other films including ‘Soggadi Pellam’ (1996), ‘Chilakkottudu’ (1997), ‘Akasa Veedhilo’ (2001), ‘Gudu Gudu Gunjam’ (2010), and ‘Shamantakamani’ (2017).
Kasthuri Shankar made her debut in the Kannada film industry with the 1994 romantic drama film ‘Jaana’ in which she appeared as ‘Kasturi.’
She played the role of ‘Dr. Seema’ in the romantic drama film ‘Thutta Mutta’ in 1998. She appeared in many other films including ‘Ibbara Naduve Muddina Aata’ (1996) and ‘Premakke Sai’ (2001).
Kasthuri appeared as a special judge on the singing reality show ‘Star Singer’ in 2010. Reportedly, she appeared in a television serial titled ‘Eshtadanam,’ which aired on DD Malayalam.
In 1995, she appeared as Vani in the television series ‘Kaiyalavu Manasu.’ The series was aired on the Sun TV channel.
In 2019, she appeared as a contestant in the reality show Bigg Boss Tamil 3; the show was aired on the Star Vijay channel. Shankar was evicted from the show on the 63rd day.
Kasthuri hosted several television shows including Sun Kudumbam Awards (also called Sun Kudumbam Viruthugal) (2010), Vina Vidai Vettai (2013), and Vina Vidai Vettai Juniors (2014).
She worked in many daily soap operas including ‘Agni Natchathiram’ (as Rudra) (2020) and ‘Aruvi’ (2022).
Kasthuri Shankar played the role of ‘Tulasi’ in the daily soap opera ‘Intinti Gruhalakshmi’ (2020); the serial was aired on the Star Maa channel.
She participated in various reality shows and game shows including ETV’s ‘Cash’ (2020)’ and Sixth Sense’ (2021). In 2021, Kasthura appeared as ‘Indira’ in Disney+ Hotstar’s ‘Parampara.’ In 2022, she appeared on ETV’s ‘Sridevi Drama Company.’
Kasthuri Shankar is known for her candid discussions on various subjects, particularly social issues, which frequently spark controversies and provoke debates. In 2017, her scepticism about Rajinikanth‘s capabilities as a potential politician drew backlash from his fans. In 2018, she openly criticized Rajinikanth’s lack of understanding regarding the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, leading to further confrontations with his supporters. As an advocate for India’s MeToo movement, Kasthuri shared her experiences of resisting patriarchal expectations in the film industry, which cost her roles in multiple projects. She also exposed how one male actor sought revenge against her for rejecting his advances, making it challenging for her to secure work. In April 2019, she called out Tamil cinema film directors Bharathiraja and S. Shankar for preferring lighter-skinned North Indian or foreign actresses in their films. In January 2020, Kasthuri faced sexist remarks from an individual claiming to be a fan of actor Ajith Kumar. She fiercely countered his comments and used the hashtag #dirtyajithfans, which quickly gained traction in India. This prompted some of Ajith’s fans to create the hashtag #DirtyKasthuriAunty in retaliation, sparking an ongoing exchange and fueling further controversy. In 2023, Kasthuri criticised A. R. Rahman’s wife, Saira Banu, through a tweet for her lack of fluency in the Tamil language after Rahman encouraged her to speak in Tamil instead of Hindi at an event. Kasthuri’s translated tweet read,
What AR Rahman’s wife does not speak Tamil? What is their mother tongue? What does she say to the family at home?”
Rahman, however, responded to Kasthuri’s tweet in a clever and loving manner, embracing his partner’s differences and choices. His response attracted positive comments from his followers. Rahman’s translated tweet read,
Respect for love.”
காதலுக்கு மரியாதை🌺😍 https://t.co/8tip3P6Rwx
— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) April 27, 2023
She received HMTV Nari Puraskar in Hyderabad in April 2023.
- She also goes by the name ‘Kasturi.’
- Kasthuri has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. As a testament to her skills, she became a state-level hockey champion.
- She actively participated in various National Cadet Corps (NCC) activities during her school and college days. She once attended the National Cadet Corps Republic Day Camp in Delhi.
- During her college years, Kasthuri discovered a keen interest in fashion. She eagerly participated in numerous fashion shows, paving the way for her future in the industry.
- Kasthuri has a passion for cooking, and she often showcases her culinary talents on social media.
- She is a foodie who embraces a wholesome vegetarian lifestyle.
- In the late 1990s, Kasthuri penned a weekly column for Kumudam magazine titled “K. I. S. S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid.”
- Shankar likes quizzes, and she has participated in various quiz competitions including Mastermind India (2002), an Indian television quiz show based on the British quiz show Mastermind; she was a finalist in the show.
- In 2014, Kasthuri participated in a bold photoshoot for renowned photographer Jade Beall’s book, ‘The Bodies of Mothers: A Beautiful Body Project.’ She posed semi-nude, embracing the project’s celebration of motherhood and body positivity. DNA
- Kasthuri Shankar is actively involved in contributing to society and works closely with several non-profit organizations for various causes.
- She is an avid animal lover. She often shares her pictures with animals on social media.
- Kasthuri’s heart beats to the rhythm of dance. She keeps her finger on the pulse of the latest dance trends and shares her dancing videos on her social media handles.