Biography: Tabassum Fatima Hashmi was born on November 4, 1971, daughter of Jamal Hashmi and Rizwana in a Muslim family. Her parents divorced shortly after her birth. Her mother was a school teacher and her maternal grandparents were retired teachers who ran a school. Her grandfather, Mohammed Ahsan, was a professor of mathematics, and her grandmother was a professor of English literature. Tabassum entered St. Anns High School in Hyderabad. She moved to Bombay in 1983 and studied at St. Xavier High School for two years.
She is the niece of Shabana Azmi, Tanvi Azmi and Baba Azmi and the younger sister of the actress Farah Naaz. She can speaks Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and English languages.
Tabu has performed in several film industries in India, including productions such as Maachis (1996), Kaalapaani (1996), Virasat (1997), Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000), Hu Tu Tu (1999), Astitva (2000), Chandni Bar (2001), Maqbool (2003), Cheeni Kum (2007), Haider (2014), Drishyam (2015) and Andhadhun (2018). She has also played leading role in critically acclaimed films such as Coolie No. 1 (1991), Vijaypath (1995), Ninne Pelladata (1996), Jeet (1996), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Border (1997), Chachi 420 (1997), Biwi No. 1 (1999), Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999), Hera Pheri (2000), Fanaa (2006), Jai Ho (2014) and Golmaal Again (2017). Her international projects include a leading role in the film Mira Nair The Good Name (2007) and a role of cast in the popular film Life of Pi (2012).
Controversy: In 1998 Tabu was accused of poaching two cervicapra antelopes in Kankani during the filming of the film Hum Saath Saath Hain along with the actors Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre and Neelam Kothari. A lower court charged them under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The actress filed a petition for review before a session tribunal. After a long legal dispute, on April 5, 2018 the actress was acquitted of these charges.