Raveena Tandon was born to filmmaker Ravi Tandon and Veena. Her name is an amalgamation of her parents' name. Her father was a producer and director of some films in the 1970s and 1980s. She has a brother named Rajiv Tandon, who had a brief career in Bollywood films as Raaj Tandon. One cousin, Kiran Rathod is a South Indian actress. One other cousin, Reshma Singh, acted in television serials. A third cousin, Vishal Singh, is a successful actor for television serials.
She completed her first and second years at the college. During her time as an intern, she got her first film offer which she accepted. She dropped out of college and decided to pursue her film career.
Raveena Tandon debuted with the film “Patthar Ke Phool” (1991) which was a hit. Her next films “Mohra” (1994) and “Dilwale” (1994) were big hits at the box office whilst “Laadla” (1994), although an average performer, still earned her a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. “Mohra” was the second biggest hit of 1994. Her other releases of that year included the thriller “Imtihaan” and the comedy “Andaz Apna Apna”.
In 1995, she starred with Shahrukh Khan for the first time in “Zamaana Deewana”; the film failed to do well. Her next few films also failed to do well at the box office and her career saw a drop in her success.
Her career was back on track with hit films like “Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi” (1996) and “Ziddi” (1997), both being big hits each of its respective year. In 1997, she was to play her first villainous role in “Dus” but the film was shelved after the director's death when 40% of the film's shooting had been completed.
In 1998, Tandon had eight releases. Her last release of that year “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” co-starring Amitabh Bachchan and “Govinda” turned out to the second biggest hit of the year. Coincidentally, Tandon was offered the second lead in “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” which went on to be the biggest hit of 1998, but she turned it down. Her other releases of that year were “Gharwali Baharwali” which gained a below average status and “Vinashak”, “Pardesi Babu” and “Aunty No. 1” all of which were un-successful.
In 1999, Tandon starred opposite Kannada Superstar Upendra in his self-titled Kannada Telugu Psychological Thriller film, “Upendra”. The film was a blockbuster in Kannada and Telugu and went on to become a sensation all over South India. The film won many awards including Filmfare Award for Best Film and Filmfare Award for Best Director.
In the 2000s (decade), Tandon turned her career professionally. She went on to work more with art film directors and realistic cinema. It proved to be a good turning as films like “Shool”(1999), “Bulandi” (2000) and “Aks” (2001) won her huge acclaim.
Her years in the industry paid off when she won the coveted National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Kalpana Lajmi's “Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence” (2001), where she played a battered wife to an abusive husband. She surprised critics and audiences with her performance in the film and received much appreciation for her work. Since then, she has starred in a number of critically acclaimed films, such as “Satta” (2003) and “Dobara” (2004), but has not had much box office success. Her only release in 2006 was “Sandwich” which opened to poor reviews and reception.