Mandakini was born on 7 January 1969, as Yasmeen Joseph is a former Bollywood actress was born in an Anglo Indian family in Meerut her mother is a Hindu and her father is English.
Mandakini became a household name after her first movie itself. At the age of 16, she was cast in the lead role in Raj Kapoor's 1985 movie, Ram Teri Ganga Maili opposite his youngest son, Rajiv Kapoor. The movie was a hit, and it earned Mandakini a Filmfare nomination as Best Actress. The film also caused a huge stir because of two scenes - one in which Mandakini bathes in a waterfall wearing only a flimsy white saree through which her breasts were clearly visible, and another in which she was shown breast-feeding a child.
After that there were no films that could shape her career. All her films flopped badly after that. She starred opposite Mithun and Govinda mostly in 80's with films like "Dance Dance" which was a hit but others like "Commando", "Ladai","param dharam","Shandar" failed miserably. with Govinda she acted in "Naach govinda Naach" , "Pyar karke dekho" which failed at the box office.
In 1994, photographs began circulating of Mandakini in the presence of dreaded gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Rumours had already been doing the rounds that the two were an item, and these only served to fuel them. One of the theories put forward was that Ibrahim, who was known to have a keen interest in Bollywood and had even financed movies starring her.
Mandakini vehemently denied all rumours linking her to Dawood. While she admitted to knowing him and being on friendly terms with him, she claimed that they did not know each other personally, let alone being a couple.She also pointed out that she had been married to R. Thakur, a doctor in Mumbai, and even gave birth to a son in 1995.
In the midst of all this controversy, Mandakini's career suffered a serious setback. She quit movies after Zordaar in 1996, and has lived in Mumbai since, with her husband and son. Since then, she has made attempts to reinvent herself. She released two pop music albums - No Vacancy and Shambala - neither of which was a success. Currently, she runs classes in Tibetan yoga and is reportedly a follower of the Dalai Lama.