Madhoobala Raghunath was born into a Tamil-speaking family. Her father Raghunanth is the brother of Bollywood Actress Hema Malini. Her mother Renuka, who used to teach her Bharat Natyam, died due to cancer when she was just 13. Actress Juhi Chawla is her sister-in-law. She did her schooling from St.Joseph's high school in Juhu - Mumbai. She completed a formal training course under Roshan Taneja. Madhoo was signed by Veeru Devgan for his son Ajay Devgan's debut in Phool Aur Kaante (1991), but her first release was K. Balachander’s Azhagan (1991) co-starring Mammooty, Bhanupriya and Geetha. She made her debut in the Malayalam film Ottayal Pattalam opposite Mukesh. She made her comeback in 2008, in the Hindi film, Kabhi Socha Bhi Na Tha, and has been appearing in supporting roles in films since then. She married Anand Shah on 19 February 1999. She has two daughters Ameyaa (16 November 2000) and Keia (9 November 2002). Her next movie is Naanu Mathu Varalakshmi.