Khushboo was born and raised in a Muslim family in Andheri (West), Mumbai. She had her primary education in Swami Muktananda High School located in Andheri area. She has three brothers. She is married to director Sundar C. She later converted to Hinduism. Kushboo speaks Hindi, Tamil and Marathi fluently.
Khushboo started her career in the 1980s as a child artist. Her first movie appearance was in The Burning Train 1980 in the song "Teri Hai Zameen Tera Aasman" followed by Thodisi Bewafaii (1980) in both films she had an uncredited roles. She had her first credited role in the 1981 film Laawaris. Since then, she has acted in over 100 movies, some opposite leading actors like Kamal Hassan, Rajnikanth, Vishnuvardhan, Ravichandran, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Sathyaraj, and Prabhu. She played the role of the sister of Anil Kapoor in the 80s hit Meri Jung, and danced with Javed Jaffrey in his first dancing role on screen in the superhit song "Bol Baby Bol, Mere Sang Dol".She went to become the No1 South Indian leading actress during her period.
Kushboo was introduced to South India through the Telugu movie Kaliyuga Pandavulu opposite Venkatesh, under the direction of K Raghavendra Rao.
She is known for her TV show Jackpot and her serials Kalki, Janani and Kungumam.
Apart from Tamil movies, she has also acted in various movies in Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam.
In Kannada, She has acted in many movies with Ravichandran notably Ranadheera (1987), Anjada Gandu, Shanthi Kranthi and Yugapurusha.
In 2005, there was a well-publicized controversy about her remarks in an interview for AIDS awareness, about the need for protected sex. She said it was fine for girls to have pre-marital sex but not without taking precautions to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Later, she added that no educated man should expect his wife or girlfriend to be a virgin. Two political parties lashed out at her because of her remarks: The Dalit Panthers of India and The Pattali Makkal Katchi. She was ordered to court and her counsel offered to withdraw the previously issued anticipatory bail petition. The judge acceded and dismissed the petition as withdrawn. The Supreme Court dismissed all cases registered against the south Indian film actress and activist for her alleged remarks on pre-marital sex. Kushboo's fans built a temple dedicated to her at Tiruchirapalli, but protesters razed it following her controversial comments in 2005 about pre-marital sex and AIDS. Actress Suhasini Maniratnam her senior co-star and friend stood with her on this issue.
Khusboo made a idly in April 2010 that she would be entering politics soon before the 2011 assembly elections and later joined the DMK, by signing her membership form at the party headquarters in Chennai.
Khushboo, a Muslim, married actor-director Sundar C, a Hindu, and converted to Hinduism after they married. They have two daughters, Avanthika and Ananditha, after whom they have named their production house. She has been living in Chennai for the past twenty years. She also has three brothers who live in Chennai. She is one of the most popular and friendly stars. Kushboo learned classical dance from her co-star and friend, actress Sukanya, a student of Chennai Kalakshetra. Kushboo also mentioned in an interview to Vijay TV that Sukanya used to help with her hairstyles and dialogues for K. Balachander's TV serials. One of her brothers, Abdullah, is expected to make his debut in the movie industry, playing the lead role in the movie Netru pol inru illai.