born 19 June 1965 is an Indian film actor and motivational speaker, known for his work in 11 different languages, predominantly in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Bengali, English, Odia and Marathi cinema. He is noted for his antagonist and character roles. He also acted in the TV serial, Ham Panchi Ek Chal Ke. In 1995, he received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for Drohkaal.
He was born in Dharmadam, near Thalassery, Kerala, India to Reba Vidyarthi, a Kathak guru and Govind Vidyarthi, an expert in cataloging and archiving vanishing Performing Arts of India for the Sangeet Natak Akademi. Having started his studies at Shiv Niketan School, 7, Hailey Road, New Delhi, he later joined the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi. In 1983, Ashish attended Hindu College and studied History. It was at Hindu College, where he joined a Theatre Group called Sambhav, run by National School of Drama alumni and started his journey in performing arts. He also attended National School of Drama till 1990 and associated himself with another theatre group, Act One, run by N. K. Sharma.
In 1992, he moved to Bombay (now Mumbai). Ashish played the role of V. P. Menon in his first film, Sardar, based on Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s Life. Though, his first release was Drohkaal, for which he won a National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1995. He is also renowned for his role as Ashutosh, in 1942:A Love Story. Ashish received the Star Screen Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role, for the 1996 film Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin