After pursuing a degree in economics he started his career as a creative artist at an advertising agency. In 1994, his next film Unishe April released which won National Film Award for Best Feature Film.Ghosh was a self-professed Satyajit Ray fan and inspired other filmmakers like Mithaq Kazimi who adapted Ghosh's film Raincoat in English.
In 2009, Ghosh's film 'Abohoman', starring Jisshu Sengupta, Ananya Chatterjee, Dipankar Dey, and Mamata Shankar, was released, and won him the National film award for Best Director in Bengali for this film.
Rituparno Ghosh was the editor of the Bengali film magazine, 'Anandalok' from 1997 to 2004.
According to Dr Rajiv Seal of Fortis Hospitals, who had been his physician for almost two decades, Rituparno was also facing complications from hormone treatments after abdominoplasty and breast implants operations which he underwent for his role in Kaushik Ganguly's film, 'Arekti Premer Golpo', in which he played a transgender filmmaker with a bisexual lover.
Ghosh died at his Kolkata residence on , following a massive heart attack.
His films glorified womanhood and closely and sensitively portrayed women's lives, feelings and sufferings.