Born in: Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
Career: Model, Actress
Lara Dutta is one of the most promising actresses in Bollywood presently. She started her career as a model and after doing campaigns for a number of known brands, went on to become Miss India, in 2000. Thereafter, she went for the Miss Universe competition and was declared the winner. After spending one year abroad, she came back to India and entered the world of Bollywood, making her debut in the year 2003, with the movie ‘Andaz’. Since then, the fine actress has continued to mesmerize audience with her charming grace and excellent acting skills.
Childhood and Early Life
Lara Dutta was born on 16th April 1978 in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Her father is Wing Commander L.K. Dutta, now retired, and her mother is Jennifer Puddi. She was the youngest of three daughters and has two older sisters, one of whom is serving in the Indian Air Force. DJ Nitin Sawhney, the famous composer, is her cousin. Dutta moved to Bangalore, with her family, in the year 1981. There, she started attending St. Francis Xavier Girl's High School and completed her schooling years.
It was in 1995 that Lara moved to Mumbai, with the aim of pursuing a career in modeling. However, she did not lose sight of her studies and also enrolled herself in a college. She graduated in Economics, with a minor in communications. During this time, she did prestigious campaigns for the brands like Bombay Dyeing, Siyaram and Synergie for L'Oreal. She also participated in several beauty pageants and ended up winning Gladrags competition, followed by her win in Miss Intercontinental pageant in 1997.
Miss India and Miss Universe
In 2000, Lara Dutta participated in Miss India contest and ended up winning the title, beating all the other contestants. The same year, she went to Nicosia in Cyprus, for the Miss Universe Title, and made a clean sweep of the same. In fact, Dutta became the 1st Miss Universe to win with the unanimous vote of the entire panel of judges. She spent the next twelve months in moving across the world and visiting more than 68 countries, spreading messages of AIDS awareness and Aiding the Girl Child.
During this time, she also made appearances for Designer and friend Randolph Duke, Sean Combs, and Roberto Cavali. She became the ‘Brand Ambassador’ of Maurice Lacroix, Longines, Clairol and Mikimoto of Japan. While living in New York, between 2000 and 2001, Dutta hosted a Radio Talk show for ABC, which profiled women achievers from across the globe. While she was holding the title of Miss Universe, United Nations invited her to become its UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador for life. Since then, she has been contributing towards issues of AIDS awareness in India and Female Reproductive Rights.
Lara Dutta entered the world of Bollywood with the movie ‘Andaz’ (2003), in which she was one of the two female leads, other being Priyanka Chopra. The film proved to be a success and won her Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, which she shared with Chopra. Though Dutta had done a Tamil movie ‘Arasatchi’ in 2002, financial problems forced it to be released only in mid-2004. In 2004, she was seen in ‘Masti’, which turned out to be a box office hit, followed by ‘Bardaasht’, ‘Aan: Men at Work’ and a special appearance on ‘Khakee’.
The year 2005 saw Dutta appearing in a number of movies, namely ‘Insan’, ‘Elaan’, ‘Jurm’, ’Kaal’, ‘No Entry’, ‘Ek Ajnabee’ (Special appearance) and ‘Dosti: Friends Forever’. Amongst all these films, ’Kaal’ and ‘No Entry’ became successful at the box office. The next year, she starred in ‘Zinda’ and ‘Bhagam Bhag’. The latter one was a comedy and garnered good collections. She started 2007 with ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’, a box office failure, followed by ‘Partner’, which became a blockbuster.
Lara Dutta is a trained Bharatnatyam and Kathak dancer. She loves to read and also has a habit of writing extensively. Along with that, she is an avid adventure sports enthusiast. This is the reason why she does all her own stunts, whether they are for advertising campaigns or movies. Dutta lives in Mumbai, but visits her family in Bangalore, whenever she finds time for the same. She dated model Kelly Dorjee for quite a long time, but the couple broke up sometime back. Presently, she is rumored to be dating actor Dino Morea.
- 2004 - Star Screen Award Most Promising Newcomer - Female, Andaaz
- 2004 - Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, Andaaz (joint winner with Priyanka Chopra)
- 2003 - Andaaz, Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost
- 2004 - Khakee (Special appearance), Masti, Bardaasht, Arasatchi (Tamil film), Aan: Men at Work
- 2005 - Insan, Elaan, Jurm, Kaal, No Entry, Ek Ajnabee (Special appearance), Dosti: Friends Forever
- 2006 - Zinda, Fanaa (Special appearance), Alag (Special appearance), Bhagam Bhag
- 2007 - Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Partner, Om Shanti Om (Special appearance)