8SUSHMITA SEN (MISS UNIVERSE 1994)
Tall, gracious and stylish, Sushmita Sen is a woman with a lot of substance. She won India its first Miss Universe title 23 years ago and wrote her name in the history with golden letters. It was an achievement that India celebrates till date. After winning the title in 1994, like most of beauty pageant winners, Sushmita too made her foray into films and did quite a few notable films. Though she is no more active in her movie career, the charming lady remains one of the most popular and beautiful women India has ever seen the presence of.
Sushmita had started taking up modeling assignments even before winning the Miss Universe crown in the year 1994. Once she took the crown home, many filmmakers showed their interest in signing her and offered her bags full of films. Sushmita waited for right opportunities. In 1996, she started her acting career with the Hindi movie, ‘Dastak’. The film was directed by the veteran filmmaker, Mahesh Bhatt, and starred Mukul Dev and Sharad Kapoor opposite her. Announced with much fanfare ‘Dastak’ bombed at the box office.
Sushmita’s breakthrough performance in Tamil musical ‘Ratchagan’ was one of the great pleasures of 1997. The film starring Nagarjuna as the male lead emerged as one of the most successful ventures of the year, catapulting Sushmita to instant stardom. Later she achieved critical and commercial success in Hindi cinema when she appeared in films like ‘Sirf Tum’ (1999) and the comic caper ‘Biwi No.1’ (1999). In the David Dhawan starrer ‘Biwi No.1’, Sushmita was paired opposite Salman Khan. The film became a blockbuster and earned the actress the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. After ‘Sirf Tum’ and ‘Biwi No.1’, the former Miss Universe went on to star in several successful films like ‘Aankhen’ (2002), ‘Main Hoon Na’ (2004) and ‘Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?’ (2005). Aside from acting in several potboilers, highly individualistic Sushmita has also done a number of women-centric films like ‘Filhaal…’ (2002), ‘Samay’ (2003), ‘Chingaari’ (2005), ‘Zindaggi Rocks’ (2006), ‘Aag’ (2007) to name a few.