Date of Birth19 November 1975, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Birth NameSushmita Shubeer Sen
Height5' 10½" (1.79 m)
Mini BiographySushmita was born in the Bengali-speaking Sen family on November 19, 1975 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Her family consists of her dad, Shubeer, a former Indian Air Force Wing Commander; mom, Subhra, Jewelry Designer and owner of a Dubai-based store. She has two siblings, a sister named Neelam, who is married to Nauman Malik, and a brother named Rajeev. Subhra's dad was a poet.
She attended different schools in Jorhat, and Nagpur, but spend the majority of her schooling days in the Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute and Air Force Silver School in Delhi. She was regarded as a tomboy and spent most of her times with boys. Since the schools were Hindi medium, she could not speak English until she was 16 years of age. She subsequently not only mastered English, but became an English Honors student, and also obtained a degree in Journalism. Due to her place of birth she can speak Urdu flawlessly.
Her first public appearance was at the Air Force Club Contest at the age of 15. She did a few fashion shows thereafter. Then during 1994 she decided to be a participant in Miss India beauty pageant, fully aware that she was being pitted against the reigning favorite, Aishwarya Rai. Sushmita took everyone by surprise when she was crowned Miss India while Aishwarya had to content with being the First Runner-up. Both beauties went on to win Miss Universe and Miss World titles respectively. Ironically the final outfit for Miss Universe for Sushmita was made by a little-known Meena Bazar tailor, and her mom.
It was during 1996 that she first appeared as herself in a Bollywood movie titled 'Dastak'. Though the movie did not fare too well, she was noticed and thus began her career on the silver screen. She has since then portrayed herself in a variety of characters and also some 'item' numbers.
Not considered a classic beauty and leading quite an unconventional lifestyle she ended up in many relationships but did not marry anyone. She wanted to be a mother and to adopt a baby girl, and name her Renee. Since she is single, she had to fight a Court battle before she could finally adopt Renee. Finally on 13 April 2000 she was given the go-ahead to adopt her, even though the family-owned business in Dubai was already re-named as 'Renee' quite ironically a year earlier on 13 April 1999.
TriviaMiss Universe 1994
Miss India 1994
Has an adopted daughter by the name of Renee.
She is the first Indian to win a Miss Universe Title in 1994.
She won the best supporting actress award in the year 2000 for her role in 'Biwi No. 1' which was the biggest hit of 1999.
Enjoys writing prose and poetry.
Listed as number 10 of 'Top Bollywood Actresses' of 2006. (rediff.com, 8-25-2006)
Has adopted another baby girl Alisha on November 19 2009, which also happens to be her birthday.
Personal Quotes"I have many memorable moments in my treasure-chest of memories but the day I became a mother is something special. On June 30, 2000 the courts handed me my daughter, Renee. I was ecstatic that day. I loved Renee from the first time I laid eyes on her. In court the fight was a tough one as I was a single parent and a celebrity, so those were marks against me. But I still won and got my daughter." (Movie Mag International, July 2004)
"I am totally a beach person. I love South America and I've been there lots of times, specially Venezuela and Brazil. They are great vacation cities. There is not a single country in South America that I have not been to. Among the places I haven't seen but which I would love to visit, Spain tops my list." (Movie Mag International, July 2004)
"Yes, I am a night person but I prefer staying awake at home till late at night. I rarely go to any pub. I would rather hang out at home with loud music and dance in my room. Abroad I love going to restaurants like 'Sky Bar' in Los Angeles and 'Tao' in New York." (Movie Mag International, July 2004)
Her thoughts about touring: "Doing these kind of shows take a lot of planning and activity and ends up being extremely hectic. So to revive myself, I look for those small moments that make you forget the rigors of the tour." (Lifeline magazine, Fall 2006)
"Between 18 to 20, I really thought there were fun things in life that I would much rather be doing than worrying about the responsibilities of that magnitude. But now at 30, I feel I was able to get a jump-start on my life and have achieved a lot. I don't feel I missed out anything." (Lifeline magazine, Fall 2006)
"I feel I started my life when I won at Goa - The Miss India contest. Then another memorable moment was when I won the Miss Universe crown in Manila. There have been several others. But none of those moments compare to what I felt on July 31 in 2001. That was when the court gave me Renee's adoption rights. Renee means "to be born again", and after having her in my life, I feel reborn. I don't want anything to go wrong for her ever. So I am that much more careful with my life now. No more rash driving. Being a mother, I don't think anything has topped the moment yet." (Lifeline magazine, Fall 2006)
"The reason why I wanted to be famous! No one's asked me that one so I am going to tell it now. I have always thought that a person is born, lives his life, goes through life in a certain way, maybe does some good things that everyone applauds... maybe your family, maybe your friends. But when you die, you want to have touched a few more lives. You want people to feel the loss when you go and miss you. I want to be famous because I want my fans to become my extended family." (Lifeline magazine, Fall 2006)
On how she would react if a woman made a pass on her: "I'd say, 'thank you'. Another human being likes you, what's wrong with that? How far they like you is again, their problem, not yours. That woman has made a choice of being with another woman, I have made mine to be with a man. It's just a difference in our sexual preferences. Doesn't mean one is acceptable and the other is appalling. Absolutely not!" (Stardust magazine, September 2006)
"If the need arises and my heart doesn't agree with it (marriage), I will have children without getting married." (Stardust magazine, September 2006)
"Today if you take a poll asking men if they want to be with women who are 30 and virgins, they will run away." (Stardust magazine, September 2006)
When asked if sex is over-rated in India: "There was a time when it definitely was, not anymore. It was something you didn't talk about, and from the face of it, people from good families probably never did it. But today, media primarily focuses its attention on sex, so much that it's inevitable that it would become a part of the social structure. It's not like it didn't exist before, we're the land of the KamaSutra. Today, people are more comfortable talking about it." (Stardust magazine, September 2006)
"I'm 30, and enjoying every bit of it. I haven't changed a thing that I don't like wearing and the only reason I don't wear it is 'coz I don't like it on myself. I reveal when I feel like it. Today I do, tomorrow, I might not. It's about freedom of choice, not age. All power to people who understand that ultimately, clothes are going on your body. If you are comfortable with it, wear it. I'm not judgmental about the way people dress. What disturbs me however, is if after you've worn it, you're constantly talking, pulling, figuring yourself out. Thats disturbing." (Stardust magazine, September 2006)