Shilpa Shetty Biography / Pictures
Shilpa Shetty (born 8 June 1975) is an Indian film
actress and model. Since making her debut in the film
Baazigar (1993), she has appeared in nearly 50 Hindi,
Tamil, Telugu and Kannada language films, her first
leading role being in the 1994 Aag. Although she went
through years of decline during her career, Shilpa
Shetty was willing to reinvent herself quite often. Her
performances in Dhadkan (2000) and Rishtey (2002) were
appreciated, while her portrayal of an AIDS patient in
Phir Milenge (2004), won her many accolades. Her younger
sister Shamita Shetty is also a Bollywood film actress.
Shilpa Shetty has been embroiled in various
controversies including suspected mafia links. In 2006
she was issued with a warrant on charges of obscenity.
After taking part in the British Celebrity Big Brother
TV show in 2007, Shetty was crowned the winner with 63%
of the final vote, after an international racism
controversy involving her and fellow contestants Jade
Goody, Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd. This was followed
by her comeback to films in 2007 when she acted in two
successive movies, Life in a... Metro and Apne, with her
performance in the former drawing positive reviews.
Shetty thus re-established her status in the film
Shilpa Shetty was born in a traditional close-knit family that hails
from the matrilineal Bunt community of Tulu Nadu. Although she was born
in Tamil Nadu, she describes herself as a Mangalorean. She is the eldest
daughter of Surendra and Sunanda Shetty, manufacturers of tamper-proof
caps for the pharmaceutical industry, and her native language is Tulu
although she can speak several other languages at differing levels,
including English, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu,
Urdu and basic French. One of her nicknames is "Silly Pooh".
Shilpa Shetty attended St. Anthony Girls' High School, located in
Chembur, and later attended Podar College. A trained Bharatanatyam
dancer, she is also into sports and was the captain of the volleyball
team in school and earned a black belt in Karate and currently a
dancesport expert and enthusiast.
Shilpa Shetty currently lives in Mumbai with her parents and younger
sister Shamita Shetty, who is a budding Bollywood actress. They worked
together once in the film Fareb (2005). At 5 ft 10 inches (178 cm),
Shilpa Shetty is among the tallest actresses in Bollywood.
Shilpa Shetty started her career by modelling for Limca in 1991 at age
16, and made her film debut in 1993 with Baazigar, portraying a woman
murdered by her psychopathic boyfriend. Shetty took the supporting role
of Seema, co-starring alongside Shahrukh Khan and Kajol; the film was a
major success and earned her a nomination for Filmfare Best Supporting
Shilpa Shetty's first leading role was in the film Aag in 1994, which
was averagely received at the box office. She had a hit that same year
with the film Main Khiladi Tu Anari opposite Akshay Kumar. This was
followed by many films which were average to poor performers at the box
office. Shetty starred in another big film that year Aao Pyar Karen
followed by Hathkadi in 1995 where she was working alongside actors such
as Saif Ali Khan, Govinda and Madhoo but they failed at the box office.
1997 was one of her busiest years, she appeared in six different films,
beginning with the small Telugu language film Veedeva Dani Babu. Her
first major Bollywood film of that year was the action thriller Auzaar.
Shilpa portrayed the character of Prathna Thakur alongside actors Salman
Khan and Sanjay Kapoor. In 1998, she had one release, Pardesi Babu, for
which she received critical acclaim and won the Bollywood Movie Award
for Best Supporting Actress. In 2000 Shetty received much acclaim for
her role in Dhadkan which earned reasonable takings at the Indian box
office. She received several nominations under the Best Actress category
in different award ceremonies. She would later go on to star with Anil
Kapoor and Karisma Kapoor in the film Rishtey (2002). Her comic
performance as an eccentric fisherwoman was appreciated and she received
a nomination under the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award category,
and various nominations for Best Comedian as well.
2004 was also a good year for Shilpa Shetty with the release of Garv in
which she portrayed a Muslim orphan and disillusioned table dancer
starring opposite Salman Khan. According to Shetty, she chose to do the
film because she liked the subject. The film was a cop drama, and did
not do well at the box office eventually. However, she received much
acclaim for her performance in Phir Milenge where she made a sensitive
portrayal of a successful city high-flyer who contracts HIV via
unprotected s-- and becomes a social outcast as a result. The film,
based on 1993s Philadelphia, was perceived to have tackled a social
taboo as yet unaddressed by Bollywood. The film earned Shetty a Filmfare
Best Actress nomination, and provided an impetus for her HIV-related
charity work (see below). Film critic Taran Adarsh from indiaFM noted, "Phir
Milenge belongs to Shilpa Shetty completely. She delivers, what can be
rightly called, the performance of her career. The viewer feels and
empathizes with the character mainly because of her effective portrayal.
She conveys the pain and the emotional upheaval through her expressive
eyes, making it amongst the most memorable performances the year has
seen so far." This marked a break from the previous trend of superficial
song-and-dance items in favour of roles which have a greater depth of
character. exemplified by her film Dus (2005), an action thriller.
Although it received average returns at the box office, Shetty stated
that she had taken the role in order to reinvent herself by portraying
the rather unconventional character of an anti-terrorist squad member.
She also starred with her sister in the film Fareb in 2005. Shilpa had
one release in 2006, the much delayed Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar. The
film was a box office flop but she got good reviews for her role as a
wife with negative shades. In 2006, she was a judge on Jhalak Dikhlaja,
a Sony Entertainment Television dance show based on the original UK show
Strictly Come Dancing.
Shilpa Shetty was once featured in Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru,
2007 proved to be Shilpa Shetty's most successful year at the box office
so far. Her first release, Life In A... Metro, won a significant
reception, and became the first Bollywood movie to premiere at Leicester
Square. The film performed well at the box office, and was declared a
semi-hit within three weeks. In addition to that, the film was
critically acclaimed and Shetty's performance was appreciated, with
Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN writing, "It's a terrific performance and
unquestionably Shilpa's best to date." Her second release, alongside
three Deols, Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby, the drama Apne, was also a box
This Shilpa Shetty Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub