Shilpa Shetty (Tulu: ಶಿಲ್ಪ ಶೆಟ್ಟಿ) (born 8 June 1975 in Tamil Nadu, India) is a four-time Filmfare Award-nominated Indian film actress and model. Since making her debut in the film Baazigar (1993), she has appeared in nearly 50 films, her first leading role being in 1994 in Aag. She resides at the centre of the Hindi-language film industry in Mumbai, India. Her younger sister Shamita Shetty is also a Bollywood film actress.
Shilpa Shetty was crowned the winner of the British Celebrity Big Brother on 28 January 2007 with 63% of the final vote, after an international racism controversy involving her and fellow contestants Jade Goody, Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd.
Shilpa Shetty was born in a strict and traditional close-knit family that hails from the Bunt community of Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka although she was born in Tamil Nadu. 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 nearly ten other languages [citations needed] at differing levels including English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu and basic French. One of her nicknames is "Silly Pooh".
She attended St. Anthony Girls' High School, located in Chembur, and later attended Podar College. She is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer. She is also into sports and was the captain of the baseball 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 sister. Her younger sister Shamita Shetty is a budding Bollywood actress and they worked together in the film Fareb (2005).
At 5 ft 10 inches (178cm) she is one of the tallest actresses in Bollywood and regularly wears 3 inch heels making her around 6 ft 1.
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. Although she was a supporting actress alongside Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, the film was a major success and earned her a nomination for Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
Her 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 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 amd 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 nomination for Best Comedia as well.
2004 was also a good year for Shetty with the release of Garv in which she portrayed a Muslim orphan and disillusioned table dancer starring opposite Salman Khan. Unlike the similar Chandni Bar, Garv was a cop drama that did not make the same social impact but which Shetty chose to do because she liked the subject. However, she received much acclaim for her performance in Phir Milenge which critics consider as her best performance so far, where she makes a sensitive portrayal of a successful city high-flyer who contracts HIV via unprotected sex and becomes a social outcast as a result. The film, based on 1993's Philadelphia, was perceived to have tackled a social taboo as yet unaddressed by Bollywood and earned Shetty a Filmfare Best Actress nomination, and also provided an impetus for her HIV-related charity work (see below). The actress was also a guest judge on the Indian Idol television show.
This marked a break from the previous trend of superficial song-and-dance items in favour of "meatier roles" 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.
Shetty was once featured in Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai.
The year 2007 proved to be her most successful year at the box office so far. Her first release, Life In A... Metro had decent reviews at the box office, receiving a hit status. The film was also critically acclaimed and Shetty's performance was appreciated by audiences and critics as well. Her second release, Apne was a good performer at the box office, receiving a semi-hit status.
Celebrity Big Brother 2007
Shetty was a contestant in and the winner of Celebrity Big Brother UK. and is the first Indian celebrity included in the Celebrity version. Reportedly paid Rs.31.5m (£367,500 GBP) for her participation, she said to presenter Davina McCall, "I just want every Indian to be extremely proud that I'm in here". As for her participation, she stated: "I have zero expectations. The only thing I really hope to keep is my self-respect and my dignity." Sister Shamita told the Times of India that this "is the boldest decision Shilpa has taken hitherto." The Scotsman reported that PETA backed Shetty to win the contest and urged British viewers to vote for her.
Shetty in 2007
During her time, Shetty instructed fellow housemates Carole Malone and Ken Russell in meditation, flirted with Dirk Benedict but tempers started to fray by Day 7 as a clique formed in the house disapproving of Shilpa's presence. Following a worldwide controversy that publicised her as a target of racist bullying (see below) within the house, Shetty won the contest after gaining 63% of the public vote and described the experience as "incredible and overwhelming". She further thanked the public for "a fantastic opportunity to make my country proud".
Post Celebrity Big Brother
In February 2007, Shetty attended a reception at the House of Commons, by invitation of Keith Vaz MP to meet with British prime minister Tony Blair . She was also invited to meet with Queen Elizabeth II at Marlborough House in London in March 2007. During an interview on This Morning, Shetty confirmed that she had been asked to take the role of Preeti Choraria's sister in EastEnders. Shilpa said that after much thought she would be unable to take the role as it would mean all her other arrangements would have to go on hold.
She was also the subject of a Sky One documentary entitled "The Real Shilpa Shetty", which was produced by British television production company Twofour. The large number of commercial offers that Shilpa received after winning Celebrity Big Brother themselves became reason for controversy with an increasing number of accusations about her riding the 'racism' wave to commercial gain. She was on the cover of the first issue of OK! Magazine to be sold in India.
On 27 March 2007 News of the World, National Tabloid, UK had reported information about her date with Akshay Kumar back in 1999. Accordingly, someone very close to both Shilpa and Akshay has revealed private information that was kept as a secret from many people including Shilpa's parents. Her first release after the reality show got a great opening. The movie, Life In A... Metro became the first Bollywood movie to premiere at Leicester Square. Danielle Lloyd was also invited by the actress to attend the premiere.
Shilpa Shetty will launch her own production house 'S2 Productions' to make a DVD video on Yoga. Soon after the DVD video, Shilpa will be seen in a musical titled Miss Bollywood. On her agenda next, is a cookery book titled Soul Curry and role of Sita in Uru Patel's international venture Hanuman.
Shetty is a frequent subject of speculation regarding romance. However, she has remained tight-lipped whenever questions of marriage are posed to her. Her previous relationships include an affair with actor Akshay Kumar, whom she met on the Main Khiladi Tu Anari set in 1994. The couple split in 2000 after he started dating Shetty's friend and fellow actress Twinkle Khanna after a previous indiscretion, and which led to Shetty's successful suing of Stardust magazine for publishing a "damaging" report about the affair.
In an interview for the Times of India, Shetty quashed rumours of a romance with director Anubhav Sinha and claimed to have changed her mobile phone number in order to concentrate on her busy schedule. But in a later interview for the Sunday Mirror a friend of Shetty revealed that she was "in love" with Sinha and that he was her "soulmate", but that she could not be with him for fear of parental disapproval, social stigma (Sinha is married with two children, although currently separated) and adverse public perception. Currently single and not dating, Shetty has stated that she plans to marry in three years and would love to adopt a teenage daughter.
Awards and honours
* 1998: Bollywood Movie Award - Best Supporting Actress for Pardesi Babu
* 2004: Giant International Award for Phir Milenge
* 2005: AAHOA Award for Phir Milenge
* 2007: IIFA special award from local authorities.
* 2007: Silver Star Award for her outstanding contribution to humanitarian causes 
* 2007: Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. Shetty is the youngest actor from the Indian film fraternity to join. 
* 2007: Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award 
* 1993: Filmfare Best Debut Award for Baazigar
* 1998: Zee Gold Bollywood Award, Best Supporting Actress for Pardesi Babu
* 2000: IIFA Best Actress Award for Dhadkan
* 2002: Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Rishtey
* 2002: Star Screen Award Best Comedian for Rishtey
* 2002: Sansui Viewers Choice Movie Awards, Best Comedian for Rishtey
* 2004: Sansui Viewers Choice Movie Awards, Best Actress for Phir Milenge
* 2004: Star Screen Award Best Actress for Phir Milenge
* 2004: Sports World Film Awards, Best Actress for Phir Milenge
* 2004: Filmfare Best Actress Award for Phir Milenge
* 2004: Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Female for Phir Milenge
* 2004: IIFA Best Actress Award for Phir Milenge
* 2004: Bollywood Awards, Best Actress for Phir Milenge
12 Dev Darshan,
262 Anthony's Road,
Chembur, Mumbai 400071
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