Sen was born to a Bengali family. Her father, Shubeer Sen, was a former Indian Air Force Wing Commander and her mother, Subhra Sen, was as a fashion artist and jewelry designer. She has only a brother, Rajeev Sen . She was born in St.Theresa's hospital, Hyderabad, and grew up in New Delhi. She attended school at the Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute. In 2000, she adopted a daughter, named Renee. Later on 13 Jan, 2010 she adopted a three month old girl and named her Alisah.
In 1994, at the age of eighteen, Sushmita won the title of Femina Miss India beating Aishwarya Rai, who was the runner up. Sen represented India at the 1994 Miss Universe Pageant, held in Manila, Philippines and won there.
At Miss Universe, Sushmita ranked third overall in the preliminaries, right behind preliminary winner Miss Colombia Carolina Gómez, and Miss Greece Rea Totounzi, who ranked second but won the preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Sushmita went on to place second, fifth and third in the swimsuit, interview, and evening gown semi-final competitions respectively, placing third place behind Miss Colombia and Miss Venezuela Minorka Mercado. All three women went on to be the final three contestants. In the end, the judges placed their votes on Sushmita, making her the first woman from India to become Miss Universe
Sushmita at the judging of Pantaloons Femina Miss India contest 2009.
After her reign as Miss Universe was over, Sushmita became an actress. Her first movie, Dastak was in 1996, where she laid the victim of a stalker, that didn't do well at the box office. However, it was two years later that her appearance as Rupali in David Dhawan's movie Biwi No.1 won her the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award in 1999. Biwi No.1 was the highest grossing movie of 1999. The same year, she was also nominated for her role in Sirf Tum in the same category, making her an obvious choice for winner. She received critical acclaim and box office success for film Aankhen.
So far, her biggest hit has been the 2004 movie Main Hoon Na, in which she starred as Shahrukh Khan's love interest.She played in the movie which grossed Rs 34,00,00,000 over the market and was the second best selling movie of that year. Later on, she played a lawyer in Main Aisa Hi Hoon opposite Ajay Devgan. In 2005, she also starred in a remake of Cactus Flower, called Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya: Sen played the lead opposite Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. Her most recent movies include Karma, Confessions and Holi (2006) opposite Naomi Campbell, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag (2007) and the recently announced Dulha Mil Gaya (2010) opposite Shahrukh Khan.
It has been reported that Sushmita will portray the slain Pakistan Peoples Party leader Benazir Bhutto in a film co-produced by Zaid Aziz and Henna Rai of Karachi production firm Vox Vision and Leicester-based Sum Films respectively. Tentatively titled "Benazir Bhutto: The Movie", the film will be shot at various locations in Pakistan, the US, Britain and Dubai, where Bhutto had spent years as a student and later as a political leader in exile. When asked Sushmita about playing this big role, she excitedly told, “Yes, I am keen to play the role.”
Recently she starred in Do Knot Disturb with longtime screen partner Govinda. The film failed to do well.
Sushmita plays the role of a successful supermodel called Shimmer in 'Dulha Mil Gaya'
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