Ameesha Patel

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Ameesha Patel at 21st Annual Screen Awards

Ameesha Patel (born 9 June 1975) is an Indian actress and model who predominantly appears in Bollywood films. She has also appeared in a few Telugu and Tamil films. Making her acting debut in the 2000 romantic thriller film, Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Patel won critical praise for her performance in Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), which became one of the biggest hits in the history of Hindi cinema, earning her a Filmfare Special Performance Award. Her performance in the 2002 film Humraaz received critical acclaim and it was one of the biggest hits of the year receiving her a nomination for Best Actress.

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Background

Patel was born in a Gujarati family to Amit Patel and Asha Patel. She is the sister of Ashmit Patel and the granddaughter of the famous lawyer-politician Barrister Rajni Patel who was the Congress Pradesh Committee President of Mumbai. She was born in the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai and is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer since the age of five. Her birth name is a blend of the first three letters of her father's name Amit and the last three letters of her mother's name Asha.

She studied at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai and was head girl for the academic year 1992–93 before heading overseas to study Bio-genetic engineering, which she studied for two years, and eventually switching to Economics at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. She graduated with a gold medal.

Patel's career began as an economic analyst at Khandwala Securities Limited after graduation. Later on, she received an offer from Morgan Stanley but turned it down. After returning to India, she joined Satyadev Dubey's theatre group and acted in plays, including an Urdu language play titled Neelam (1999) that was written by Tanveer Khan, upon receiving permission from her conservative parents. At the same time she plunged into modelling appearing in several commercial campaigns. Patel has also modelled for well-known Indian brands like Bajaj Sevashram, Fair & Lovely, Cadburys Jai Lime, Fem, Lux and many more.

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