Sushmita Sen’s 20 yrs of Miss Universe journey, a flashback

On 21st May 1994, India discovered that a Bengali teenager from Hyderabad has made the country proud by becoming the first woman to win the highly prestigious Miss Universe Pageant. Almost overnight Sushmita Sen became a household name as the whole world was smitten by her beauty and charm. But this was only the beginning for her. 

Today we are habituated to see beauty contest winners make their way into films but it was Sushmita who was one of the pioneers of this trend as she joined the Bollywood industry in 1996. Today after 20 long years she has established herself as a successful actress and respected human being.

Her first notable success was in 1994 when she won the Femina Miss India contest. This gave her the opportunity to represent India at the Miss Universe contest that year.   In the event, held in Philippines that year, she was the youngest among 77 candidates and ended up winning the contest. With her new found fame she decided to make her way into the show business. Her debut film ‘Dastak’ came out in 1996 but could not find many takers at the box office. Her first film success was not in Bollywood but in the 1997 Tamil film ‘Ratchagan’ with Telugu superstar Nagarjuna. But success in Bollywood was not far behind.

In 1999, she starred in the film ‘Biwi No.1’ along with Salman Khan and Karishma Kapoor. Not only the film was a super hit but Sushmita picked up the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award that year too.  To her credit, she was also nominated in the category that same year for another film, ‘Sirf Tum’. From there it was no turning back for her.  Commercial success followed with films like ‘Aankhen’, ‘Main Hoon Na’ and ‘Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? ’ Her performances in female oriented films like ‘Filhaal…’ and Chingaari have won high praise from film critics.

She is officially still single despite being linked with various people in the industry. She adopted a baby girl named Renée in 2000, at only 25 years of age. Her gesture though initially criticized by some has been appreciated by the film fraternity and fans in general. In 2010 she adopted another girl named Alisah. After regularly being asked by the media about her marriage, she said in an interview, “When I will get married the whole world will come to know…”. She recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of her Miss Universe win by spending time with 100 cancer patient kids.