The first Indian woman to win the Miss Universe title, Sushmita Sen was born in Hyderabad on 19th November 1975. Her father, Shubeer was a Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force and her mother, Shubhra a jewelley designer and owner of a Dubai based store. Sushmita did her schooling in a host of schools, with the longest stint being in the Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute and Air Force Silver School in Delhi. At age 15, Sushmita made her first public appearance as a model at the Air Force Club Contest, after which she did a few fashion shows. In 1994 Sushmita Sen decided to participate in the Miss India Miss India beauty pageant. It came as a surprise to most that she won the title, given that she was pitted against the reigning favourite, Aishwarya Rai. She went on to represent India at the Miss Universe contest, which too she won.
After a years reign as Miss Universe, she entered the Indian Film Industry with ‘Dastak’. Not considered a very conventional person, Sushmita’s acting career bears witness to her unconventional ways. Sushmita has played roles that most actresses might shy away from. She played the role of ‘the other woman’ very early in her career, which not only won her accolades but also fetched her the award for best supporting actress in 2000. Her penchant for experimentation is reflected in the kind of films she has signed over the years, with films like Filhal, Aankhen, Samay, Chingari, all of which establishes her as an actress with prowess. Though Sushmita’s first Hindi movie didn't do well at the box office, her next movie Ratchagan in Tamil, was a huge hit. Her next big break in hindi cinema came only in 1999 with Biwi No.1 for which she won the Filmfare for best supporting actress. The same year, she was also nominated for her role in Sirf Tum in the same category. Her biggest hit so far has been Farah Khan’s Main Hoon Na which released in 2004. Sushmita has also won critical acclaim for her role in the film Chingari, released in 2006.
In 2006, Sushmita Sen won the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi award for her achievement in Bollywood. Prior to this, the actress had won the Filmfare Award, Star Screen Award and Zee Cine Awards for best supporting actress in the year 1999 for her role in the film Biwi No. 1. In 2002 she won the Filmfare Award and Zee Cine Award (in the same category) for her role in the film Filhal. The most awaited of Sushmita’s films is Karma, Confessions and Holi the Hollywood project featuring her, Randeep Hooda, Deepal Shaw and Naomi Campbell and being co-produced by Drena , daughter of Robert De Niro . Other films in the offing are Dulha Mil Gaya (with Shahrukh Khan and Fardeen Khan), Gulel (with Ajay Devgan) and Idhar Udhar (with Fardeen Khan), all of which are in the pre-production stage. Sushmitas production house, Tantra Entertainment is producing Rani Laxmibai and the actress has been highly involved in the research for the film. She is so inspired by the script that she intends to don the directorial hat for the film.
Sushmita Sen has an adopted daughter by the name of Renee. She got her after a long legal tussle owing to the fact that she was a single parent. The outfit that Susmita Sen wore in the finals of the Miss India contest that she won was made by her mother and a small tailor in Meena Bazaar, Dubai.