Ameesha Patel is an Indian actress and model who predominantly appears in Hindi films alongside few Telugu films. She made her acting debut in 2000 with the romantic thriller film Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai which became critically and commercially successful and won her several awards including Zee Cine Award for Best Female Debut.
Patel rose to prominence with 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. She made her Telugu film debut with the successful Badri (2000).
Patel has also been part of successful films including Humraaz (2002), Kya Yehi Pyaar Hai (2002), Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (2007), Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) and Race 2 (2013).
Patel was born in a Gujarati family to Amit and Asha Patel on 9 June 1975. She is the sister of Ashmit Patel and the granddaughter of 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 has been 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 to Tufts University in United States to study Bio-genetic engineering, which she studied for two years, and eventually switching to Economics.
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 such as Bajaj, Fair & Lovely, Cadburys, Fem, Lux and many more.
In October 2008, she participated in Himesh Reshammiya’s comeback concert Karzzzz Musical Curtain Raiser joined by Neha Dhupia, Riya Sen and Amrita Arora. In December 2008, she took part in Akshay Kumar’s Christmas Eve show Chandni Chowk to Hong along with Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra, Riya Sen, Aarti Chhabria, Himesh Reshammiya and Punjabi rapper Bohemia as part of a promotional campaign for Kumar’s film Chandni Chowk to China (2009).
In response to 26/11, many New Year’s Eve concerts for 2009 were cancelled, but Patel and Country Club India decided to go ahead with their show because they thought it would be against the terrorists’ will.
In September 2004, Patel joined PETA, one of the organisations championing the cause of animals, as part of an advertising campaign which highlights the lives of captive animals in a zoo who are robbed of their natural surroundings for the amusement of others. Patel posed as a petrified prisoner in a jail cell to throw focus on the plight of animals in zoos. She said:
George Washington, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi… we had them. Animals don’t; they need us. Let’s fight for their freedom.
In February 2005, along with other Bollywood stars, Patel performed at the HELP! Telethon Concert raising money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. She also took part in the Temptations 2005 charity function in New Delhi on 24 December 2005 at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in aid of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled Persons (NCPEDP), a leading disabled rights’ group.
In November 2006, Patel joined an NGO called PlanetRead, which helps people in villages to learn reading through film songs. In October 2007, Patel along with John Abraham and Kirron Kher joined the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to curb human trafficking in India.
In 1999, Patel met filmmaker Vikram Bhatt on the set of their first movie together; Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage (2002), and they started dating since the film’s release. Later, it caused a rift between the Patel and Bhatt families with Patel running through a financial crisis after her father used her hard-earned money to resurrect a family business, causing misunderstandings between Patel and her parents.
In July 2004, Patel sent a legal notice to her father for mismanaging her accounts and assets amounting to Rs 120 million and demanding the money back. Patel’s relationship with Bhatt was often reported to the media speculating on a possible marriage. In January 2008, the media reported that Patel and Bhatt broke their five-year relationship. Bhatt confirmed the break-up in a conversation with Mid-Day.
Shortly afterwards, Patel’s parents explained their willingness to reconcile with their daughter and that “everybody is happy about the break-up” but their relationship remained strained. On 12 March 2008, Patel was spotted with London-based businessman Kanav Puri at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week.
In June 2008, she confirmed their relationship in an interview with Mid-Day: “I did not admit to Kanav sooner because he’s very special and I did not want to jinx it. It was too precious for me to talk about it to people. It’s almost six months now and now I am feeling secure and now I know our relationship is too strong for anything or anyone to come between us.” The media once reported that she married Puri but she denied these rumours.
In August 2009, Mumbai Mirror reported that Patel and her brother, Ashmit, had patched up on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan and were spotted together at PVR Cinemas in Juhu. Although the siblings agreed that the matter is sorted, they preferred not to speak about it publicly. In December 2009, Patel’s mother Asha had revealed they have finally ended their five-year estrangement during an interview with The Times of India.
In September 2010, Mumbai Mirror reported that Patel broke off the relationship with her long-time boyfriend Kanav Puri, to focus on her career. She confirmed it via Twitter.
|2000||Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai||Sonia Saxena||Film debut|
|2001||Gadar: Ek Prem Katha||Sakeena “Sakku” Singh|
|2001||Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar||Sarena Devan|
|2002||Kya Yehi Pyaar Hai||Sandhya Patil|
|2002||Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage||Sapna Dholakia|
|2002||Yeh Hai Jalwa||Sonia Singh|
|2003||Pudhiya Geethai||Jo||Tamil film|
|2004||Suno Sasurjee||Kiran Saxena|
|2005||Vaada||Pooja Sharma / Varma|
|2005||Zameer: The Fire Within||Pooja Khanna / Chauhan|
|2005||Narasimhudu||Subba Lakshmi||Telugu film|
|2005||Mangal Pandey: The Rising||Jwala|
|2006||Mere Jeevan Saathi||Anjali|
|2006||Humko Tumse Pyaar Hai||Durga|
|2006||Teesri Aankh: The Hidden Camera||Ammu|
|2006||Aap Ki Khatir||Shirani Khanna|
|2007||Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.||Pinky Kapoor|
|2007||Heyy Babyy||Herself||Special appearance in title song|
|2007||Bhool Bhulaiyaa||Radha Chaturvedi|
|2007||Om Shanti Om||Herself||Special appearance|
|2008||Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic||Malaika|
|2011||Parama Veera Chakra||Rajni||Telugu film|
|2011||Chatur Singh Two Star||Sonia Varma|
|2017||Aakatayi||Herself||Telugu film; special appearance in song|
|2018||Bhaiaji Superhit||Mallika Kapoor|
|2022||Mystery of Tattoo||Special appearance||Post-production|
|2023||Gadar 2: The Katha Continues||Sakeena||Filming|