shilpa’s career has taken quite a path, from an almost obscure presence in Bollywood to a world famous celebrity.
Born on June 8, the actress made her debut in Bollywood in 1993 in the movie ‘Baazigar’ opposite the King Khan, SRK. The movie was a super hit and Shilpa was nominated for the ‘Best newcomer award’ by Filmfare.
Nevertheless, she failed to make the most of the opportunity and what followed was a string of flops and very few noteworthy movies.
Her first leading role was in the movie ‘Aag’ in 1994. The movie ‘Main Anari Tu Khiladi’, opposite Akshay Kumar, with whom she was reportedly in a relationship, did quite well at the box-office. But her list of flops only continued to get bigger with movies like ‘Pardesi Babu,’ ‘Jaanwar’ and ‘Lal Baadshah’ to name a few.
Her career did not quite take off until her special appearance in the song ‘Main Aayi Hoon UP Bihar Lootne’ brought her back. The movie ‘Shool’, for which the song was shot, became a hit and Shilpa’s song reverberated across the country.
‘Dhadkan’, ‘Phir Milenge’ and ‘Dus’, all hits, helped her find a place in Bollywood as an actress with potential. Soon, her stature ensured that she was invited as a guest judge on ‘Indian Idol’ and a judge on ‘Jhalak Dikhlaja’.
But, it was the UK reality television show, ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ that provided a turning point to Shilpa’s career. She was the first Indian actress to be featured on the show. Her popularity in India catapulted with her participation in the show. The racist remarks she faced from a regular contestant on the show, Jade Goody, and her subsequent efforts to keep her calm through the ‘difficult ordeal’ gained her international support as well as recognition. She became an overnight celebrity. Looks like ‘Big Brother’ did his job to help Shilpa boost her career! Incidentally, Shilpa won the ‘Big Brother’ contest. The incident had a huge impact, on not just Shilpa’s popularity but also on Indo-Brit ties, and had Britain facing allegations of being a racist country.
Since then Shilpa, an AIDS activist and a member of PETA India, has been on the joy-ride of her life. She has been offered quite a number of projects in Bollywood as well as in Hollywood. In February 2007, she attended a reception at the House of Commons and met British Prime Minister Tony Blair. She also met Queen Elizabeth II at Marlborough House in London in March 2007.