Amrita Rao (born 7 June 1981) is an Indian film actress and model. She has appeared in Hindi films of Bollywood and a few films in Telugu. Rao was born and raised in Mumbai; she made her screen debut in Ab Ke Baras (2002), for which she was nominated for the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award in 2003. One of her most popular roles was in the romance film Vivah (2006).
Rao’s roles in Welcome to Sajjanpur (2008) and Main Hoon Na (2004) earned her a Stardust Best Actress Award and a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award nomination respectively. She has made special appearances in Heyy Babyy (2007), Shaurya (2008), Life Partner (2009) and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (2010). She has been called “Bollywood’s quintessential girl next-door” by various media outlets.Times Of India named Rao one of its “50 Most Desirable Women of 2011.”
Before starting her career as an actor, Rao appeared in several commercials during her college days. Her first public appearance was in 2002 when she was seventeen; she was featured in the music video for Alisha Chinoy’s song Woh Pyar Mera.
In 2002, Rao played her first leading role as Anjali Thapar in Raj Kanwar’s fantasy thriller Ab Ke Baras. Film critic Planet Bollywood wrote, “Amrita Rao comes out the real winner, with her dancing skills, innocent looks and decent acting skills”. In May 2003, Rao starred with Shahid Kapoor in the coming-of-age romance film Ishq Vishk as a college student. Rao’s portrayal earned her several awards, including Filmfare Best Female Debut Award (2003) and IIFA Award for Star Debut of the Year, (2004).
In 2004, Rao starred in Indra Kumar’s adult comedy Masti, opposite Vivek Oberoi. The film received positive responses from critics[by whom?], and was a financial success at the box office. Her performance as Anchal, who is obsessively possessive about her husband, was also received positively.
Rao next had a supporting role in the Farah Khan action comedy Main Hoon Na, where she co-starred alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Sunil Shetty, Sushmita Sen and Zayed Khan. Her role as an army officer’s daughter Sanjana (Sanju) Bakshi earned Rao Best Supporting Actress, her second filmfare nomination. Rao had a minor role in Milan Luthria’s Deewar; she played Radhika, Gaurang Kaul’s love interest.