Amrita Rao (pronounced , 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.”n 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.[citation needed
Rao co-starred alongside Shahid Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt in the 2005 drama Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!. Critical response towards the film was negative, although Rao garnered acclaim for her performance of a school teacher. Glamsham said the only thing that made the film watchable was the acting of Amrita Rao.That same year, Rao took the lead role in the John Matthew Matthan drama Shikhar, in which she portrayed Madhvi.She then appeared in the 2006 low-budget comedy Pyare Mohan opposite Vivek Oberoi The movie was not well received by critics; Rajeev Masand wrote, “Amrita hit career lows, producing the low-fashion chemistry”.
Although highly regarded for her acting abilities, Rao’s films to date had often not appealed to a wide audience. Vivah (2006) made her a national star; it depicted the journey of two individuals from engagement to marriage. Co-starring alongside Shahid Kapoor, Rao portrayed Poonam, a traditionally raised young woman. The film was given mixed reviews by most critics but became one of the highest grossing films of the year, as well as Rao’s biggest commercial success to date. Taran Adarsh wrote, “Amrita Rao gets a new lease of life with Vivah. She looks the character and is splendid all through.”At the 13th Star Screen Award, Rao received a Best Actress nomination.