Ameesha Patel (born Amisha Amit Patel; 9 June 1975) is an Indian actress and model who predominantly appears in Bollywood. She has also appeared in few Telugu films. Making her acting debut in the blockbuster Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (2000), Patel won critical praise for her performance in 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. Her performance in the 2002 film “Humraaz” received critical acclaim & it was one of the biggest hits of the year receiving her a nomination of Best Actress .
Her performance in the 2006 film Ankahee, received critical recognition. In 2007 she appeared in a supporting role in Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and also co-starred Akshay Kumar in Bhool Bhulaiyaa. Patel is frequently cited as one of the sexiest Bollywood actresses of all time. Rediff featured Patel as one of the top Bollywood actresses of 2001.
In 2011, she founded her own production company Ameesha Patel Productions.In 2013, she made an extended appearance in the Race 2.
Ameesha, a Gujarati,is the daughter of Amit Patel and Asha Patel, sister of Ashmit Patel and the granddaughter of the famous 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 is 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 1992–1993 before heading overseas to study Economics at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
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 like Bajaj Sevashram, Fair & Lovely, Cadburys Jai Lime, Fem, Lux and many more.