Even before becoming established actresses, some Bollywood divas have already carved a name for themselves in certain beauty pageants. We all know about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Sushmita Sen, but trust me the list of actresses who have won big at beauty pageants is much longer than that.
In this article you will be surprised to know how many of our Bollywood actresses have been Miss India, Miss World or Miss Universe before making a debut in the tinsel town.
1. Zeenat Aman
The Dum Maro Dum girl, who was one of the highest paid actresses of her time, started participating in beauty pageants at an age of 19. She won Femina Miss India pageant, followed by Miss Asia Pacific International Pageant. You will be surprised to know that Zeenat Aman also worked as a journalist with Femina Magazine.
2. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
This is the universally known fact that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made India proud by winning the Miss World title back in 1994. Three years later, she entered film industry with Tamil film Iruvar. Since then, Aish has earned a number of awards and recognition for her performance in the film industry.
3. Neha Dhupia
The gorgeous mama has bagged the crown of Femina Miss India in 2002. She earlier planned to make a career in IFS which she dropped after winning the pageant. Neha Dhupia played lead roles in many films including Julie, Dasvidaniya, Ek Chalis Ki Last Local, etc.
4. Dia Mirza
The stunning diva won the Miss Asia Pacific title in 2000 following which she made a debut in Bollywood with Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein. Since then, she acted in many films and lately she made a web series debut in Kaafir with Mohit Raina.
The Padma Shri Award winner Priyanka Chopra won accolades for the country by bagging Miss World title in 2000. She made her acting debut with Tamil film Thamizhan and then followed by a Bollywood movie The Hero: Love Story of a Spy. She is currently one of the highest earning Bollywood actresses.
6. Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta was not crowned once, but twice. The stunning lady was crowned with Miss Intercontinental in 1997 followed by Miss Universe in 2000. She made her debut in Bollywood with Andaaz with Akshay Kumar.
7. Tanushree Dutta
The Bengali beauty won Femina Miss India title in 2004 at the age of just 20. She also participated in Miss Universe and reached top 10 in the pageant. She made her Bollywood debut with Chocolate in 2005.
8. Juhi Chawla
Juhi Chawla won the Miss India title in 1984 and was crowned by none other than Rekha. She also represented India in Miss Universe pageant but couldn’t make it to the Top 10. She won the title for Best costume, though.
9. Meenakshi Sheshadri
The Damini actresses won Miss India in 1981 and made her debut in Bollywood with Painter Babu. She got acclaimed for her fiery role in Damini, which was a women-centric film co-starring Rishi Kapoor.
10. Namrata Shirodkar
Now living the life peacefully with her superstar husband Mahesh Babu, Namrata Shirodkar won the Miss India title in 1993. She worked in many Bollywood films including Pukar, Hero Hindustani, Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai.
11. Sushmita Sen
The leggy-lass who returned to the screen with Hotstar web series Aarya, won the Femina Miss India title in 1994 followed by Miss World crown in 1994 at the age of 19. Currently, she is enjoying her life to the fullest with her two daughters and boyfriend Rohman Shawl.