Name: Preity Zinta
Born: 31 January 1975 (age 37), Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Occupation: Film actress
Years active: 1998–present
Partner: Ness Wadia (2005–09)
Preity Zinta (born 31 January 1975) is an Indian film actress. She has appeared in Hindi films of Bollywood, as well as Telugu, Punjabi and English language films. After graduating with a degree in criminal psychology, Zinta made her acting debut in Dil Se.. in 1998 followed by a role in Soldier the same year. These performances earned her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut, and she was later recognised for her role as a teenage single mother in Kya Kehna (2000). She subsequently played a variety of character types; her film roles along with her screen persona contributed to a change in the concept of a Hindi film heroine.
Preity Zinta received a Filmfare Award for Best Actress in 2003 for her performance in the drama Kal Ho Naa Ho. She went on to play the lead female role in two consecutive annual top-grossing films in India: the science fiction film Koi… Mil Gaya (2003), her biggest commercial success, and the star-crossed romance Veer-Zaara (2004), which earned her critical acclaim. She was later noted for her portrayal of independent, modern Indian women in Salaam Namaste (2005) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), top-grossing productions in overseas markets. These accomplishments have established her as a leading actress of Hindi cinema. Her first international film role was in the Canadian film Heaven on Earth, for which she was awarded the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival.
In addition to movie acting, Zinta has written a series of columns for BBC News Online South Asia, is a social activist, a television presenter, and a regular stage performer. She is the founder of the production company PZNZ Media and, along with ex-boyfriend Ness Wadia, a co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kings XI Punjab. She is known in the Indian media for publicly speaking her mind and openly expressing her opinions, and consequently has sparked the occasional controversy. These controversies include her being the only witness not to retract in court her earlier statements against the Indian mafia during the 2003 Bharat Shah case, for which she was awarded the Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Award.
Preity Zinta was born into a family from Rohru in Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh. Her father, Durganand Zinta, was an officer in the Indian Army. He died in a car accident when she was 13 years old; the accident also involved her mother, Nilprabha, who was severely injured and consequently remained bedridden for two years. Zinta called the tragic accident and her father’s death a significant turning point in her life, which forced her to mature rapidly. She has two brothers; Deepankar and Manish, a year older and a year younger respectively. Deepankar is a commissioned officer in the Indian Army, while Manish lives in California.
Preity Zinta, who describes herself as a tomboy as a child, has emphasised her father’s military background as having a lasting impression on how family life was conducted. He asserted the importance of discipline and punctuality to the children. She studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary boarding school in Shimla. Although she confesses to loneliness in the boarding school, she noted that it was compensated by her finding a “… perfect set of friends” there.
As a student, she developed a love for literature, particularly the works of William Shakespeare and poetry. According to Zinta, she enjoyed schoolwork and received good grades; in her free time she played sports, especially basketball.
Upon graduating from the boarding school at age 18, Zinta enrolled at St Bede’s College in Shimla. She graduated college with an English honours degree, and then started a graduate programme in psychology. She earned a postgraduate degree in criminal psychology, but later took up modelling.
Preity Zinta‘s first television commercial was for Perk chocolates, the result of a chance meeting with a director at a friend’s birthday party in 1996. The director persuaded Zinta to audition for the spot, and she was selected. Afterwards, she appeared in other catalogues and commercials, including one for the soap Liril.
- 1998 Dil Se.. Preeti Nair Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut (also for Soldier), Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress
- 1998 Soldier Preeti Singh Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut (also for Dil Se..)
- 1998 Premante Idera Shailu Telugu film
- Dubbed into Hindi as Dulhan Dilwale Ki
- 1999 Raja Kumarudu Rani Telugu film
- Dubbed into Hindi as Prince No. 1
- 1999 Sangharsh CBI Officer Reet Oberoi
- 1999 Dillagi Rani Guest appearance
- 2000 Kya Kehna Priya Bakshi Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Actress
- 2000 Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega Jahnvi
- 2000 Mission Kashmir Sufiya Parvez
- 2001 Farz Kajal Singh
- 2001 Chori Chori Chupke Chupke Madhubala Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress
- 2001 Dil Chahta Hai Shalini
- 2001 Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke Sakshi
- 2002 Dil Hai Tumhaara Shalu
- 2003 The Hero: Love Story of a Spy Reshma/Ruksar
- 2003 Armaan Sonia Kapoor Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role.
- 2003 Koi… Mil Gaya Nisha Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Actress
- 2003 Kal Ho Naa Ho Naina Catherine Kapur Filmfare Award for Best Actress
- 2004 Lakshya Romila Dutta
- 2004 Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa Dr. Parineeta
- 2004 Veer-Zaara Zaara Haayat Khan Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Actress
- 2005 Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karen Priti Damani
- 2005 Salaam Namaste Ambar ‘Amby’ Malhotra Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Actress
- 2006 Alag Special appearance in song “Sabse Alag”
- 2006 Krrish Nisha Special appearance
- 2006 Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Rhea Saran Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress
- 2006 Jaan-E-Mann Piya Goyal
- 2007 Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Alvira Khan
- 2007 The Last Lear Shabnam First English-language film
- 2007 Om Shanti Om Herself Special appearance in song “Deewangi Deewangi”
- 2008 Heaven on Earth Chand
- 2008 Heroes Kuljeet Kaur
- 2008 Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Special appearance in song “Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte”
- 2009 Main Aurr Mrs Khanna Haseena Jagmagia Cameo
- 2012 Har Pal Runa Delayed
- 2012 Ishkq in Paris Ishkq Filming (Releasing on October 5, 2012)
- 2013 Bhaiyyaji Superhitt