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Beauty Pageant Winners - India

Updated on February 21, 2015

All the Indian films have heroines. In most of the films, if not in all the films, the heroine is beautiful. Even the films based on de-glamorous characters have beautiful heroines. The thing is Indian films have heroines only for their beauty. There are of-course exceptions, but, most of the films have heroines only to add glamor. Given this, it is not a surprise that Beauty pageant winners eventually become film heroines.

Beauty Pageant Winners from India
Beauty Pageant Winners from India

Big Four international beauty pageants

While Missosology calls it "big four", Sash Factor calls these "Alpha pageants", The Big Four is a group of the four largest and most famous female international beauty pageants. These four pageants have been recognized and acknowledged around the globe by different government agencies and institutions for their unparalleled contributions.

The big four beauty pageants are,

Miss World
London, UK
Miss Universe
New York City, USA
Miss Earth
Mandaluyong, Philippines
Miss International
Tokyo, Japan
The Big Four beauty pageants logos
The Big Four beauty pageants logos

As of 2014, Venezuela is the most successful country in the history of the Big Four pageants with a total of 21 wins, followed by the United States with 14 wins and the Philippines with 10 wins.

India has bagged 8 victories, with 5 Miss World wins (1966, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000), 2 Miss Universe wins (1994, 2000) and one Miss Earth win (2010). India has never won Miss International.

Reita Faria - Miss World 1966

Reita Faria
Reita Faria
Rita Faria
Rita Faria

Reita Faria is the first Indian and Asian to win the Miss world. She is the only beauty queen who qualified as a doctor.

  • Born: 1945 in Mumbai, India
  • Occupation: Model , Doctor
  • Height: 1.73 m
  • Titles: Eve's Weekly Miss India 1966, Miss World 1966
  • Spouse: Dr. David Powell

Though she has given up her modelling in 1967 to pursue M.B.B.S, Reita was a judge at Femina Miss India in 1998, and has come back to judge the Miss World competition on a few occasions.

Aishwarya Rai - Miss World 1994

41 years old Aishwarya Rai in 2014 Cannes film festival
41 years old Aishwarya Rai in 2014 Cannes film festival
Aishwarya Rai at Miss World 1994
Aishwarya Rai at Miss World 1994

Trained in classical dance and music for five years during her teens, she was unsuccessful in pursuing Medicine and Architecture.Later gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling. In 1991, Rai won a supermodel contest (organised by Ford) and was eventually featured in the American edition of Vogue.

Pepsi commercial with actor Aamir Khan in 1993, gained public recognition.

  • Born: November 1973 Mangalore , Karnataka , India
  • Occupation: Actress, Model
  • Height: 1.9 m
  • Titles: 1994 Miss India (2nd place), 1994 Miss World, 1994 Miss Photogenic and 1994 Miss World Continental Queen of Beauty − Asia & Oceania
  • Spouse: Abhishek Bachchan

Since her debut in legendary Mani Ratnam's Iruvar (1997), she has established herself as a leading Indian heroine and has won 2 Filmfare awards apart from winning the hearts of millions of Indians.

Sushmita Sen - Miss Universe 1994

39 year old Sushmita Sen in Lakme Fashion Week.
39 year old Sushmita Sen in Lakme Fashion Week.
Sushmita Sen at 1994 Miss Universe
Sushmita Sen at 1994 Miss Universe

Born into a Bengali family, She attended Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute in New Delhi and St. Ann's High School in Secunderabad, but did not pursue higher education. She was the first Indian to win the Miss Universe crown.

  • Born: 19 November 1975, Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Occupation: Actress
  • Height: 1.75 m
  • Titles: Femina Miss India 1994 and Miss World 1994.

Sushmita Sen made her debut in Dastak (1996). She has won multiple awards for the film Biwi No. 1 (1999) including the prestigious Filmfare award.

Diana Hayden - Miss World 1997

Diana Hayden
Diana Hayden
Diana Hayden at 1997 Miss World
Diana Hayden at 1997 Miss World

Diana Hayden was born in an Anglo-Indian Christian family. Before modeling, she worked for Encore, an event management company and then at BMG Crescendo as a Public Relations Officer where she assisted in managing the careers of singers Anaida and Mehnaz Hoosein.

  • Born: May 1 1973, Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Occupation: Model, Actress
  • Height: 1.79 m
  • Titles: Femina Miss India World 1997, Miss World 1997
  • Major competitions: Miss World Asia & Oceania, Miss Photogenic and Spectacular Swimwear
  • Spouse: Collin Dick

After representing Miss World organization, Hayden studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, UK. She also studied at the Drama Studio London, where she concentrated on the works of Shakespeare and earned a Best Actress nomination from the studio.

2001 - Screen debut in the film version of Shakespeare's Othello in South Africa.
2002 - Hosted Miss Europe 2002 in Lebanon along with Miss Lebanon 1997 and Julien Lepers.
2006 - Signed by the Avalon Academy as the face of the Academy

Diana Hayden was part of Indian TV series Big Boss. She wrote a book called A Beautiful Guide which is an "encyclopedia on grooming and also deals with personality development and confidence building" during 2012.

She acted in 5 films including a Hindi film Tehzeeb (2013)

Yukta Mookhey - Miss World 1999

35 year old Yukta Mookhey at stree shakti women awards-2014
35 year old Yukta Mookhey at stree shakti women awards-2014
Yukta Mookhey at Miss World 1999
Yukta Mookhey at Miss World 1999

Till 7 years of her age, she lived in Middle east after which she moved to Mumbai. Yukta Mookhey studied zoology at V.G. Vaze college and also has a diploma in computer sciences from Aptech. She studied Hindustani classical music for three year.

  • Born: October 7, 1979 in Mumbai , India
  • Occupation: Actress
  • Height: 1.80 m
  • Titles: Major competition(s) Femina Miss India 1999, Miss World 1999 and Miss World Asia & Oceania (Participation)
  • Spouse: Prince Tuli

Pyasa (2002) is her debut movie as a heroine while her first silver screen appearance was in a Tamil movie Poovellam Un Vasam (2001). After a gap due to injury, she went on to act in 4 movies.

She married Prince, a New York-based businessman and financial consultant in 2008 and eventually got divorced due to domestic violence.

Mookhey is an active member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and engages herself in social and charitable causes.

Priyanka Chopra - Miss World 2000

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra at Miss World 2000
Priyanka Chopra at Miss World 2000

Due to her family working in Indian army, she has to move frequently during her childhood, but she considers Bareilly her real home. As a teenager she lived for some years with an aunt in the United States. Although Chopra at one time aspired to study engineering or psychiatry, she accepted offers to join the Indian film industry. Chopra maintained a strong relationship with her family and is especially close to her father. She also got a tattoo reading "Daddy's lil girl", in his handwriting.

While in Massachusetts, she participated in several theater productions and studied Western classical music, choral singing and Kathak dnce. Chopra was the only Indian in her class to have been selected at the state level for the National Opus Honour Choir

She made her debut in Tamil film Thamizhan (2002). After that, she has made multiple films and eventually became highest paid Bollywood acress and one of the most popular celebrities in India. Apart form a long list of awards, she has also won one National award (India's most prominent film award) for Fashion and four Filmfare awards.

Not just Indian films, but, she has also made 3 international musicals In My City, Exotic and I Can't Make You Love Me as a lead artist.

Lara Dutta - Miss Universe 2000

Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta at Mis Universe 2000
Lara Dutta at Mis Universe 2000

Born to a Punjabi father and an Anglo-Indian mother. The Dutta family moved to Bangalore in 1981 where she completed high school from St. Francis Xavier Girls' High School and the Frank Anthony Public School. Dutta graduated with a degree in economics and a minor in communications from the University of Mumbai.

Dutta won the annual Gladrags Megamodel competition in India in 1995,thus winning the right to enter the 1997 Miss Intercontinental Pageant, in which she took first place.

  • Born: 16 April 1978 in Ghaziabad , Uttar Pradesh
  • Occupation: Model and Actress
  • Height: 1.70 m
  • Titles: Miss Intercontinental 1997, Femina Miss India Universe 2000 and Miss Universe 2000
  • Spouse: Mahesh Bhupathi

She won Filmfare Best Female Debut Award in her debut movie Andaaz (2003) though the Tamil movie Arasatchi (2004) was the first one she signed. From then on, she has acted in multiple films and became one of the successful heroine.

Nicole Faria - Miss Earth 2010

Nicole Faria
Nicole Faria
Nicola Faria at Miss Earth
Nicola Faria at Miss Earth

With her hourglass figure, Nicole got into the world of fashion as a fifteen-year-old, working in the industry in Delhi and Mumbai, and in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

  • Born: 9 February 1990 in Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Occupation: Model, Actress
  • Height: 1.753 m
  • Titles: Femina Miss India Earth 2010, Miss Earth 2010 and Miss India South 2010

While she is doing her debut movie Yaariyan, She has posed for fashion magazines like Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vogue among others. She has also walked the ramp in the Lakme Fashion Week, Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, and Colombo Fashion Week.


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