Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty was born on June 8, 1975 in Mangalore, India. She was the elder of two daughters to parents Surendra and Sunanda Shetty who are manufacturers of tamper-proof caps for a pharmaceutical industry. Her native language is Tulu but Shilpa also speaks English, Tulu, Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Telugu, and Urdu.
Shilpa began her career as a model at the young age of 16. Soon she got the opportunity to work alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the 1993 hit 'Baazigar' which also earned a Filmfare nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her first movie as a leading lady was in 1994 movie 'Aag' opposite Govinda. The movie failed to create a stir at the box office.
In the same year, Shilpa starred in the superhit 'Main Khiladi Tu Anari' opposite Akshay Kumar which went on to be a huge success. She was also seen in movies like 'Hathkadi' and 'Aao Pyaar Karen' alongside Saif Ali Khan and Govinda.
1997 was a busy year for Shilpa as she starred in a host of movies of various languages including 'Auzaar' and Telegu flick 'Veedeva Dani Babu'. The movie 'Auzaar' saw her play the love interest of Salman Khan and Sanjay Kapoor.
The 2000 flick 'Dhadkan' garnered Shilpa a lot of praise and the movie did well at the Indian box office. The soundtrack of the movie was a huge hit. Shilpa received several nominations in the Best Actress category at various award functions. She followed this up with several South Indian movies and paired up with Anil Kapoor for 'Rishtey'.
After a brief hiatus, Shilpa had a host of releases in 2004 that included critically acclaimed roles in 'Garv' (opposite Salman Khan) and 'Phir Milenge'. In the latter she played the role of a HIV patient and received a Filmfare Best Actress nomination for the same.
In 2007, Shilpa was a target of racial abuse and bullying by fellow contestants on the reality show Celebrity Big Brother. Shetty was mocked for her Indian accent and was termed "The Indian" and a "dog" by Jade Goody. Though Shilpa went on to win the show, the controversy became a huge global talking point. Shilpa would later host the Indian version of the same show which saw Goody return as a contestant.
Controversies kept following Shetty and in the same year, Hollywood actor Richard Gere kissed her on the cheek several times during an AIDS awareness event. It created quite a stir in the nation and many protests took place with demonstrators claiming that it was an attack on the Indian moral values and ethics. Shilpa brushed off the incident, insisting that there was nothing obscene about the matter.
Shilpa previously dated actor Akshay Kumar but the duo split up. She was also linked with director of Dus, Anubhav Sinha, but quashed the rumours claiming it as untrue and baseless. She finally put stories to rest when she married NRI businessman Raj Kundra on 22nd November 2009. Photo: Getty Images
Shilpa is also involved in many charitable causes for AIDS and animal cruelty awareness. She joined a host of Bollywood stars in a BBC show about efforts to tackle HIV in India. She also joined hands with PETA to protest against the killing of wild animals.
Shilpa and her husband Raj Kundra are also co-owners of the Indian Premier League franchise team Rajasthan Royals and paid approximately US $15.4 million for a 11.7% stake. Their team won the inaugural event under the guidance and captaincy of Shane Warne. Photo: Getty Images
Shilpa and Raj also recently became the proud parents of a baby boy, born to them on May 21. Photo: Viral Bhayani
Here's wishing the gorgeous actress, businesswoman and now mommy, a very happy birthday! Photo: Getty Images