Beauty pageants in India and all across the world are not just a catapult towards fame, respect and money. They are also a direct ticket to the entertainment industry, and Bollywood has time and again proved that. Winners of these beauty pageants have often gotten into Bollywood and made a name for themselves.
1- Zeenat Aman
Zeenat Aman was the first Indian to win the title of Miss Asia Pacific title in 1970. Following this, she stepped into Bollywood, where she played a part in several successful movies such as Haré Rama Hare Krishna, Don, Laawaris, and more. Today, she is widely regarded as one of the most influential actresses of India.
2- Juhi Chawla
Juhi Chawla was the recipient of the 1984 Miss India Universe title. She then decided to follow an acting career in Bollywood and went on to win 2 Filmfare awards. Chawla is best known for her charismatic on-screen presence.
3- Aishwarya Rai
As the Miss World of 1994, Aishwarya Rai probably doesn’t need much introduction. She ventured into Bollywood after the deed, which led her to meet Abhishek Bachchan, the man who later became her husband. Today, she has become a Bollywood icon.
4- Sushmita Sen
While Aishwarya was the Miss World of 1994, the title of Miss Universe that year went to Sushmita Sen.
5- Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta won not just one, but two major beauty pageants: The 1997 Miss Intercontinental and the 2000 Miss Universe. In her acting career, she has mainly worked in Hindi films and has won a Filmfare Award.
6- Priyanka Chopra
Of course this list has to include Priyanka Chopra as she is one of the biggest names in Indian entertainment industry. After winning the title of Miss World in 2000, she worked in different fields including acting, singing, and film producing and has received many awards including 5 Filmfare Awards and a National Film Award.
7- Neha Dhupia
Neha Dhupia won the 2002 Femina Miss India pageant before making her Bollywood debut in 2003 with Qayamat: City Under Threat. Since then, she has appeared in several Telugu, Punjabi, and Malayalam films.
8- Dia Mirza
Dia Mirza was the Miss Asia Pacific of 2000, which made her an overnight sensation in India at the time. Her debut title was Vashu Bhagnani’s Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, a movie that’s counted amongst the most popular Romantic Dramas of India.
9- Jacqueline Fernandez
Hailing from Sri Lanka, Jacqueline Fernandez won the 2006 Miss Universe Sri Lanka pageant and got into Bollywood in 2009 with the movie Aladdin. Over the past decade, she has built a career in the industry.
10- Meenakshi Seshadri
Meenakshi Seshadri is a former dancer, model, and actress who primarily starred in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu movies. In 1981, at the age of 17, she won the Eve’s Weekly Miss India contest. She was a recognized actress during her time and received many awards.
11- Namrata Shirodkar
Namrata Shirodkar, the winner of the Femina Miss India crown in 1993, also became a Bollywood actress and producer later on in her life.
12- Pooja Batra
Pooja Batra shot to fame when she was crowned Miss India International in 1993. She then set her sight on pursuing an acting career and starred in many box office hits such as Virasat and Bhai, establishing herself as an accomplished actress.
13- Tanushree Dutta
In 2004, when she was 20, Tanushree Dutta received the Femina Miss India Universe title and also made the top 10 in the Miss Universe of the same year. As for her acting career, Dutta has several credits to her name such as ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ and ‘Horn ‘OK’ Pleassss’.