Shilpa Shetty

- Vikram Chandiramani 

Shilpa Shetty, the girl with long, sexy legs, made her debut in a Shah Rukh Khan - Kajol starrer 'Baazigar' in a supporting role. The film was a hit and as it happens to everyone connected with success, Shilpa found herself in other films.

Her films include 'Aag', 'Aao Pyar Karen' and 'Main Khiladi Tu Anari' (1994), 'Hathkadi' and 'Gambler' (1995), 'Chhote Sarkar' and 'Himmat' (1996), 'Auzar', 'Insaaf', 'Prithvi' and 'Zameer' (1997) and 'Aakrosh' (1998).

A bubbly girl, Shilpa has not tasted the big time yet but yet was inching towards it.  'Dhadkan' with Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty worked better. 'Jung' with Sanjay Dutt flopped. She was also to figure in Mukul Anand's 'Dus' but the film remained an incomplete dream with the death of Mukul Anand.

Shilpa Shetty worked in 'Phir Milenge' with Salman Khan. The movie was focussed on AIDS. Her career seemed to be going downhill until she got a break in 'Big Brother', UK. Telecast on the UK network, a part in this reality show was turned down by most other actresses but Shilpa grabbed it with both hands. A controversy over racsim brought her international fame. Eventually she won on the show in a landslide victory and found herself in a different league altogether. Most of 2006 and 2007 has been a dream run for Shilpa Shetty with million dollar deals and major endorsement contracts. Shilpa Shetty has also set up a non-profit organization named, 'The Shilpa Shetty Foundation'.

In India, however, not much has changed. Her movie 'Metro' just about broke even in metro cities while failing in smaller cities. Shilpa and her mother Sunanda Shetty have been participating in religious rituals hoping to expedite her marriage.

Sometime back, Richard Gere kissed her publicly on stage at an AIDS awareness campaign inviting strong protests across India with social organizations filing lawsuits against Gere and Shilpa for socially unacceptable behaviour.