New Delhi: May 12, 2000, holds a special place in actor Lara Dutta`s life as on this day she made Indians proud by winning the coveted title of Miss Universe. She was only 22 years old when she brought home the crown, six years after Sushmita Sen, and since then she has been ruling hearts with her elegance, charisma, and versatile acting talent.
Lara is a perfect combination of beauty and brain together. The answer that led her to the historic Miss Universe win is proof of fact.
In 2000, protests erupted in Cyprus calling the beauty pageant a way of objectifying women. And during the final question-answer round of the contest, Lara was asked to convince people protesting against the pageant outside the venue.
“I think pageants, like the Miss Universe pageant, gives us young women a platform to foray into the fields that we want to and forge ahead. Be it entrepreneurship, be it in the armed forces, be it politics. to voice our choices and opinions and makes us strong and independent that we are today,” Lara replied confidently and managed to impress the judges.
Interestingly, she was also asked a question about how female politicians in India are different from male politicians. She responded by saying that female politicians have a certain amount of sensitivity.
She also explained the concept of Bharatnatyam, confidently telling the questioner that she could not show even a few steps of the dance form as she was in a gown.
Speaking of her Miss Universe look, Lara opted for a red backless evening gown and undoubtedly looked ethereal. In 2000, she celebrated two decades of achieving the milestone by sharing iconic pictures from the pageant.
“20 years to the day!! 12 th May 2000, Nicosia, Cyprus. What a wonderful gift to receive from the universe! One I`m eternally grateful for. @missindiaorg @missdivaorg @timesofindia @missuniverse #eniumMillsMissUniverse,” she wrote.
See how the sea of fans came out in full force to welcome her after her iconic Miss Universe win.
Just three years after her Miss Universe win, Lara stepped into Bollywood with the 2003 film Andaaz. She is best known for starring in films such as Bhagam Bhag, Kaal, Partner, the Don franchise and Bell Bottom among others.
On the personal front, she got married to former tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi in 2011 and they are parents to a daughter named Saira.