- As Lara Dutta turns 43, here’s a look at her final round at the Miss Universe 2000 pageant. The actor beat Claudia Moreno from Venezuela and Spain’s Helen Lindes to win the title.
UPDATED ON APR 16, 2021 07:08 AM IST
Think of Lara Dutta and the memories of Miss Universe 2000’s crowning moment flood the mind. The Bollywood actor made history that year after she was crowned the winner at the event. It was the second time in the history of the pageant that an Indian participant had won the title, the first being Sushmita Sen in 1994.
Lara, who celebrates her 43rd birthday on April 16, was asked the same questions as her fellow finalists – Claudia Moreno from Venezuela and Spain’s Helen Lindes. At the time, protests were carried out in Cyprus, where the pageant was held, with people saying that the event disrespected women.
Incorporating the protest, Lara, Claudia and Helen were asked: “Right now there is a protest going on right outside here calling the Miss Universe Pageant disrespectful of women. Convince them they are wrong.” A confident Lara answered, “I think pageants like the Miss Universe pageant gives us young women a platform to foray in the fields that we want to and forge ahead, be it entrepreneurship, be it the armed force, be it politics. It gives us a platform to voice our choices and opinions and makes us strong, independent that we are today.” The answer bowled judges over and she was crowned Miss Universe 2000.
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Over two decades later, Lara has starred in numerous Bollywood movies. She made her Bollywood debut with Andaaz, alongside Priyanka Chopra, who was crowned Miss World in 2000 as well, and Akshay Kumar. She went on star in Partner, Don 2, Housefull and Singh Is Bliing. She will soon appear in BellBottom, where she reunites with Akshay. The movie also stars Vaani Kapoor and Huma Qureshi. The filming was wrapped in September 2020.
She married tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi in 2011 and has a daughter named Saira.