Dia Mirza is an Indian actress, model, producer, and social activist. She is also the winner of Miss Asia Pacific 2000 title.
Dia Mirza was born as ‘Dia Handrich’ on Wednesday, 9 December 1981 (age 39 years; as in 2019) in the Hyderabad city of Andhra Pradesh. Her zodiac sign is Saggitarius.
She did her schooling from Vidyaranya High School in Hyderabad and Nasr School in Hyderabad. She has also attended Stanley Girls High School, Hyderabad. She did Bachelor of Arts from Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad.
Height: 5′ 6″ IndiaTimes
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Hair Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
Dia Mirza was born to Frank Handrich, a German Catholic, and graphics and industrial fair designer, architect, artist, and interior designer based in Munich, and Deepa, a Bengali interior designer and landscaper.
When she was four-and-a-half years old, her parents got divorced. Her mother, Deepa got married to Ahmed Mirza (died in 2003), a Dakhini Muslim man from Hyderabad. She took her step-father’s surname. She is the only child of her parents.
Although she has been raised in different ethnicities, she follows Hinduism. Amar Ujala
Relationships, Husband & Children
She was once rumoured to be in a relationship with Salman Khan, Vashu Bhagnani (film producer), and Kunal Kapoor (actor).
She was in a relationship with the musician Bunty Sachdeva.
On 18 October 2014, she got married to Sahil Sangha (a businessman & film producer) at his farmhouse in Chattarpur, Delhi.
In August 2019, they announced their separation. Post the divorce with her husband, she was rumoured to be dating Mohit Raina.
Modelling & Beauty Pageants
While studying in school, Dia Mirza used to work as a marketing executive for a multimedia firm called Neeraj’s Multi-media Studio. Simultaneously, she worked as a model for brands like Lipton, Wall’s ice cream, and Emami. In 2000, she participated in Femina Miss India, where she won the title of Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Avon, and Miss Close-Up Smile, and also became the second runner up at the pageant.
Subsequently, she was sent to Miss Asia Pacific, where she won the pageant; completing the hat-trick of win of India in the international beauty pageants in the year 2000 (Lara Dutta won Miss Universe, and Priyanka Chopra won Miss World).
Acting & Production
Dia Mirza made her acting debut with the 2001 film “Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein” as ‘Reena Malhotra.’
She then appeared in many successful films such as, Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge (2002), Dum (2003), Tumsa Nahin Dekha – A Love Story (2004), Parineeta (2005), Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006), Salam Mumbai (2016), and Sanju (2018). She co-owned a production called “Born Free Entertainment” with her ex-husband.
The first film produced under the banner was “Love Breakups Zindagi” (2011).
The film, Bobby Jasoos (2014), and the web series, Mind the Malhotras (2019) were also producer under “Born Free” banner. After the divorce from her husband, she launched her production house “One India Stories” in December 2019. She made her web debut as an actor with “Kaafir” (2019).
She made her Bengali debut with the film “Paanch Adhyay” (2012).
As a Social Activist
She has been involved with Cancer Patients Aid Association, Spastics Society of India, PETA, CRY, and NDTV Greenathon and has worked with the government of Andhra Pradesh to spread HIV awareness, prevention of female foeticide.
In 2010, she adopted two cheetah cubs at the Prince of Wales zoological park in Lucknow. Dia, along with Aamir Khan came out openly in support of Narmada Bachao Andolan. Mirza has endorsed the brand “The Body Shop” for their stand on the ban on animal testing and propagation of recycled packaging and natural products. On World Environment Day in 2017, she was appointed as the Brand Ambassador the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). She has lent her support to WTI in their campaigns and is also one of the founding member’s of the Club Nature initiative of WTI.
Apart from this, she is the eco ambassador for Panasonic, ambassador for Swachh Bharat Mission’s youth-based ‘Swachh Saathi’ programme, first artist ambassador for Save The Children India, and UN Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India.
Awards & Honours
- Great Women Achiever Award for Beauty in 2005
- Green Globe Honor for Extraordinary Work by a Public Figure in 2011
- Women’s Achievement Award in 2011
- Ms. Eternal Beauty at the Femina Miss India in 2016
- The Woman of Substance at Rotary Awards in 2016
- The ‘Valerian of Environmental Issues’ by the makers of the film “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” in 2017
- IWM Digital Awards 2019 for Best actor female (critics) for the web series “Kaafir”
- Filmfare Glamour & Style Awards 2019 for Woman of Style & Substance
- Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Award for Best actress for the web series “Kaafir” in 2020
- In 2019, during the ongoing CAA protest in India, Dia Mirza expressed her views on the subject and said,
My mother is a Hindu, my biological father was a Christian, my adopted father – a Muslim. In all official documents, my religion status stays blank. Does religion determine I am an Indian? It never did and I hope it never does. #OneIndia #India”
However, this did not go well with the netizens, and they lashed out at her; claiming that she didn’t have any knowledge of the act and was trying to act smart. Free Press Journal
- In 2016, Dia, in context with the water shortage in Maharashtra, tweeted,
The irony of the times we live in: farmers commit suicide due to drought and people waste water to ‘play’ #Holi. Go ahead call me anti-Hindu.”
However, her statement caused a huge uproar, and she was subjected to hatred from a section of people. Later, she apologized and clarified her stance and said, Deccan Chronicle
As a citizen of India, I have an equal respect for all religions, festivals and customs that are celebrated in our country. It has never been my intention to hurt the sentiments of any individual or community. If in the event that my tweet has done so, I apologize unequivocally. “That said, the fact remains that various parts of our country are experiencing a severe water shortage. According to a report I read in April last year, the drought in Maharashtra has hit over 90 lakh farmers and counting. In October last year, the Maharashtra government officially declared a ‘drought-like condition’ in 14,708 of the state’s 43,000 villages.”
- In 2015, Dia Mirza was found in the midst of an argument against Meenakshi Lekhi after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat made a remark on Mother Teresa’s conversion to Christianity being the main reason for her service to poor. Lekhi claimed that Teresa, in an interview, had claimed that her job was to bring people to the fold of Christianity. This did not go well with Mirza and she took to her twitter to slam Lekhi. As a result, Mirza faced criticism for her stand against the matter. Financial Express
- In 2006, after Dia, along with Aamir Khan, took a stand against the Sardar Sarovar Project, BJP workers, led by Dhansukh Bhandari organized a protest against the actors for their ‘anti-dam statements.’ Rediff
Dia Mirza owns a Lexus LX and BMW X1.
- Food: Hyderabadi Biryani, Nihari, Khatti Daal, Kheema
- Cuisines: Punjabi, Hyderabadi, European, Italian, Thai
- Actor: Amitabh Bachchan
- Travel Destination(s): Machu Picchu in Peru, Leh, Cambodia, Africa
- Books: “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” by Peter Frankopan, “A New Earth: Create a Better Life” by Eckhart Tolle, “The Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton, “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd, “The Motorcycle Diaries” by Che Guevara
- She likes cooking, reading, doing photography, and travelling.
- When she had just finished her schooling, she got a call from one of her family friends, (who worked at the Times of India office in Hyderabad) who told Dia about the Miss India contest. She sent her portfolio and was selected for the contest. She utilized the money that she had saved from the job that she did in her school days to go to Mumbai.
- Her first salary as a marketing executive was Rs. 5000.
- Her mother was against her participating in the Miss India contest because she wanted Dia to study in a law school in Bangalore. However, her step-father convinced her mother to let her participate in the contest.
- Before making her debut in the film industry, she appeared in the music video of Babul Supriyo and Alka Yagnik‘s song “Khoya Khoya Chand” in 2000.
- In 2000, she also made an appearance in the Tamil film “En Swasa Kaatre.”
- She has got ‘Aazaad’ (freedom) tattooed on the wrist of her left hand.
- There is a leopardess at the Lucknow Zoo who is named after Dia Mirza, the leopardess was rescued from Mirzapur, that is why the zoo officials named her- Dia Mirza. The zoo officials also requested the actress to name the two cubs of the leopardess Dia, the actress named the two cubs- Ashoka and Nakshatra.
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