Actresses, Biography|March 31, 2012 10:33 am

Genelia Dsouza Biography

Genelia D’Souza is an Indian actress, model, and host. She has appeared in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam language films. After gaining wide attention in a Parker Pen commercial with Amitabh Bachchan, D’Souza began her acting career with Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003. She was recognized for her role in Boys the same year, and later established herself in Telugu cinema by acting in several Telugu films during 2003–2005.

D’Souza received her first Filmfare Award in 2006 for her performance in the Telugu romantic film, Bommarillu, which earned her critical acclaim. In 2008, she gave critically acclaimed performances in Santosh Subramaniam, a Tamil remake of Bommarillu, and the Bollywood movie Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. Having acted in several commercially successful movies in Telugu and Tamil, D’Souza has established herself as one of the leading actresses of the South Indian film industry. In addition to movie acting, D’Souza has hosted the television show Big Switch, and is the brand ambassador of Fanta, Virgin Mobile India, Fastrack, LG Mobiles, Garnier Light, Margo, and Perk in India.

Born in Mumbai into a Mangalorean Catholic family,D’Souza was raised a Roman Catholic in the Bandra suburb of Mumbai. Her mother Jeanette D’Souza was formerly a managing director of the Pharma Multinational corporation (MNC), who left her job in 2004 to help Genelia with her career. Her father Neil D’Souza, is a senior official with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). She also has a younger brother, Nigel D’Souza,who works with the Bombay Stock Exchange.According to D’Souza, her name “Genelia”, means “rare” or “unique”, and is a portmanteau of Jeanette and Neil, her mother and father’s name. She is also often informally referred to as Geenu, her nickname. D’Souza studied at the Apostolic Carmel High School in Bandra and later joined St. Andrew’s College in Bandra to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree of Management Studies. She completed her degree while shooting for her first film, Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003 and initially thought that an MNC job would suit her. She liked sports and studies in college, and was a state level athlete, sprinter, and a national level football player.

D’Souza did her first modeling assignment at the age of 15, the result of being spotted as the bridesmaid at a wedding. She was selected for the Parker Pen commercial with Amitabh Bachchan, just two days before her exams, and had to shoot the next day. Initially she refused, because of her exam the next day, but the director persuaded D’Souza to shoot for the commercial. She gained wide attention from the Parker Pen commercial with Amitabh Bachchan,who said “she was good, and her expressions were spontaneous”. She further did a Fair and Lovely 2003 Cricket World Cup advertisement with cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

D’Souza has been often tagged in the media as the “bubbly girl”, after portraying the role of a young energetic girl in several movies, especially Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008). She appeared alongside Shahid Kapoor on the fourth episode of Tere Mere Beach Mein, a celebrity chat show, hosted by Farah Khan. The theme of the show was “Second Innings”, since both D’Souza and Kapoor had the same history of failures initially and success later in their acting careers. In June 2010, D’Souza was crowned as the “Brand Ambassador of the Year” at the CNBC Awaaz consumer awards, for endorsing nine brands. She is now the brand ambassador of the soft drink Fanta (replacing Rani Mukherjee), the chocolate Perk (replacing Preity Zinta),Virgin Mobile India (along with Ranbir Kapoor), Fastrack watches and accessories,LG mobiles (along with John Abraham and Abhay Deol), Garnier Light fairness cream, Dabur Vatika hair oil, Margo soap, and Spinz deodorant.

D’Souza is deeply religious and says that, she regularly attends Sunday Mass at St. Anne’s Parish (Bandra), and whenever the family is home, a part of their evening is reserved for saying the rosary together. Tabloids repeatedly linked D’Souza romantically with Ritesh Deshmukh, ever since they starred together in their debut film Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003.They were reportedly ready to get engaged, but Ritesh’s father, the then-Maharashtra Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh did not agree. D’Souza later denied any rumors of a relationship with Deshmukh, and responds that she had just friendly relations with him. However, the couple eventually got married on 3 February 2012, according to Marathi marriage traditions in a Hindu wedding ceremony. She got married at a Roman Catholic ceremony in Bandra, at the following day.

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