Katrina Kaif is a prominent and very popular British-Indian model and film actress. She was one of the highest-paid actresses in the Bollywood industry and one of the most attractive personalities in India. She was born as Katrina Turquotte on July 16, 1983, in British Hong Kong to Mohammed Kaif, a business person and Suzanne Kaif, a lawyer, and social service worker. Her parents had a divorce when she was just a child and then her father moved to USA. She grows up without a father by her side, but she never complains and instead, she always feels grateful for all the wonderful things she has. Since then, her mother dedicates her life in working for social causes, which led them to relocate to several countries from time to time. Because of this, she and her seven siblings did a homeschooling with some tutors. She lives in London for three years before she moved to India. She changed her surname to Kaif because it’s easier to pronounce.
At 14, she won a beauty pageant in Hawai and had her very first modeling assignment. Later, she became a professional model in London and appeared in a clothing trade show in London called London Fashion Week. During a fashion show, she caught the attention of London-based director and writer,
Kaizad Gustad. He offered her a role in the erotic-heist English-Hindi film, Boom, alongside
Gulshan Grover and
Madhu Sapre in the lead roles. She started to receive many offers, and so she decided to stay in India. She established herself as a successful model after making a ramp at the India Fashion Week and made an appearance in the Kingfisher Calendar. She also endorsed for popular brands like LG, Samsung, Fevicol and Coca-Cola. She was heavily promoted at the Cannes Film Festival for the film Boom in 2003. However, the film was a critical and commercial failure. Her performance as a supermodel and her poor Hindi and British accent was poorly received and even if she has several modeling assignments, many filmmakers were quite hesitant to cast her in their films because of her poor Hindi diction. She was even replaced in the 2003 Bollywood horror film, Saaya, and the producer called her an ‘inconsistent performer.' That’s when she started to attend Hindi classes.
In 2004, she acted in her first Telugu film, Malliswari, where she played the lead female role. Reportedly, Katrina earned a salary of ₹7.5-Million for doing the film, which is considered as the highest salary given to a South Indian actress. Though she received negative reviews for her performance, the film made a profitable venture. In the following year, she acted in Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar, opposite
Abhishek Bachchan. She was featured next in
Salman Khan-starrer ‘
Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?’. She considered this film as her first real step in the Bollywood film industry as she earned her first Stardust Award for Breakthrough Performance. Later, she acted in her second Telugu film entitled
Allari Pidugu, alongside
Nandamuri Balakrishna and
Charmy Kaur in the lead roles. In 2006, Katrina appeared in the Bollywood romantic drama film, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, which also stars
Akshay Kumar and
Bipasha Basu. In the same year, she entered the Malayalam film industry and acted with Mammootty in the crime thriller film, Balram Vs Tharadas.
In 2007, she made a career change after appearing in four Bollywood hit films in 2007. She considered the romantic comedy film,
Namastey London, an achievement and claimed that this is the first time she did a dominating role. Her chemistry with Akshay Kumar was well received. She also acted as a doctor in the Bollywood sports drama film, Apne. This film became highly anticipated since this is the first time that Dharmendra made an appearance with his sons, Bobby and
Sunny Deol. After this, she collaborates again with Salman Khan and director
David Dhawan in the romantic comedy film, Partner. This film is the remake of the Hollywood film, Hitch and was declared a super hit film after grossing a total of $16-Million worldwide. Her final release of the year was the comedy masala film, Welcome, which stars Akshay Kumar,
Feroz Khan and
Paresh Rawal. Even though this film earned negative reviews, it became the second highest-grossing film of the year.
In the year 2008, Katrina made three releases; the first being Abbas-Mustan’s Race, where she played as the secretary of
Saif Ali Khan. She then worked again with Akshay Kumar in the action comedy film; Singh is Kinng. Though she earned mixed reviews for her performance, this film was her 6th consecutive box-office success. Her last release of the year was Subhash Ghai’s Yuvvraaj, alongside Anil Kapoor,
Zayed Khan and Salman Khan in the lead roles. This film flopped at the box office but Katrina earned positive reviews for her performance, and the screenplay of the film was appended at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences because of its creative merit.
Her voice was usually dubbed by some voice artists because she is not very fluent in Hindi and South Indian languages. Though most of her films made a success at the box office, her performances were most of the time criticized. But she positively says she was on the process of learning on her first few films. In 2009, she acted in Kabir Khan’s thriller film,
New York, which features
Neil Nitin Mukesh and
John Abraham in the lead roles. Katrina played the role of a college girl who got married to a terrorist. Her brilliant performance in the film earned her first nomination at the Filmfare for Best Actress. In the same year, she made a cameo in Anthony D’Souza’s action adventure film, Blue. Later that year, she acted opposite
Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role in Rajkumar Santoshi’s blockbuster film, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. Her final release of the year was with Akshay Kumar in the Hindi comedy film, De Dana Dan.
In the year 2010, Katrina was cast in Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti, along with Ajay Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar,
Naseeruddin Shah and
Manoj Bajpayee in the lead roles. This film turned out to be highly successful and earned a total collection of $21-Million. She then reunites with Akshay Kumar for the 6th time in the Hindi heist comedy film,
Tees Maar Khan, along with
Akshaye Khanna in the lead roles. She has done an item number entitled Sheila Ki Jawani, which was choreographed by
Farah Khan. She was trained by Veronica D’Souza in the belly dancing part. This song became very popular, but the film failed at the box office. In the following year, Katrina acted opposite
Hrithik Roshan in the coming-of-age comedy-drama, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. This film earned critical and commercial success. Katrina’s next was with Yash Raj Films’ Mere Brother Ki Dulhan in 2011. She played as Dimple Dixit, a loud and unpredictable girl, which she found a very challenging role because her personality was opposite her character in the film. She was praised for her portrayal and earned her second nomination at the Filmfare for Best Actress category.
In 2012, she performed in another item number entitled Chikni Chameli for the action drama film, Agneepath. In the same year, she played as a Pakistani ISI agent in Salman Khan-starrer,
Ek Tha Tiger. This film became the highest-grossing film of the year. She was later starred in the box-office romantic drama film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, together with
Shah Rukh Khan and
Anushka Sharma in the lead roles. By the year 2013, she acted as the heroine, opposite
Aamir Khan in Vijay Krishna Acharya’s Dhoom 3. Katrina’s character as a circus performer was criticized, but the film became the highest-grossing film of all time in 2014. Her next appearance was from the action comedy film, Bang Bang!, helmed by
Siddharth Anand. This 2015, she has done one film along with Saif Ali Khan in the action thriller film, Phantom. She is currently working in three projects, which includes Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoss, together with Ranbir Kapoor; Abhishek Kapoor’s romantic drama film, Fitoor, which was adapted on
Great Expectations; and Nitya Mehra’s
Baar Baar Dekho, opposite
Sidharth Malhotra. She is also preparing to reprise her role in Raajneeti’s sequel.
Katrina is always reluctant to speak about her romantic life. In 2003, she was rumored to have an affair with Salman Khan and it was only in their 2010 breakup that she finally spoke about their relationship, from which she calls her first serious relationship. But the two remained as friends and she thanked Salman for her guidance. Besides acting, she was involved in a charitable trust that was started by her mother, who rescued an abandoned baby and had been working to avoid female infanticide. When she won in the television game shows, 10 Ka Dum, and
Kaun Banega Crorepati, the money was donated to Mercy Home Orphanage. She ramps in Salman Khan’s charitable show, Being Human. Katrina raised funds for a school in Madurai, and she visited Cancer Patients Aid Association to make awareness about breast cancer and cervical cancer. She was named FHM India’s World’s Sexiest Woman from the year 2008 up to 2013. Katrina has been a celebrity spokesperson for popular brands like Lux, L’Oreal, Panasonic, Slice and a lot more. A wax figure of her was installed in London’s wax museum, Madame Tussauds. She is also receiving ₹50-Million to ₹60-Million for every endorsement she makes and she was declared as the highest-paid celebrity endorser in India.