A model, film producer and actress, Tarina Patel is from South Africa, where she was born and brought up. Her father, Raman Patel, is a doctor, whereas her mother, Veena Patel, is an English and History teacher. Tarina is their only child, and she was brought up in The Bluff, Durban. Her paternal grandmother is responsible for inculcating religious faith in her since she was raised as a Hindu. After finishing school from Durban Girl's College, at the age of 16, she came to India to pursue medicine. However, she returned to South Africa and completed her education in Psychology from the University of Free State.

She again came to India to pursue a career in Bollywood and made her debut with the 2006 film One Night with the King. Her subsequent movies include Just Married, Dhol, Bhagam Bhag, Bhul Bhulaiyaa, Dus Kahaniyaan, Karzzzz and Chase. She was also signed by one of the Top 5 Hollywood agencies to audition for significant roles. She worked as a producer on the film titles Mandela's Gun. Tarina's modeling career has also been successful.

She showed up on covers of magazines such as Elle, Cosmopolitan, FHM and Glamour. Burberry's trench coat campaign in India featured her. She has walked the ramp for Gitanjali Jewels at the International Jewellery Week. Her brand endorsements include Hyundai, ICICI Bank, Kingfisher, Airtel, VIP suiting and TBZ Jewellery.

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