Born In: Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
Padma Lakshmi is an Indian-born American model, actress, food expert, and award-winning author. She was the first Indian model to have a career in Paris, Milan and New York. Her modeling career led to her acting career as she began appearing in television shows filmed in Hollywood, Bollywood, and Europe. As an author she won the Best First Book award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, for her first cookbook ‘Easy Exotic’. Her memoir, ‘Love, Loss and What We Ate’, released on the International Women's Day, is a New York Times best-seller. Padma is also a television host and an executive producer. She has been hosting the US reality television program ‘Top Chef’ since 2006, for which she received a nomination for the ‘Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality Program’. Ambassador for the ACLU and the recipient of the NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Padma is a well-known businesswoman, heading many of her companies like ‘Padma’s Easy Exotic’ that sells a collection of frozen foods and ‘Padma Collection’, a home décor line.
Also Known As: Padma Parvati Lakshmi Vaidynathan
Spouse/Ex-: Salman Rushdie (m. 2004–2007)
mother: Vijaya Lakshmi
Born Country: India
Ancestry: Indian American
Notable Alumni: Clark University
education: Clark University
In 1984, at the age of 14, Padma Lakshmi was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare disorder of the skin and mucous membranes. That same year, she met with a car accident in Malibu, California, on a Sunday afternoon when she was going on a drive with her mother and stepfather. The accident fractured her right hip and badly injured her right upper arm. Her arm was operated on, which left a seven-inch scar.
Padma Lakshmi became interested in acting in 1999. Her first role was in ‘Figlio di Sandokan, an Italian pirate movie. Next, she did a role in ‘Caraibi’ (Pirates: Blood Brothers), a drama about 17th century pirates. She also hosted Italy's top-rated television show ‘Domenica In.’ In 2001, she did a comical supporting role as a disco singer in ‘Glitter’, an American movie.
In 2003, Padma Lakshmi appeared in the film ‘Boom’ as Shiela Bardez, a super model accused of stealing diamonds. She portrayed the role of Geeta in Paul Mayeda Berges' film ‘The Mistress of Spices’ in 2005. She also made a guest appearance on the NBC series ‘30 Rock’ in 2009, and starred in ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ in 2014.
In 2009, Padma Lakshmi starred in Eels music video for the song ‘That Look You Give That Guy,’ where she played the love interest of Mark Oliver Everett.
Padma Lakshmi released her second cookbook, ‘Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet’, on October 2, 2007. Her debut memoir, ‘Love, Loss and What We Ate,’ was released on the International's Women's Day on March 8, 2016. She also released the ‘Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs’ in October 2016.
Padma Lakshmi is a global ambassador for Keep a Child Alive, and has traveled to many places in India on their behalf. She also strongly advocates women's rights.