New Delhi: Stupefying beauty and Bollywood’s leggy lass Deepika Padukone turns 26 today.  This stunning Capricornian has made a mark in Bollywood with hits like Om Shanti Om, Love Aaj Kal and Housefull. Even though she doesn’t have a Godfather in this tinsel town and is not an industry kid, yet today she is one of the very famous and stylish celeb in B-Town.

Shades of Deepika in pics

Ironically, this style icon never wanted to be an actress in her early days. She says even the thought of joining the film industry did not cross her mind. And today, she is the most-talked-about celeb in this industry.

Deepika Padukone was born in Copenhagen (Denmark) in 1986 to badminton legend Prakash Padukone. Her family moved to Bangalore when she was just 11 months old. Deepika's mother Ujjala is a travel agent.

Following her dad's footsteps, Deepika too played badminton regularly till her tenth standard.

Deepika did her schooling from Sophia High School and graduation from Mount Carmel College.

However, she played badminton at the state level but was never keen to pursue badminton as career. While in college, Deepika started modeling. She was first spotted in a ramp competition in NLS, Bangalore. Over the years, she modeled for such Indian brand names as Liril, Dabur Lal powder, Close-Up toothpaste and Limca, and was ‘brand ambassador’ for the Jewels of India retail jewelry show. She hit the international scene when Maybelline made her their new international cover-girl face.

At the fifth annual Kingfisher Fashion Awards she was awarded the title ‘Model of the Year’. Shortly afterward, she was chosen as one of the models for the Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar for 2006 and won two trophies at the Idea Zee Fashion Awards: ‘Female Model of the Year - (Commercial Assignments)’ and ‘Fresh Face of the Year’.

Deepika was also chosen as the brand ambassador of Kingfisher Airlines and later Levi Strauss and Tissot SA. Doing so many mega modeling assignments, her landing up in the entertainment industry was inevitable.

Deepika’s first cinematic debut was in the Kannada film ‘Aishwarya’ with star Upendra. She later made a successful Bollywood debut in 2007 with Farah Khan's blockbuster ‘Om Shanti Om’ opposite Shahrukh Khan. The film was a re-incarnation melodrama, featuring her in a double role. Her performance was well received, earning her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award as well as her first Filmfare Best Actress nomination.

Spelling magic on the audiences by her elegant looks and noticeable acting skill, Deepika made her father proud too. On asking about Deepika’s reel and real life persona in a website interview, her father and badminton champion Prakash Padukone said, “She is very focused and devoted person. She knows exactly what she wants and works towards achieving that goal. She was like any other child, sweet most of the times and a rebel once in a while.  And like most other daughters, she is more of a mummy's girl."

Deepika's smoky relationships are the talk of the tinsel town, as she manages to grab the attention of B-Town's most eligible bachelors. She has been linked with model Nihar Pandya, actor Ranbir Kapoor, cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. And with looks like that, we can't blame a certain Mr Mallya for not being able to turn his eyes away from her.

In the last three years, Deepika has grown as an actor with each film. Everything seems to be coming together for her. Regarding her growth Deepika says that she has the confidence in herself and also people have faith in her. Today, she feels that she’s a part of the industry.

Deepika Padukone trivia

-    She is of Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin origin, and her mother tongue is Konkani.

-    She plays basketball, tennis, throwball and baseball.

-    She has a younger sister named Anisha who plays all sports, except badminton.

-    Her favourite actors are Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Johnny Depp, Richard Gere, Brad Pitt, and Amitabh Bachchan.

-    Her favorite actresses are Hema Malini, Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta, Sushmita Sen, and Juhi Chawla.

-    She loves music, eating, sleeping, and watching movies.

-    She was the most searched celebrity on Yahoo! India Search in 2008.

-    Deepika learned acting under Anupam Kher and dance under Shiamak Davar.

Deepika’s bag seems to be full with movie projects. She has been signed for the most expensive south project ‘Rana’. In this project she will be starring opposite none other than the superstar himself ‘Rajnikanth’. She has also signed Homi Adajania’s ‘Cocktail’ and Ayan Mukherjee’s ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’.

Hearty and healthy birthday wish to this svelte beauty Deepika Padukone from Jagranpost.

Farhat Jabeen