Dia Mirza or Diya Mirza Handrich is a former Indian model and Bollywood actress. In the year 2000, she was crowned Miss Asia Pacific and was also second runner up in the Femina Miss India 2000 beauty pageant.
Diya was born in Hyderabad, India to Frank Handrich, a German interior designer from Munich and Deepa, a Bengali Indian on December 9, 1981.
Her parents separated when she was six years old. Her father died when Diya was nine and her mother remarried. Diya retained her Muslim surname (Mirza) from her stepfather, though she herself is a Hindu. She later took the last name of her birth-father and became Diya Mirza Handrich.
Diya was introverted and unhappy as a child. She needed assistance from her parents – especially her mother – to gain self-confidence. She completed her schooling at Vidyaranya High School and Nasr School.
Modeling and Pageant Life
At the age of 16, Diya got a job with a computer firm which paved her way to modeling assignments. Diya was then encouraged to participate in the 2000 Femina Miss India Beauty Pageant. In this pageant, Diya won three titles: Femina Miss India-Pacific, Sony Viewer's Choice Award, and Miss Beautiful Smile.
Diya was then crowned Miss Asia-Pacific on December 2, 2000 making her the second Indian woman to win and the first to win in 29 years. Diya had wanted to continue her education but found that it was too difficult to juggle all of her multiple responsibilities and assignments.
After winning the pageants, Diya began her acting career on her way to becoming a Bollywood celebrity. Her first film, “Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein” in 2001, was not a box office success. Diya then appeared in a series of unsuccessful films such as "Tumsa Nahin Dekha "and "Deewaanapan".
Her next successful movie was "Parineeta" but more importantly her performance in the movie, "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" was acclaimed by critics. Diya remains a busy Bollywood actress with multiple movies scheduled for 2009.
She has starred in dozens of Bollywood films and is a hot celebrity in India. She has been romantically linked to other Bollywood celebrities but is currently single.
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