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Priyanka Chopra (pronounced [prɪˈjəŋkaː ˈtʃoːpɽaː]; born 18 July 1982) is an Indian film actress, singer, and songwriter. Chopra won the Femina Miss India World and Miss World titles of 2000 and has had a successful film career since, mostly in Bollywood films. Today she is one of Bollywood's highest-paid actresses and one of the most popular celebrities in India. Chopra has won a National Film Award for Best Actress and Filmfare Awards in four categories.
Chopra, was born in Jamshedpur to parents who were both physicians in the Indian army. Due to their occupations, she frequently travelled as a child, but considers Bareilly to be her real home, where she attended St. Maria Goretti College and then the Army Public School, after a period of living with an aunt in the United States. In 2000, her mother entered her into the Femina Miss India contest, in which she finished second and took the Femina Miss India World title. She was then entered into the Miss World pageant, where she was crowned Miss World 2000 and Miss World Continental Queen of Beauty—Asia & Oceania, becoming the fifth Indian to win the competition.
Although Chopra had aspirations to graduate with a degree in engineering or psychiatry, she accepted offers to join the Indian film industry, making her acting debut opposite Vijay in the Tamil film Thamizhan in 2002. The following year, she starred in The Hero, her first Hindi film release, and followed it with the box-office hit Andaaz, which won her the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award (shared with Lara Dutta) and a nomination for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. She subsequently earned wide critical recognition for the role of a seductress in the 2004 thriller Aitraaz, winning her the Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role. Chopra starred in the 2006 blockbuster superhero film Krrish, (one of her biggest commercial successes to date) and established herself as a leading contemporary actress of Hindi Cinema. After a period with little acclaim, she was praised for her portrayal of a range of unconventional characters, including a troubled model in the 2008 drama Fashion, a serial killer in the 2011 neo-noir 7 Khoon Maaf, and an autistic woman in the 2012 romantic comedy Barfi!. CNN-IBN described Chopra "as one of the most powerful actresses in the current lot and someone who doesn't shy away from experimenting with roles within the realms of popular cinema", due to her considerable range of acting roles.
Chopra is regarded as one of the most popular celebrities in India and has been described as a style icon. Her personal and professional life has received substantial media attention. In addition to acting in films, she has participated in stage shows, hosted a reality show on television, and has written columns for India's national newspapers. In 2012, she released her first single "In My City", which, although a commercial success in India, was met with a mixed reaction from critics. Chopra has also engaged in philanthropic activities, and was appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights on 10 August 2010.
Priyanka Chopra was born on 18 July 1982 in Jamshedpur, Bihar (now in Jharkhand) to Ashok and Madhu Chopra, both physicians in the Indian Army. Her father is Punjabi, while her mother is from Jharkhand. Her brother, Siddharth, is seven years younger, and actresses Parineeti Chopra, Meera Chopra,and Barbie Handa are her cousins.Due to her parents' occupations the family relocated to a number of Indian cities, including Delhi, Pune, Lucknow, Bareilly, Ladakh, Chandigarh and Ambala. Among the schools she attended are La Martiniere Girls' School in Lucknow and St. Maria Goretti College in Bareilly.In an interview published in Daily News and Analysis, Chopra said that she did not mind travelling regularly and changing schools; she welcomed it as a new experience and a way to discover India's multicultural society. She now considers Bareilly her home town, and maintains strong connections there. Chopra has fond memories as a child of playing in the valleys of Leh , in the cold northwestern Indian desert region of Jammu and Kashmir. She has said:
"I think I was in Class 4 when I was in Leh. My brother was just born. My dad was in the army and was posted there. I stayed in Leh for a year and my memories of that place are tremendous. I have amazing memories of Leh. We were all army kids there. We weren't living in houses, we were in bunkers in the valley and there was a stupa right on top of a hill which used to overlook our valley. We used to race up to the top of the stupa and that too 'nange paon' (bare feet). We used to go to the market then."
At the age of thirteen, Chopra moved to the United States to live with her aunt, attending schools in Newton, Massachusetts and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.While in Massachusetts, she participated in several theatre productions and studied Western classical music, choral singing and Kathak dance. Chopra was the only Indian in her class in the United States to have been selected at state level for the National opus Honour choir. However, by Grade 10, she was keen on becoming a software engineer or a criminal psychologist as a career, rather than a performer. During her teenage years in America, Chopra sometimes faced racial issues and bullying for her looks. In 2012 she said of these years, "I was gawky imperfect, had low self-esteem, came from a modest middle-class background, had white marks on my legs. But I was damn hard working. Today, my legs sell 12 brands."
Chopra returned to India, finishing her high-school education at the Army Public School in Bareilly. During this period, she won a local "May Queen" beauty pageant, after which she was followed by admirers, and her family installed bars in their home. Her mother then entered her in the Femina Miss India contest of 2000; she finished second, winning the Femina Miss India World title. Chopra then went on to the Miss World pageant, where she was crowned Miss World 2000 and Miss World Continental Queen of Beauty—Asia & Oceania at the Millennium Dome in London on 1 December 2000. Chopra was the fifth Indian contestant to win Miss World, and the fourth to do so in seven years.She had enrolled in college to study engineering or psychology, but left after winning the Miss World pageant. Chopra said that the Miss India and Miss World titles brought her recognition, and she then began receiving offers for film roles. Manish Telikic Chary said that Chopra's decision to pursue a film career was like many "beauty queens [who] sought careers in movies, setting new standards for beauty in Bollywood.