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Padma Lakshmi

Facts about Padma Lakshmi

Date of Birth:01 September 1970
Birthplace:Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
First Name:Padma
Last Name:Lakshmi
Height:5' 9" (175 cm)
Eye Color:Brown - Dark
Hair Color:Black
Star Sign:Virgo
Claim to Fame:Top Chef
Occupation:Actress/Model/TV Host
Occupation Category:TV Personality
MoreRead more about Padma Lakshmi


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Padma Lakshmi (Female Celebrities)
Padma Lakshmi (Female Celebrities)
Padma Lakshmi (Female Celebrities)
Padma Lakshmi (Female Celebrities)
Padma Lakshmi (Female Celebrities)
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Biography for Padma Lakshmi

Padma Parvati Lakshmi, Lady Rushdie (Tamil; பத்மா பார்வதி லக்ஷ்மி; born sep. 1, 1970 (51 years ago)) is an Indian American cookbook author, actress, and model. She has been the host of the US reality TV program Top Chef since season two. In 2009 (12 years ago) she was nominated for an Emmy Award for hosting Top Chef along with Tom Colicchio.

Early years

Her parents' only child together, Lakshmi is the daughter of a Pfizer executive and his first wife, Vijaya a nurse who currently specializes in suicide prevention. Her parents separated when she was one and divorced a year later. Both parents later remarried.

In 1984 (37 years ago), when she was 14 years old, Lakshmi was in a car accident, causing an injury to her right arm that required surgery, which left a 7-inch scar between her elbow and shoulder. The incident happened on a Sunday afternoon as Lakshmi was being driven home from a Hindu temple in Malibu. She remembers a flash of orange, looking over to see the large car upon her. She described the event in the Apr. 2001 (20 years ago) edition of Vogue, saying, "Being in a car crash was like an exhilarating hallucination, an unbelievable moment that oddly remains one of the most beautiful images (wallpaper) in my memory." The car left Lakshmi with injuries that included a fractured right hip and a shattered upper right arm.

From a later marriage of her father, Lakshmi has a half-brother and a half-sister who was an actress and classical dancer but is now pursuing a career with children with special needs. In an interview in The Guardian, Lakshmi said, "My father had quit his job as an executive at Pfizer to manage her career. That was kind of like rubbing salt in the wound. I didn't understand why he wanted that relationship with her, and not with me."



Lakshmi's career began at age 16, when she was discovered by a modeling agent in India while sitting in a café. As she has stated, “I was the first Indian model to have a career in Paris, Milan and New York. I’m the first one to admit that I was a novelty.”

She has modeled for top designers such as Emanuel Ungaro, Ralph Lauren, and Alberta Ferretti and appeared in ad campaigns for Roberto Cavalli and Versus. She was a favorite model of the photographer Helmut Newton, whose photographs of her often highlighted the large scar on her right arm.

She has appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan, L'Officiel India, Asian Woman, Avenue, Industry Magazine, Marie Claire (India Edition), Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, and Newsweek. Lakshmi also posed nude for the May 2009 (12 years ago) issue of Allure magazine.

Movies and TV

Lakshmi had a comical supporting role as the lip synching disco singer Sylk in the 2001 (20 years ago) American movie Glitter with Mariah Carey. She starred with Amitabh Bachchan and Jackie Shroff in the 2003 (18 years ago) Hindi action box office failure Boom as Shiela Bardez, one of a trio of super models accused of stealing diamonds. Lakshmi was last seen on screen as Geeta with Aishwarya Rai (15 walls) and Dylan McDermott in Paul Mayeda Berges' 2005 (16 years ago) movie The Mistress of Spices. She will be starring in Deepa Mehta's upcoming film, Komagata Maru which was earlier titled Exclusion.

Padma Lakshmi made a 2002 (19 years ago) guest appearance as alien princess Kaitaama in "Precious Cargo", the 37th episode of the science fiction TV series Star Trek: Enterprise. She was also hostess of Domenica In, Italy's top-rated TV show. She portrayed Sean Bean's nemesis in the 2004-2005 iTV TV series Sharpe's Challenge. In 2006 (15 years ago) Lakshmi appeared in ABC's TV series The Ten Commandments with Dougray Scott, Naveen Andrews, and Omar Sharif. She took over as host of the popular TV cooking competition series Top Chef in 2006 (15 years ago) during its second season and has continued every season since then.

Music video

In 2009 (12 years ago), Lakshmi starred in the EELS video for the song "That Look You Give That Guy" playing the love interest of Mark Oliver Everett.


Lakshmi went to high school in the City of Industry, California. Lakshmi is a 1992 (29 years ago) graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, where she received a B.A. with honors in Theatre Arts.

Personal life

On Apr. 17, 2004 (17 years ago), in New York City, Lakshmi married the novelist Salman Rushdie, to whom she was introduced at a party hosted by the journalist and editor Tina Brown. On Jul. 2, 2007 (14 years ago), the couple filed for divorce. She is the model for one of the central characters — and love interests — in Rushdie's novel, Fury (a novel dedicated to her as well).

When questioned about Rushdie's age (he is only seven years younger than her father) and her long estrangement from her father (whom she has described as "the most sexy, manic, in-shape, lean, tall, handsome man I have ever met"), Lakshmi has said that there may be a correlation: “I think that we are attracted to what we feel we need."

On Oct. 1, 2009 (12 years ago), after years of struggling with endometriosis, a condition which causes irregularities in the uterus and has been known to cause infertility, it was publicly confirmed that Lakshmi is pregnant with her first child. Lakshmi has always been coy about the identity of her unborn child's father with reports speculating surrounding Teddy Forstmann and friend Adam Dell.

Lakshmi was brought up as a vegetarian and has admitted that because of this, she sometimes becomes "squeamish" when sampling other cultural delicacies. However, in 2009 (12 years ago), she starred in a commercial for the Carl's Jr restaurant chain eating a Western Bacon Cheeseburger and in her second cookbook Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet she credits the chain with bringing her away from vegetarianism during her teenage years.

On Feb. 20, 2010 (11 years ago), Lakshmi gave birth to a baby girl named Krishna Thea Lakshmi, however she initially refused to publicly name the father of her daughter. Later, on Mar. 18, 2010 (11 years ago), Lakshmi confirmed that her daughter's father is Adam Dell.


  • 1995 (26 years ago): Unzipped
  • 1997 (24 years ago): Linda e il brigadiere  ep: "Il fratello di Linda"
  • 1998 (23 years ago): Il Figlio di Sandokan
  • 1999 (22 years ago): Caraibi
  • 2000 (21 years ago): Planet Food
  • 2001 (20 years ago): Glitter
  • 2001 (20 years ago): Melting Pot: Padma's Passport
  • 2002 (19 years ago): Star Trek: Enterprise episode: "Precious Cargo"
  • 2003 (18 years ago): Boom
  • 2005 (16 years ago): The Mistress of Spices
  • 2006 (15 years ago): The Ten Commandments
  • 2006 (15 years ago): Sharpe episode: "Sharpe's Challenge"
  • 2006–present: Top Chef
  • 2009 (12 years ago): 30 Rock


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