Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi

Infobox Model
bgcolour =
name = Padma Lakshmi

imagesize = 200px
caption = Padma Lakshmi at opening night of the Metropolitan Opera, 25 September 2006.
birthname = Padma Parvati Lakshmi
birthdate = Birth date and age|1970|9|1|mf=y
deathdate =
deathplace =
height = 5' 9"
haircolor = Black
eyecolor = Brown
measurements = 36C - 23 - 35
weight = 125 lbs
dress size =
shoesize =
homepage =
spouses = Salman Rushdie(2004-2007)

Padma Parvati Lakshmi, Lady Rushdie [ [ Padma Lakshmi ] ] (born September 1, 1970) is an Indian American cookbook author, actress, and former model who has described herself as the first well-known model from India.Jess Cartner-Morley, "Beautiful and Damned", The Guardian, 8 April 2006 [,,1748147,00.html] ] She has been the host of the reality television program "Top Chef" since season two.


Early life

Padma was born in the state of Kerala, India, on September 1, 1970, though she grew up in Madras, Tamil Nadu. However, Padma spent most of her adolescent life in the United States.

Her parents' only child together, Lakshmi is the daughter of an executive with Pfizer and his first wife, Vijaya,Stephen Henderson, Vows: Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie", The New York Times, 25 April 2004 [ WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS: VOWS; Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie] ] a nurse who presently specializes in suicide prevention. Her parents separated when she was one and divorced a year later. Both parents later remarried; her mother's third and present husband is a plumber. [ Padma Lakshmi — Evening Standard Magazine ] ]

When she was 14 years old, she was involved in a serious automobile accident, causing an injury of her right arm, which required surgery leaving a 7 inch scar, between her elbow and shoulder. The accident happened on a Sunday afternoon on her way back with her parents from a Hindu temple in Malibu. She remembers a loud bang, looking out the windshield and realizing the family's red Mercury Sedan was airborne. Padma describes the event in the Vogue-April 2001 edition as "Flying in a car felt like an exhilarating hallucination, an unbelievable ride that oddly remains one of the most beautiful images in my memory." The car flew 40 feet down an embankment directly into a tree. The tree trunk fell directly on top of the car. She remained conscious, covered in glass, for the 40 minutes it took for the paramedics and firefighters to get through the traffic. They used the "jaws of life" to extract the family from the crumpled car. A helicopter landed in the middle of the highway to air lift her parents away while an ambulance carried Padma to the hospital. Fortunately, everyone survived. Her injuries included a fractured right hip and a shattered upper right arm which resulted in her famous 7-inch scar.

By a later marriage of her father's, Lakshmi has a half-brother and a half-sister, who was an actress and classical dancer but is now pursuing a career with special-needs children. As Lakshmi said in an interview published in "The Guardian", "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 is a 1992 graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, where she received a B.A. with honors in Theatre Arts. [ (2007) [ BIOS / Padma Lakshmi] ] .

Lakshmi was brought up as a vegetarian [ [ Padma Lakshmi — Crossover Bride, L'Officel India ] ] and has admitted that because of this, she sometimes becomes "squeamish" when sampling other cultural delicacies. ["Almost Flawless" by Padma Lakshmi. "Vogue", April, 2001.] ""'



Lakshmi's career began at age 20, when she was discovered by a modelling agent in Spain 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.” Despite Lakshmi's comment about her being a pioneer as a model of Indian descent, her career follows in the footsteps of Persis Khambatta, a former Miss India, who modelled for Revlon.

She has modelled for top designers such as Emanuel Ungaro, Ralph Lauren, and Alberta Ferretti and done ad campaigns for Roberto Cavalli and Versus. [ [ Padma Lakshmi Bio]] 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 magazine covers of Cosmopolitan - January 2002 [ [ Padma Lakshmi — Mistress of Spice, Cosmopolitan ] ] , L'Officiel India - October 2004, [ [ Padma Lakshmi — Crossover Bride, L'Officel India ] ] , [ [ Padma Lakshmi—What To Wear, You Magazine ] ] – December 19, 2004, [ [ Shoo] ] - Spring 2005, [ [ Padma Lakshmi—Stand Out in a Sea of Black, Harper's Bazaar ] ] - October 2005, Newsweek - March 6, 2006 [ [ Padma Lakshmi—Newsweek Cover ] ] , [ Padma Lakshmi — Asian Woman ] ] Asian Woman– May/June 2006, Avenue - July/August 2006, and [ [ Padma Lakshmi — Industry Magazine ] ] Industry - February/March 2007.

Movies and television

Lakshmi had a comical supporting role as the lip synching disco singer Sylk in the 2001 American movie "Glitter" with Mariah Carey. She co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan and Jackie Shroff in the 2003 Hindi action box office failurefact|date=July 2008 "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 and Dylan McDermott in Paul Mayeda Berges' 2005 film "The Mistress of Spices". She will be starringfact|date=July 2008 in Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta's upcoming 2007 film, Kamagata Maru which was earlier titled "Exclusion".

Padma Lakshmi made a 2002 guest appearance as alien princess Kaitaama in "Precious Cargo", the 37th episode of the science fiction TV series "". She was also hostess of "Domenica In", Italy's top-rated television show.fact|date=July 2008 She portrayed Sean Bean's nemesis in the 2004-2005 iTV TV series "Sharpe's Challenge". In 2006 Lakshmi appeared in ABC's TV series "The Ten Commandments" with Dougray Scott, Naveen Andrews, and Omar Sharif. She took over as hostess of the popular TV cooking competition series "Top Chef" in 2006 during its second season and has continued in its third and fourth seasons.


Lakshmi was named number 66 on's "The Top Most Desirable Women of 2008" list.


Her first cookbook "Easy Exotic" was awarded Best First Book at the 1999 World Cookbook Awards at Versailles. She was host of the Food Network series, "Padma's Passport", which is part of the larger series "Melting Pot", in 2001. She has also been a guest host on parts of the British culinary tourism show "Planet Food", hosting the segments on India and Spain. [ [ BBC - Food - TV and radio ] ] Her second cookbook "Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet" was released October 2, 2007 ["" [ Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day (Hardcover)] ] .

Personal life

On April 17, 2004, 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 July 2, 2007 the couple filed for divorce, shortly after Rushdie was granted a knighthood. [ [ E! News - Rushdie, Top Chef Wife Skewer Marriage ] ] 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 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." [ [ Padma Lakshmi — Evening Standard Magazine April 7, 2006] ]

elected filmography



* [ Padma Lakshmi official website]
* [ Padma's Blog]
* [ Padma Lakshmi's Roots]
* [ Padma Lakshmi's MySpace]
* [ Top Chef Website]
* [ Padma Lakshmi on YouTube]
* [ Article about Padma Lakshmi in Tango Magazine website]

External Links

* Padma Lakshmi's Guest DJ Set on KCRW [ KCRW Guest DJ Set]

NAME = Padma Parvati Lakshmi
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Indian actress, model
DATE OF BIRTH = September 1, 1970
PLACE OF BIRTH = Chennai, India

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