Lara Dutta was born on April 16, 1978 to L K Dutta and Jennifer Dutta in Ghaziabad, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Lara is half Scottish on her mother’s side. Lara is the youngest of the three children and has a sister who serves in Indian Air Force. In 1981, Lara’s family moved to Bangalore where she completed her high school. Lara received the highest score in India in English for the National Board Examinations. From there Lara proceeded to Mumbai to pursue her undergraduate studies in Bombay University. Lara received a degree in Economics with a minor in Communications.
Lara first break came when L’Oreal entered the Indian market and was looking for a face to launch its products. Lara entered the competition and won a four year modeling contract with L’Oreal.
Lara then went on to win the Gladrags modeling competition in 1997 and went on to represent India in Miss Intercontinental pageant in which she won the first place. She did not stop there. She went on to win the Miss India competition in 2000 which saw her enter the Miss Universe beauty pageant. Lara won the Miss Universe title in 2000 in Cyprus.
At the Miss Universe competition Lara was awarded the highest scores for her interview in any category in the history of the contest. During the course of the competition, Lara wond the Oscar de la Renta swimsuit competition.
In 2002, Lara made her debut in to the Indian film world with a Tamil film titled Arasaatchi. She acted alongside Arjun, a famous South Indian actor, and Kiran Rathod. She won the Filmfare Best Debut Award for her role in this film. She was declared a joint winner along with Priyanka Chopra.
Lara was offered a role in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions in 2003. However, she turned down the role as she did not like the script! In 2001 Lara was dating the New York Yankees baseball player Derek Jeter. The relationship lasted for a year. This was the time when Lara got some attention in the US.
In 2001, Lara was appointed as the UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador for India. During her tenure as Miss Universe, Lara spent her time traveling educating youngsters about the dangers of unprotected intercourse and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. After completing her reign as Miss Universe, Lara returned to university to complete her MBA in Marketing and Communications.