Bipasha Basu - born January 7, 1979 is an Indian Bollywood actress and model. She was the winner of the Ford's Godrej Cinthol Supermodel contest for 1996 and is currently one of the mainstream actresses in Bollywood. She is often cited by popular magazines and newspapers as one of Asia's sexiest women.Early lifeBorn on January 7, 1979 in New Delhi, India, Basu hails from a Bengali family. She is the second of three daughters to her parents, the elder being Bidisha, and the younger—Vijayeta. Although she was born in Delhi, her family later moved to Kolkata.According to her, she had come into modelling and acting quite by accident, because initially she had planned to study medicine. Basu studied science till the 12th standard, and later took up commerce and studied at The Bhawanipur Gujarati Education Society College in Kolkata where she also did modelling and rampshows partime. Although, as pointed above, she intended to become a doctor, her aversion for dissections made her opt for chartered accountancy. However, in 1996, she met well-known model Mehr Jessia in Kolkata; the latter suggested that Basu take part in the Godrej Cinthol Supermodel contest. She eventually participated, and won the contest.CareerAfter winning the Ford Godrej Cinthol contest, Basu was flown to New York by the Ford Company, where she had a successful modelling career.Basu made her debut film in Abbas Mustan's Ajnabee, with Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol and Kareena Kapoor. She played a married woman who goes all out to woo her husband’s married friend, and eventually won the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award for her performance.After a number film, next year in 2002, Basu starred in Vikram Bhatt's thriller Raaz. The film was a big commercial success and surfaced as the biggest hit of that year. For her performance in the film, she received her first Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare.Besides acting, Bips, as her friends call her, did the famous video "Tu" for Sonu Nigam's album, Kismat and made a guest appearance in Jay Sean's music video Stolen.In 2006, she won popular acclaim for her performance in an Item number during the song Beedi in the film Omkara. The song was a national hit, and Basu's pictuarization was appreciated.Personal lifeBasu with boyfriend John Abraham at the launch of the Filmfare magazine (2007).Basu is currently dating actor John Abraham, They have been dating since late 2002. She previously dated fellow Bollywood actors Milind Soman and Dino Morea.Even though Basu is a practicing Hindu and Abraham is a Christian, both families have accepted the couple. Basu has stated in an interview that though she was raised a Hindu, she believes that all religious groups deserve respect.In 2006, Basu claimed to have been harassed by organizers of the India Day Parade in Edison, New Jersey. Basu was initially scheduled to lead the parade on August 13, 2006. Basu eventually appeared on stage late, according to her, because of the harassment. She said, "I wanted to attend the parade, but I could not." She explained that she was harassed physically and mentally in the car by two people who were taking her to the parade.In November 2007, U.K. magazine Eastern Eye named Basu "Sexiest Woman in Asia".