When Sunny Leone got her ticket to Bollywood, her arrival was viewed with interest and apprehension in equal parts. What would this star of X-rated movies and a film industry that only recently graduated from substituting flowers for people in kissing scenes make of each other? Three years later, Sunny's resume is slim but there's no denying that she's a legit actress.
When Sunny Leone got her ticket to Bollywood, her arrival was viewed with interest and apprehension in equal parts. What would this star of X-rated movies and a film industry that only recently graduated from substituting flowers for people in kissing scenes make of each other? Three years later, Sunny's resume is slim but there's no denying that she's a legit actress. A blockbuster on the internet, Sunny was the most Googled person in India in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Here's a pictorial look at her journey as she turns 34.
Sunny Leone, real name Karenjit Kaur Vohra, was born in Ontario, Canada on May 13, 1981. She apparently chose the name "Sunny Leone" because "Sunny" was her favorite nickname and "Leone" was suggested to her by Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse.
Sunny Leone's family migrated to USA when she was 15 years old and settled in Orange County, California. Though she was granted American citizenship in 2006, Sunny continues to keep her Canadian citizenship.
She graduated from high school in 1999 and enrolled in a college in Orange County to train as a pediatric nurse
Sunny Leone is married to Daniel Weber who is also her business partner. The couple reportedly met at a party in 2008 and married on January 20, 2009.
Sunny Leone started her adult entertainment career with Penthouse magazine in 2001. She was the March 2001 Penthouse Pet of the Month and the 2003 Penthouse Pet of the Year. In 2003, she signed a three year contract with Vivid Entertainment which kickstarted her career in hardcore adult films. Her first movie was titled Sunny and was released in December 2005.
Sunny Leone began going mainstream with her stint as a red carpet reporter at the MTV India awards in 2005. She also had a cameo in the film The Girl Next Door, besides appearing in in Ja Rule's video Livin' It Up and a video for Kidd Skilly.
She was also a contestant in the second season of the Fox reality show My Bare Lady 2: Open for Business. In 2007, she filmed a scene for Debbie Does Dallas and was also part of a Showtime documentary of the same name.
Sunny has also appeared in the Hollywood movies The Virginity Hit, Pirate's Blood and Deadly Stingers.
Sunny Leone shot to fame in India after her appearance on the 2011 Indian reality TV show Bigg Boss. Her stay in the Bigg Boss house brought her to filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's attention and he offered her a starring role in Jism 2.
Jism 2, Sunny's debut Hindi movie, was directed by Pooja Bhatt and co-starred Randeep Hooda. The movie may not have created fireworks at the box-office but Sunny's performance was hailed by critics as unexpectedly good.
Sunny's next celluloid outing was the hugely popular item number Laila in Sanjay Gupta's Shootout At Wadala which released in 2013.
In 2014, Sunny was first seen in Kaizad Gustad's Jackpot which turned out to be a damp squib at the box office. She next featured in Ekta Kapoor's much-awaited Ragini MMS 2. The movie was declared a hit and Sunny received good reviews for her performance. The song Baby Doll from the film was a chartbuster.
Sunny has had two releases so far in 2015 - Ek Paheli Leela, which did average business at the box office, and and Kuch Kuch Locha Hai opposite TV crossover Ram Kapoor which hit theatres last week.
Besides films, Sunny Leone also signed a few endorsement deals. Among others, she is the brand ambassador of an energy drink.
Sunny loves dogs. She has two of her own and has campaigned for PETA in India.
Sunny Leone will next be seen in Mastizaade opposite Tushar Kapoor and Vir Das and in Devang Dholakia's Tina and Lolo which which will tentatively hit the screens by the end of the year.
We wish Sunny a very happy birthday and a great year ahead.