Dia Mirza is an Indian model and Bollywood film Actress and Miss Asia Pacific for the year 2000. She was also second runner up in the Miss India 2000 beauty contest.
Dia Mirza is born on 9th December, 1981 in Hyderabad. Her real name is Dia Mirza Handrich and her nickname is Dee. Her father Frank Handrich was a German interior designer and her mother is Deepa Mirza, is also an interior designer and social worker who came from Bengal. They separated when she was six years old. Her father died when she was nine and her mother remarried: Ahmed Mirza whose surname she took, died in 2004.
She stated that she suffered from "low self-esteem" as a child. She retained a Muslim name (Mirza). When living in Khairatabad, Hyderabad, she attended Vidyaranya High School For Boys And Girls, a school based on the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti, and later Nasr School, in Kushnuma. She completed her graduation in Bachelors of Arts from Open University, Hyderabad.
She was a second runner up at Femina Miss India, 2000 and was subsequently sent to Miss Asia Pacific, 2000, where she won. She completed the hat-trick of India winning international pageants in the year 2000 (Lara Dutta won the Miss Universe title and Priyanka Chopra won the Miss World title in the same year) when she won the Miss Asia Pacific title on 3 December 2000 in Manila, Philippines, also making her the first Indian contestant to win this title in 29 years.
Mirza started working at the age of 16 years while continuing her college education. She worked as a marketing executive in a multi-media firm called Dr. Neeraj’s Multi media studio. She simultaneously modeled for the print and television advertisement campaigns of various brands such as Walls, Lipton, Emami etc. Dia wanted to complete her graduation in Arts by correspondence, but decided to postpone it as it was becoming difficult to juggle between the Miss Asia Pacific competition, modeling assignments, traveling and training. She was assisted by Sabira Merchant on diction and etiquette; diet with Anjali Mukherjee; gymnasium and physical fitness with Talwalkars; clothes from Ritu Kumar and Hemant Trivedi; skin care with Dr. Jamuna Pai; and make-up and hair-care from Bharat and Doris Godambe.
Dia landed in the film industry with her debut Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein that was a remake of the Tamil hit Minnale. It cast her opposite Madhavan and Saif Ali Khan. Though, the film was not a box office success, but she received a nomination for 'Best Female Debut' at the Zee Cine Awards.
Currently, she lives in Bandra, Mumbai. To brush up on acting before Shootout at Lokhandwala, she took a one week course of Film at New York University.
Dia Mirza was dating Bunty Sachdev, actor Kunal Kapoor and director Apoorva Lakhia.
Her other hobbies include writing, reading, painting, pottery, horse riding and theater. She has written several articles for The Hindustan Times and various other publications as a guest writer. She is on the board of the Coca Cola foundation that works towards development in rural India.