Mallika Sherawat (Hindi: मल्लिका शेरावत, born Reema Lamba) is an Indian actress who appears mainly in Bollywood films. Known for her bold onscreen attitude, Sherawat has been frequently featured in the media as a sex symbol. She is one of the few Bollywood stars trying to crossover to Hollywood, with films like Hisss and Politics of Love.
Sherawat was born Reema Lamba in Rohtak, Haryana to a Jat family. Mallika was born in the family of Seth Chhaju Ram, a leading Jat philanthropist. She was born on October 24, though the year is unknown. She adopted the screen name of "Mallika", meaning "empress", to avoid confusion with other actresses named Reema.
"Sherawat" is her mother's maiden name She has stated that she uses her mother's maiden name because of the support that her mother has provided her. Although relations with her family were strained when she entered the film industry, now Sherawat's family have accepted her career choice and reconciled their relations.
Sherawat went to school at Delhi Public School, Mathura Road. She has obtained a degree in philosophy from Miranda House, Delhi University. During the initial days of her career, she claimed to have come from a very conservative small town family, and that she faced many hurdles from her family in pursuing her career.
However, Mallika's family has refuted this as a story created by her to give her an aura of a small town rustic girl who made it big in Bollywood. It has been reported that she was married for a short while to a Jet Airways pilot Captain Karan Singh Gill.
Before entering films, Sherawat appeared in television commercials with Amitabh Bachchan for BPL and Shahrukh Khan for Santro. She also appeared in Nirmal Pandey's Maar Dala and Surjit Bindrakhia's Lak Tunoo music video. She debuted in films with a small role in Jeena Sirf Merre Liye where she was credited as Reema Lamba.
Sherawat attracted notice with her appearance in the 2003 film, Khwahish. In 2004, she starred in Murder, a film inspired by Hollywood's Unfaithful. She received a nomination for Best Actress at the Zee Cine Awards for her performance in Murder. The film went on to become one of the biggest hits of the year.