Dia Mirza

Dia Mirza
Dia Mirza in grace the IIFA 2020 press conference (5) (cropped).jpg
Mirza during press conference for IIFA, March 2020
Dia Handrich

(1981-12-09) 9 December 1981 (age 39)[1][2]
  • Actress
  • model
  • film producer
  • social activist
Years active1999–present
TitleMiss Asia Pacific 2000
Femina Miss India Asia Pacific 2000
Sahil Sangha
(m. 2014; div. 2019)

Vaibhav Rekhi
(m. 2021)
Beauty pageant titleholder
Femina Miss India 2000
(Femina Miss India Asia Pacific 2000)
(Miss Beautiful Smile)
Miss Asia Pacific 2000
(Miss Close-Up Smile)
(Miss AVON)

Dia Mirza (born Dia Handrich; 9 December 1981) is an Indian model, actress, producer, and social worker who predominantly works in Hindi films. Mirza won the title of Miss Asia Pacific International in 2000. She made her acting debut with Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein (2001).

She subsequently featured in films including Dus (2005), Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006) and Sanju (2018). She co-owned a production house, Born Free Entertainment, with her ex-husband Sahil Sangha.[3] Their first film, Love Breakups Zindagi,[4] was released on 7 October 2011. After their divorce she launched her own production house, "One India Stories" in December 2019. She also had a successful debut in web series with Kaafir in 2019.[5][6]

Early life

Mirza was born in Hyderabad, India. Her father, Frank Handrich, was a German graphics and industrial fair designer, architect, artist and interior designer based in Munich. Her mother, Deepa, is a Bengali interior designer and landscaper who also volunteers to help alcoholics and drug addicts. When she was four-and-a-half years old, her parents were divorced.[7][8][9] After her mother married Ahmed Mirza, a Muslim man from Hyderabad, she adopted her step-father's surname. He died in 2003.[7]

After initially attending Vidyaranya High School, a co-ed school, Mirza was enrolled into Nasr School, a girls day school in Khairtabad. She then attended Stanley Junior College before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad.[10]



Mirza worked while in college as a marketing executive for a media firm, Neeraj's Multi-media Studio.[11] At the same time, she modelled for print and TV commercials for brands such as Lipton, Wall's ice cream, Emami and many more. She was the second runner-up at the Miss India pageant in 2000 and then went on to win the Miss Asia Pacific title in 2000.[12][13]


She made her debut in Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, which did not do well at the box office, though it developed a cult following among Indian youth. She then appeared in movies such as Dum, Deewanapan, Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge, Tumsa Nahin Dekha – A Love Story, Parineeta, Dus, Lage Raho Munnabhai and Salam Mumbai. In 2018, she appeared as Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata Dutt in the biopic Sanju, which ranks among the highest grossing Indian films.

She appeared in the ZEE5 web series Kaafir in 2019.[5] Set in Kashmir, she starred opposite Mohit Raina in the series.[14] She was awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2020 for her performance in Kaafir.[6]


In 2011, she started Born Free Entertainment, a production house along with her ex-husband Sahil Sangha. She has also produced Love Breakups Zindagi, Bobby Jasoos [15] and a sitcom web series titled Mind the Malhotras, streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The series stars Cyrus Sahukar and Mini Mathur in the lead.[16] In December 2019 she announced she was forming a new production house "One India Stories" to create original content.[17]

Humanitarian causes

Mirza lent her voice to a snow leopard called Layla for an environmental podcast of Run Wild, which is a collaboration between Runtastic, the UN Environmental Programme and Internet of Elephants. [18]

She has written articles for Hindustan Times and other publications.


Dia Mirza was the second runner-up at Femina Miss India 2000 and was subsequently sent to Miss Asia Pacific 2000, where she won. She also won Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Avon and Miss Close-Up Smile in Miss India. When she won the Miss Asia Pacific title on 3 December 2000 in Manila, the Philippines, she became the first Indian since Tara Anne Fonseca to win this title in 27 years.[19] 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.[20]

Community services and activism

Mirza has been involved with Cancer Patients Aid Association and Spastics Society of India, and has worked extensively with the government of Andhra Pradesh to spread HIV awareness, prevention of female foeticide, PETA, CRY and most recently the NDTV Greenathon – an effort to find tangible solutions against pollution and the book, "Deke Dheko" by Radio Mirchi (a campaign initiated to collect books for underprivileged children). She is on the board of the Coca-Cola foundation that works towards development in rural India. She is associated with campaigns such as Sanctuary Asia's Leave Me Alone and Female Foeticide.

In 2010 she adopted two cheetah cubs at the Prince of Wales zoological park in Lucknow.[21][22]

Mirza, along with Aamir Khan, publicly expressed support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan, a group protesting the building of a dam. This aroused the ire of political activists from the Bharatiya Janata Party, who led a protest march against the actress.[23] She won the Green Award at IIFA 2012 for spreading awareness about environment-related issues.

Along with these, Mirza has endorsed The Body Shop for their stand on a ban on animal testing and propagation of recycled packaging and natural products.[24] She is the Eco-Ambassador for Panasonic.

Mirza has been felicitated at award functions for her active involvement in social and environmental issues.[25]

She has been named the ambassador for the Swachh Bharat Mission's youth-based 'Swachh Saathi' programme. As an ambassador, the actress would interact with school and college students from across the country through awareness sessions, community cleaning activities and motivational videos.[26]

She joined Save The Children India as their first ever artist ambassador.[27]

On World Environment Day 2017, she was appointed brand ambassador for the Wildlife Trust of India. She has lent her support to WTI's wildlife conservation endeavours for several years and is a founder-member of the organisation's Club Nature initiative,[28] also supporting a campaign to raise awareness about the shrinking space for wild elephants in the country.[29]

She was also appointed as the UN Environment's Goodwill Ambassador for India in 2017 and on 7 May 2020, her term was further extended till 2022. [30][31] She was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as an advocate of Sustainable Development Goals.[32] She also turned into a blogger to save the environment and create awareness.[33] She hosted United Nations Champions Gala 2019 with Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin.[34] She attended the 14th UN Conference of the Parties and hosted the finale reception.[35]

Mirza initiated a cleanliness drive at Juhu beach on Independence Day 2019[36] and another at Mahim beach on 26 January, to make the beach free from single-use plastic.[37]

Mirza supports Ramky's BIG Green Ganesha and felicitated the winners with Tree Ganeshas in 2019.[38]

Personal life

In April 2014, she became engaged to her longtime business partner Sahil Sangha, and they were married on 18 October 2014 at his farmhouse in Chattarpur on the outskirts of Delhi.[39] In August 2019, Mirza announced their separation.[40][41]

Dia Mirza with her former husband Sahil Sangha

On 15 February 2021, Mirza married businessman Vaibhav Rekhi in Bandra, Mumbai.[42][43][44]

On 1st April 2021, she announced that she is expecting her first child.[45][46]


  • IIFA Green Award for Contribution Towards a Greener Environment


Year Title Role Notes
1999 En Swasa Kaatre Dancer Tamil film; Extra[47]
2001 Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein Reena Malhotra
Deewaanapan Kiran Choudhary
2002 Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge Muskaan
Tehzeeb Nazneen Jamal
2003 Pran Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye Saundarya
Stop! Shama
Dum Kaveri
2004 Tumsa Nahin Dekha Jiya
Kyun...! Ho Gaya Na Preeti Special appearance
My Brother… Nikhil Special appearance
Blackmail Mrs. Rathod Special appearance
2005 Naam Gum Jaayega Natasha/Gitanjali
Parineeta Gayatri
Dus Anu Dheer
Koi Mere Dil Mein Hai Simran
Fight Club – Members Only Anu Chopra
2006 Alag Purva Rana
Lage Raho Munna Bhai Simran
Prateeksha Reena Brown Television film
Phir Hera Pheri Item number (song)
2007 Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Shilpa
Shootout at Lokhandwala Meeta Mattoo
Cash Aditi
Heyy Babyy Herself Special appearance in a Song
Om Shanti Om Herself Special appearance
Dus Kahaniyaan Sia
2008 Krazzy 4 Shikha
2009 Kissan Priya
Jai Veeru Anna
Fruit and Nut Monica Gokhale
Kurbaan Rehana (WIACB reporter) Special appearance
Luck By Chance Herself Special appearance
2010 Hum Tum Aur Ghost Gehna Sinha
2011 Love Breakups Zindagi Naina
2012 Paanch Adhyay Ishita
2014 Bobby Jasoos Producer
2016 Salaam Mumbai Karishma Iranian-Indian Film
2018 Sanju Manyata Dutt
2020 Thappad Shivani
2021 Wild Dog Priya Verma Telugu film[48] special appearance

Web series

Year Title Role Platform Notes
2019 Kaafir Kainaaz Akhtar ZEE5 [14]
2019 Mind the Malhotras Producer Amazon Prime Video [16]
2019 Moghuls Khanzada [49]


Year Show Role Notes
2016 Ganga – The Soul of India Herself Channel Living Foodz


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  5. ^ a b Singh, Anvita (15 June 2019). "Kaafir first impression: Dia Mirza and Mohit Raina's web series seems promising". The Indian Express. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
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  14. ^ a b "Kaafir trailer: Dia Mirza, Mohit Raina star in this intense web series set in Kashmir". The Indian Express. 28 May 2019. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
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  31. ^ "UNEP extends Dia Mirza's term as Goodwill Ambassador till 2022". The Economic Times. 7 May 2020. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
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  45. ^ Sharma, Divyanshi (1 April 2021). "Dia Mirza pregnant, expecting first child with Vaibhav Rekhi. See pic". India Today. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
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