Anushka Sharma was born in Bangalore, but her parents are from Garhwal, Uttarakhand. Her father, Col. Ajay Kumar Sharma, is an army officer and her mother Ashima Sharma is a housewife. She has an elder brother named Karnesh, who was a state-level cricketer and is now in the Merchant Navy. She studied in Army School and graduated with specialization in arts from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She then moved to Mumbai to further pursue her modelling career, where she currently resides.
She says she originally wished to make it big in the modeling world but had no strong aspirations for films. She began her modeling career at the Lakme Fashion Week as a model for Wendell Rodricks's Les Vamps Show and was picked to be Rodricks's finale model at the Spring Summer '07 Collection. Since then she has done campaigns for Silk & Shine, Whisper, Nathella Jewelry and Fiat Palio.
Her first acting role was in Aditya Chopra's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) opposite Shahrukh Khan. Her performance was appreciated with film critic Taran Adarsh stating, "Anushka looks the character and surprises you with a confident performance. It's no small achievement to share screen space with an actor of the caliber of SRK and Anushka manages it very well from start to end." Her second film, Badmaash Company, also under Yash Raj Films, was released on May 7, 2010. Harshita Kohli of StarBoxOffice.com said, "Anushka Sharma goes from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi housewife to super hot chic in Badmaash Company...Her acting is under stated and there are no histrionics that you normally associated with females in Bollywood films which makes it a pleasant surprise."
She starred in her third Yash Raj Film, Band Baaja Baaraat, directed by Maneesh Sharma and co-starring debutant Ranveer Singh. Band Baaja Baaraat was released on
December 10, 2010.
In December 2009, she began shooting for Patiala House, her first venture outside of Yash Raj with Nikhil Advani and Akshay Kumar. Patiala House is scheduled to be released on February 11, 2011