Known in the industry as the Khallas girl, Isha Koppikar was born on September 19th 1976 in Mumbai to a doctor family. Isha studied Life Sciences at the SIES College in Mumbai. While studying in college, Isha started modeling and participated in the Miss India contest; she didn?t win the title, but won the Miss Talent Crown.
Isha was active with modeling campaigns for big brands Coco- Cola, Camay, Rexona and also became the brand ambassadress for L? Oreal. Isha started her acting career in Tamil movies and was a star in the south.
Isha started her Bollywood career by doing small roles in ?Fiza? and ?Pyar Ishq Mohabbat?. Isha became famous after her item number ?Khallas? which gave her the tag of a sexy actress. Isha Koppikar career?s biggest movie is ?Shabri? in which she plays the lead as a female Don.
Ishaa Koppikar's career started in Kollywood, where she was paired opposite Prashanth in Kaadhal Kavidai. A lot of the film was shot in London and became a blockbuster following its release, winning the lead actors rave reviews and Koppikar winning the Filmfare Best Female Debut (Tamil). With this, Ishaa was touted to be the next non-Tamil girl after Simran Bagga,who would take over the Tamil film industry. Her second movie was the highly-anticipated Tamil film, En Swasa Katre opposite Arvind Swamy, one of the most successful actors at that time. The film was a musical hit, rendered by A. R. Rahman, and a good grosser at the box-office. She then played a cameo in Prashanth's Jodi as a prospective bride. She received positive reviews for her role and decided to pursue a career in Bollywood: Her first Hindi movie was Ek Tha Dil Ek Thi Dhadkan (1997), directed by Shah Rukh Sultan, and yet to be released.
Koppikar appeared in minor roles in Fiza (2000), Pyaar Ishq aur Mohabbat and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya (2001). In 2002, she appeared in Ram Gopal Varmas Company as an Item girl in the song Khallas!. The number created her nickname Khallas-girl and caused her breakthrough. In 2003 she won 'Most Exciting New Face' for Khallas at the Stardust Awards.
In Dil Ka Rishta she played opposite Aishwarya Rai and Arjun Rampal and for her negative role in Qayamat: City Under Threat (2003), she received a nomination for Filmfare Best Villian Award. In the movie Girlfriend (2004), she played a woman involved in a lesbian relationship. For the role she built up her body to display some impressive muscles and performed her own stunts and fight scenes. In D (2004), she again worked with Ram Gopal Varma in the prequel of his movie Company.
In 2005 she played Arshad Warsi's girlfriend in the Salman Khan starrer Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya?. In the same year she appeared opposite Anupam Kher and Tusshar Kapoor in the comedy Kyaa Kool Hai Hum. For her role as policewoman Urmila Martodkar she received three award nominations for best comedy.
Isha Koppikar as pictured in Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To LoveA special appearance, playing casino owner Sonia Chang, in 36 China Town preceded her biggest release to date, in 2006, in Farhan Akhtar's Don cast alongside Shahrukh Khan as Don's girlfriend, Anita. Her role was expanded to one bigger than that in the original 1978 version with Amitabh Bachchan. At the start of 2007 she replaced Perizaad Zorabian in a minor role in Nikhil Advani's Salaam-e-Ishq opposite Sohail Khan. This was her third appearance with Khan, having worked with him in Krishna Cottage (2004) and Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya.
She will feature as the female lead in Ram Gopal Varma's Shabri (2007), a movie about a woman who is set to become Mumbai's first underworld lord. Koppikar's make-up was so convincing that security and producers wouldn't let her enter the set, as they didn't recognize her.
Koppikar has two films under production in 2007 in which she has replaced actresses withdrawing from the roles. Bipasha Basu was replaced in Darling, directed by Ram Gopal Varma and co-starring Fardeen Khan and Esha Deol. And Celina Jaitley was replaced in Atil Agnihotri's Hello, co-starring Sohail Khan. After a three year wait Haseena Smart Sexy and Dangerous was finally released with Ishaa in the title role.