Preity Zinta is an Indian film actress and former model. She has appeared in Hindi films of Bollywood, as well as Telugu, Punjabi and English language films. After graduating with a degree in criminal psychology, Zinta made her acting debut in Dil Se in 1998 followed by a role in Soldier the same year. These performances earned her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut, and she was later recognized for her role as a teenage single mother in Kya Kehna (2000). She subsequently established a career with a variety of character types; her film roles along with her screen persona have been credited with contributing to a change in the concept of a Hindi film heroine, and won her several accolades.
Zinta received the Filmfare Award for Best Actress in 2003 for her performance in the drama Kal Ho Naa Ho. She went on to play the lead female role in two consecutive annual top-grossing films in India, the science fiction film Koi... Mil Gaya (2003), which is her biggest commercial success, and the star-crossed romance Veer-Zaara (2004), which earned her critical acclaim. She was later noted for her portrayal of independent, modern Indian women in Salaam Namaste (2005) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), top-grossing productions in overseas markets. These accomplishments have established her as a leading actress of Hindi cinema. Her first international film role was in the Canadian film Heaven on Earth, for which she was awarded the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival.
In addition to acting in films, Zinta has written a series of columns for BBC News Online South Asia. She is a social activist, a television presenter, and a regular stage performer. She is the founder of the production company PZNZ Media and a co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kings XI Punjab.