16 March 1978 |
Ayesha Dharker (born 16 March 1978) is a British-Indian actress. She is known for her performance in the Tamil film The Terrorist (1997), for which she was awarded Best Artistic Contribution by an Actress at the Cairo International Film Festival and nominated for a National Film Award for Best Actress. She has also appeared in Hollywood films such as Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Outsourced and The Mistress of Spices, television series such as Arabian Nights, the West End and Broadway musical Bombay Dreams.
Ayesha Dharker was born in Mumbai, India, the daughter of Imtiaz Dharker, a noted poet, artist and documentary film-maker, and Anil Dharker, a columnist and an ex-editor of Debonair. Her father is from India and her mother, born in Lahore, was brought up in Scotland.
Dharker made her screen debut in the 1989 François Villiers film Manika: Une vie plus tard. Dharker subsequently went on to star in many American, French and Indian films. She has had many television roles in the UK, particularly in Cutting It and Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee, in which she co-starred with Meera Syal.
In the international award-winning film The Terrorist (1999), she played the lead character Malli, a role that earned her a nomination for the National Film Award for Best Actress in India and the Cairo Film Festival award for Best Artistic Contribution by an Actress.
Her most internationally recognised role came in 2002 when she played Queen Jamillia, the Queen of Naboo, in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Dharker starred in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Bombay Dreams, both in London's West End and on Broadway (2004). She also starred in The Mistress of Spices (2005).
She is currently a recurring cast member of the BBC Asian Network radio serial Silver Street, playing the role of "Ambika"; she has also appeared in the episode "Planet of the Ood" of the long-running BBC sci-fi television series, Doctor Who as Solana Mercurio.
In 2006, she played the role of Asha in the film Outsourced.
|1989||Manika, une vie plus tard||Manika Kallatil|
|1992||City of Joy||Amrita H. Pal|
|1999||Split Wide Open||Leela|
|The Terrorist (Tamil: Theeviravaathi)||Malli||Cairo International Film Festival Award for Best Artistic Contribution by an Actress|
|2000||The Mystic Masseur||Leela|
|2002||Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones||Queen Jamillia|
|2002||Anita and Me||Daljeet Kumar|
|2005||The Mistress of Spices||Hameeda|
|Colour Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story||Dr. Stukeley|
|2007||Loins of Punjab Presents||Opama Menon|
|1991||Misteri della giungla nera, I||Young girl|
|1995||A Mouthful of Sky|
|2000||Arabian Nights||Coral Lips|
|2002||Cutting It||Sunni Khadir|
|2003||Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee||Chila|
|2005||Waking the Dead||Mary Sharman|
|2008||Doctor Who||Solana Mercurio||Episode: "Planet of the Ood"|
|2008–09||Coronation Street||Tara Mandal|
|2010||The Indian Doctor||Kamini Sharma|
2009 'Arabian Nights' Shahrazad Dir: Dominic Cooke Royal Shakespeare Company
2010 'Disconnect' Vidya Dir: Indhu Rubasingham Royal Court
'Bombay Dreams' Rani (Original Cast) Dir: Stephen Pimlott Broadway Theatre (New York) Apollo Theatre (West End, London)
'The Ramayana' Sita Dir: Indhu Rubasingham Royal National Theatre Birmingham Rep
'Dr. Faustus' Mephastophilis Dir: David Fielding Bristol Old Vic
- Meet Scheherazade Express India, 1 September 2009
- Was officially still known 'Mumbai' until changed to ‘Mumbai’ in November 1995
- SAWNET: Who's Who: Ayesha Dharker
- Indian actress cast ITV
- Ayesha Dharker at the Internet Movie Database
- Ayesha Dharker and Manu Narayan - Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing.org