|Lisa Rani Ray|
Lisa Ray in 2010
|Born||Lisa Rani Ray
4 April 1972
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Years active||2001 – present|
|Spouse(s)||Jason Dehni (m. 2012)|
Lisa Rani Ray, (লিসা রে)(Bengali) born 4 April 1972, is a Canadian actress, model, host, philanthropist and social activist.
Lisa Ray was born in Toronto to a Hindu Bengali Indian father and a Polish mother and grew up in the suburb of Etobicoke. She spent some time of her childhood at Shyambazar (Kolkata). She excelled academically, doing five years of high school in four, while attending three different high schools: Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, Richview Collegiate Institute, and Silverthorn Collegiate Institute.
She spoke Polish to her maternal grandmother and watched movies of Federico Fellini and Satyajit Ray with her cinephile dad. Ray was spotted by an agent in a crowd during a family vacation in India when she was 16, when she began modelling.
Lisa Ray came to public attention when she appeared in an advertisement for Bombay Dyeing wearing a high-cut black swimsuit, opposite Karan Kapoor. Subsequently, she returned to Canada to attend university to study journalism, but a car accident that injured her mother derailed those plans. Instead, she returned to India, where she appeared on the cover of Glad Rags wearing a red Baywatch-style swimsuit. The sensation that that caused led to more magazine covers, spokesperson deals, and a job as host of her own show-business program. A Times of India poll named her the "ninth most beautiful woman of the millennium," the only model in the top ten. She also anchored the TV show Star Biz on Star Movies, with actor/model Kelly Dorji.
Ray made her cinematic debut in 1994 in the Tamil film Nethaji, opposite actor Sarath Kumar, in which she appeared in a brief role. Later, she acted in the Telugu film Takkari Donga, opposite Mahesh Babu.
After turning down a number of roles, Ray made her Indian Film Industry debut in 2001 with the film Kasoor, opposite Aftab Shivdasani, in which her voice was dubbed by Divya Dutta, because she could not speak Hindi. Interestingly, actress Divya Dutta also starred in the same film, but because she had already given her voice to Lisa Ray, Dutta's voice was dubbed by another artist—just to make her own character believable. Her work in that film caught the eye of Deepa Mehta, who cast Ray in the romantic Indian-Canadian romp Bollywood/Hollywood, in 2002.
Realizing that acting was something that she wanted to pursue more seriously, Ray moved to London to concentrate on a career in the performing arts. While there, Ray studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama, The London Centre for Theatre Studies, The Desmond Jones school of Physical Theatre, and BADA. She graduated from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA), in 2004, with a post-graduate degree in acting.
While studying, Ray made a conscious effort to not accept any film offers until she had graduated. However, while still at ALRA, she received another call from Deepa Mehta, who made her an offer she simply could not refuse—the lead role of Kalyani in Mehta's highly controversial and much-anticipated feature Water.
In 2005, Ray worked again with Mehta, in the Oscar-nominated film Water, in which she spoke her lines in Hindi, although her voice was dubbed in the final cut. Since then, Ray has worked in productions from Canada, Europe, and the United States. Past roles include a farm girl in All Hat, a school teacher in A Stone's Throw, a housewife in 1950s-apartheid South Africa in The World Unseen, and an Arab lesbian in the humorously titled I Can't Think Straight, directed by Shamim Sarif. "I think every film that I’ve done so far has been a turning point because I experimented with each one and grew professionally. The movies I chose, dealt with a lot of thought-provoking subjects."
After graduation, Ray based herself out of Milan, Paris, and New York from 2004–2008, returning to Toronto when her beloved mother passed away in late 2008.
In 2007, Ray completed filming for Kill Kill Faster Faster, which is a contemporary film noir inspired by the critically acclaimed novel of the same name, by Joel Rose. She appeared in a few uninhibited sex scenes, "something unheard of for an artist from India."
In 2009, Ray was named 'Trailblazer' at the Reelworld Film Festival and was featured as one of the '50 Most Beautiful People' of the country in the Canadian edition of Hello magazine, May 2009 issue.
Ray guest-starred in the USA Network series Psych, directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, which aired on 30 November 2009. She also appeared in a guest role of a reporter, Dominique Ball, in the recent Woody Harrelson movie Defendor.
Ray attended the Toronto International Film Festival in support of her work in Cooking with Stella. At this event, Ray revealed that she had incurable cancer, and she shared the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma with the media and the public. At the same time, Ray started an acclaimed blog, The Yellow Diaries, chronicling her cancer experience.
"I believe it can be cured," Ray wrote on her blog. "That's the Dirty Realist in me... I'm getting better. My prognosis, given my 'junior' status and stage of disease, is very good. I'm aiming for full remission."
Ray went on to help raise funds for the establishment of the first research chair for Multiple Myeloma at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Also, she took part in Plan Canada’s Because I Am A Girl campaign, a global movement that fights for the rights of girls around the world who face discrimination because of their gender and age.
In April 2010, Ray announced that she was cancer-free, after a stem cell transplant. Ray gave a candid interview on her personal cancer trauma and surviving it, appearing on the cover of the 2010 anniversary issue of the Indian men's luxury magazine The Man.
Ray was seen in UniGlobe Entertainment's cancer docu-drama titled 1 a Minute, scheduled for release in 2010. The documentary was made by Namrata Singh Gujral and featured cancer survivors Olivia Newton-John, Diahann Carroll, Melissa Etheridge, Mumtaz, and Jaclyn Smith, as well as William Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin, and Priya Dutt, whose lives have been touched by cancer. The feature was narrated by Kelly McGillis. It also starred Bárbara Mori, Deepak Chopra, and Morgan Brittany.
On 16 November 2010, TLC India announced that it would film a new 5-part series, Oh My Gold (OMG), with Lisa Ray. It premiered in 2011. The series Oh My Gold was set against the cultural-yet-contemporary backdrop of India. Uncovering the beauty of various cities, Ray played both a host and a travel guide.
Ray has since become an outspoken advocate for stem cell technology, recording a PSA for the McEwan Centre for Regenerative Medicine. Also, she completed a national media tour in Canada for Multiple Myeloma called Making Myeloma Matter, in early 2011, to raise public awareness.
In 2011, Ray acted in the acclaimed stage play Taj, opposite Kabir Bedi in Luminato. Also, Ray was at the Taj Mahal and the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer event to spread awareness about breast cancer.
On 5 July 2010, Ray was honored to be a host of the informal lunch for Queen Elizabeth's visit to Toronto. Ray also hosted the 2011 International Indian Film Academy IIFA Rocks fashion and music event and was a presenter at the IIFA Awards and the 2011 Giller Prize.
A strong advocate of stem cell research and a long-time yoga practitioner, Ray partnered with co-owners Paris and Annette, in 2011, to open Moksha Yoga Brampton.
On 18 May 2012, Craig Goodwill announced that Lisa Ray would star in his Boy Toy, a fantasy drama that is based on Goodwill’s short film Patch Town. Boy Toy begins shooting in Toronto in November 2012.
In September 2012, Ray was named ambassador for the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign in Canada. Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a charity campaign that asks people to grow and donate their hair to make real-hair wigs for women battling cancer.
On 23 June 2009, Ray was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells known as plasma cells, which produce antibodies. It is a rare disease. In April 2010, she announced that she was cancer-free, after a stem cell transplant. As multiple myeloma is an incurable disease, Ray is not completely cured of the disease. In February 2012, Ray announced her engagement to management consultant Jason Dehni. On 20 October 2012, Ray and Dehni (then a banking executive and philanthropist) were married in the Napa Valley, in California.
- Voted Star of the Future at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival,
- Top Ten most Beautiful Indian Woman of the Millenium by the Times of India
- Won the Best Actress in a Canadian film for Water by the Vancouver Critics Circle
- Won 'Voice Achievers Award for 2009' for outstanding contribution in fields of film, trade, literature and sports
- Named one of Canada's 50 Most Beautiful Stars in Hello Canada's May 2009 issue.
- Honored with Fortis Lisa Ray Award for Conquering Cancer in 2010
- Honored with a Special Achievement Award at Miss India-Canada 2011
- Named one of Canada's 50 Most Beautiful Stars in Hello Canada's May 2012 issue.
- Honored with People's Choice Award at the 'Light of India' Awards 2012 in Arts & Entertainment section.
- Named one of Canada's 50 Most Beautiful Stars in Hello Canada's 2013 issue.
- Honored with the prestigious 'Diamond Jubilee Medal' in May 2013.
- 2009 : 5K Your Way Walk/Run, MMWalk for the Cure
- 2009 : Plan Canada’s ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign
- 2010 : Plan Canada’s ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign
- 2010 : "1 a Minute", to inspire women and give them hope
- 2010 : Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness
- 2011 : ‘Make Myeloma Matter’ media campaign
- 2011 : Artbound, in support of Free The Children
- 2011 : GIRL 20 SUMMIT
- 2012 : BE FAIR 2 RARE
- 2012 : Wellspring Cancer 'Graduate' Fashion show
- 2012 : “Rhythm and Soul”-THE SPARK GALA 2012, to Ignite A Child's Potential
- 2012 : Run or Walk, MM5K
- 2012 : Plan Canada’s ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign
- 2012 : Ambassador for Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign in Canada
Film & TV series
All are English language films unless otherwise noted.
|1994||Hanste Khelte||Rekha||Hindi language film
Special appearance in song
|1996||Nethaji||Priya||Tamil language film|
|2001||Kasoor||Simran Bhargav||Hindi language film|
|2002||Takkari Donga||Bhuvana||Telugu language film|
|2002||Bollywood/Hollywood||Sue (Sunita) Singh||English/Punjabi/Spanish language film|
|2004||Ball & Chain||Saima|
|2004||Yuvaraja||Lovely||Kannada language film|
|2005||Seeking Fear||Nina Atwal|
|2006||Quarter Life Crisis||Angel|
|2006||A Stone's Throw||Lia|
|2008||I Can't Think Straight||Tala|
|2007||Blood Ties||Elena||TV Series, Season 1, Episode 9, Stone Cold|
|2007||The World Unseen||Miriam|
|2007||All Hat||Etta Parr|
|2008||Kill Kill Faster Faster||Fleur|
|2008||The Summit||Rebecca Downy||TV Mini-Series|
|2009||Cooking with Stella||Maya Chopra|
|2009||Let the Game Begin||Eva|
|2009||Psych||Sita||TV Series, Season 4 Episode 6 "Bollywood Homicide"|
|2010||1 a Minute||Star|
|2011||Murdoch Mysteries||Mirala||TV series, Season 4, Episode 9, The Black Hand|
|2011||Endgame||Rosemary Venturi||TV series|
|2011||Patch Town||Bethany Franks|
|2005||The Standard||Bollywood Actress||TV series|
|2010||Great Canadian Books||Herself||TV series documentary,Season 1, Episode 7, Late Nights on Air|
|2011||The Marilyn Denis Show||Herself||TV series, Episode #1.57|
|2011||Oh My Gold||Herself||TV Show of TLC Channel|
|2012||The Hour||Herself||TV series, Episode #8.122, #8.123|
|2012||Top Chef Canada||Herself||TV series, Season 2, Episode 1-13|
|2011||Taj ||Princess Jahanara|
Magazine cover photo
|2002||Anokhi Vibe (Canada)||Winter issue|
|2002||Take One (Canada)||September issue|
|2002||Elm Street (Canada)||November issue|
|2006||RIVAAJ Magazine||May issue|
|2006||Toronto Life (Canada)||August issue|
|2007||Chatelaine (Canada)||September issue|
|2007||Glow (Canada)||December issue|
|2009||Asian woman(Canada)||April issue|
|2009||M Magazine (Canada)||June issue|
|2009||Harper's Bazaar India||June issue|
|2009||Hi! Blitz (Canada)||July issue|
|2010||Time (India)||February issue|
|2010||People (India)||May issue|
|2010||Mega Modelz (India)||August issue|
|2010||Vogue (India)||August issue|
|2010||Elle (India)||October issue|
|2010||Prevention (India)||November issue|
|2010||The Man (India)||December issue|
|2011||City Life (Canada)||June/July issue|
|2011||ANOKHI (Canada)||July/August issue|
|2011||Fusia Magazine (Canada)||No. 2 issue|
|2011||More Magazine (Canada)||February/March issue|
|2012||Jewellery Business Magazine||June issue|
|1996||Afreen Afreen||Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan|
|1999||Har Taraf Tera Jalwa||Daler Mehndi|
- Brand ambassador of Rado (watches) in India
- Lisa named Ambassador for 'Pantene Beautiful Lengths' Campaign
- "Lisa Ray Profile". worldfilm.about.com. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- Rachel Giese (October 2007). "The thoroughly Canadian charm of Lisa Ray". Chatelaine.com.
- Liam Lacey (12 September 2002). "Just a pinch of spice". Globe and Mail (Canada). Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Sujata Assomull (14 November 1998). "My Den – Lisa Ray". Indian Express Newspapers. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
- Anand Sankar (30 July 2005). "A ray of hope for her". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 18 November 2008.
- Liz Braun (7 November 2008). "Lisa Ray shines in the spotlight". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
- P. Karthik (20 February 2008). "I’m loving it: Lisa Ray". Times of India. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
- "Lisa Ray".
- "The pursuit of happiness". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 15 July 2012.
- "Lisa Ray Dares To Bare Like Never Before". Retrieved 2 January 2009.
- "Mcg – Indian Star Rallies Celebrity Support For Cancer Movie". contactmusic.com. 8 October 2009.
- "Taj: more than a love story". CBC News. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Lisa Ray turns host for Queen Elizabeth". 6 July 2010.
- "Lisa Ray: My perfect Saturday". 14 April 2011.
- "Television: Top Chef Canada's New Host". Shaw Media Inc. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Cannes 2012: Julian Richings, Lisa Ray to Star in 'Boy Toy'". Etan Vlessing. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "Beautiful Lengths ambassador Lisa Ray".
- Denise Balkissoon (August 2006). "24 Hours with Lisa Ray". Toronto Life.
- Jill Sarjent (22 April 2010). "Actress Lisa Ray says she's cancer free". Toronto Star. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- Kathakali Banerjee (16 June 2013). "My hubby’s my secret weapon: Lisa Ray". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- IANS (1 February 2012). "Actress Lisa Ray got engaged to banker Jason Dehni". Ibnlive. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- "Lisa Ray to marry lover Jason Dehni in October". 3 June 2012.
- "Lisa Ray gets married!". Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- Constance Droganes (10 September 2007). "Canadian actress Lisa Ray goes a little bit country in 'All Hat'". CTV News. Retrieved 18 November 2008.
- imdb.com, Glow magazine, December 2007
- "Seven Indo-Canadian including Lisa Ray honoured". The Economic Times (India). 29 Nov 2009.
- "Lisa Ray Amongst 50 Most Beautiful People". 21 May 2009.
- "The Fortis Lisa Ray Spirit of Life Award". 24 Sep. 2010.
- "Lisa Ray To Be Honored At Miss India-Canada 2011". 17 July 2011.
- "Lisa Ray – Named One of Canada’s Most Beautiful – Here’s her Red Carpet Look Wearing Vasanti". 11 May 2012.
- "Light of India: 2nd Annual Awards Ceremony". 3 June 2012.
- "Third times the charm: 'Lisa named one named one of Canada's 50 most beautiful in Hello Canada'".
- "Honored with the prestigious 'Diamond Jubilee Medal'". 21 May 2013.
- "Because I am a Girl,Our Celebrated Ambassadors, Lisa Ray".
- "Lisa Ray Taj Mahal and Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Event/".
- "Make Myeloma Matter (PSA)". 1 April 2011.
- "Lisa Ray supports Be Fair 2 Rare". 28 Feb. 2011.
- "Honourees Lisa/".
- "Run or Walk - 2012".
- "Murdoch Mysteries Revealed". tvguide.ca. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
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