Ayesha Dharker born March 16, 1978 in Mumbai, India is an Indian actress . She is known for her performance in the Tamil Indian film, The Terrorist (1999), for which she was awarded Best Artistic Contribution by an Actress at the Cairo International Film Festival and nominated for a Chlotrudis Award and National Film Award for Best Actress. She has also appeared in Hollywood films such as Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and The Mistress of Spices, television series such as Arabian Nights, and the West End and Broadway musical Bombay Dreams.
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Ayesha Dharker is 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.
Her most internationally recognised role was when she acted as Queen Jamillia, the Queen of Naboo, in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002). 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).
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.
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".
In 2008 she played the role of Tara Mandal in the British soap opera Coronation Street.
In 2010 she played doctor's wife Kamini Sharma opposite Sanjeev Bhaskar in the BBC's "The Indian Doctor".
Year Film Role Notes
1989 Manika, une vie plus tard Manika Kallatil
1992 City of Joy Amrita H. Pal
1997 Saaz Kuhu Vrundavan
1999 Split Wide Open Leela
The Terrorist (Tamil: Theeviravaathi) Malli Cairo International Film Festival Award for Best Artistic Contribution by an Actress
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated — National Film Award for Best Actress
2000 The Mystic Masseur Leela
2001 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
2006 Outsourced Asha Bhatawdekar
2007 Loins of Punjab Presents Opama Menon
2010 Red Alert Radhakka