Ileana D’Cruz Biography – an Indian Actress who more famous in Telugu cinema

Ileana D'Cruz is an Indian-born Portuguese actress who predominantly appears in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil language films. D'Cruz was born in Mumbai and spent most of her childhood in Goa.

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Real Name: Ileana D’Cruz
Profession: Indian actress
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Spouse: Michael Dolan
Age: 35

Ileana D’Cruz (born 1 November 1987) is an Indian-born Portuguese actress who predominantly appears in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil language films. D’Cruz was born in Mumbai and spent most of her childhood in Goa. D’Cruz made her screen debut in 2006 with the Telugu-language film Devadasu, which was a commercial success and won her Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut – South.

D’Cruz established herself as a leading actress in Telugu cinema with successful films including Pokiri (2006), Rakhi (2006), Munna (2007), Jalsa (2008), Kick (2009), and Julayi (2012). D’Cruz received Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu nomination for PokiriJalsa, and Kick. She made her debut in Tamil cinema with Kedi (2006) and starred in Shankar‘s Nanban (2012), a commercial success.

D’Cruz expanded to Hindi cinema in 2012 with Anurag Basu‘s comedy-drama Barfi!, for which she won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She has since played the leading lady in successful films such as Main Tera Hero (2014), Rustom (2016), and Raid (2018). She has received several awards including a Filmfare Award South and a Filmfare Award.

Ileana D'Cruz Biography
Ileana D’Cruz Biography

In addition to her acting career, D’Cruz is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products.

Ileana D’Cruz Biography
Born 1 November 1987 (age 35)

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Indian (1987–2014)
  • Portuguese (2014–present)
Occupation Actress
Years active 2006–present
Michael Dolan (m. 2023)
Children 1

Early and personal life (Ileana D’Cruz Biography)

D’Cruz was born to a Catholic father and a Muslim mother in Mahim, Mumbai on 1 November 1987. She is an atheist. Her family moved to Parra, Goa when she was 10 years old.

Her first modeling portfolio was created in January 2003, D’Cruz called it a “disaster“. Subsequent photo shoots and ramp shows led to a second portfolio the following year, which landed her advertisements from Electrolux, Emami Talc, and Fair & Lovely. The latter, in particular, which was directed by Rakesh Roshan, gave her exposure and brought in several offers for acting in feature films.

D’Cruz acquired Portuguese nationality in 2014. In an interview with Verve in 2017, she claimed that Portugal was a part of her ancestry.

She was in a relationship with Australian photographer Andrew Kneebone. It was rumored that they had already married. On 28 August 2019, Indian media aired the news that the couple had broken up.

D’Cruz married Michael Dolan in May 2023 and welcomed their first child, a son, in August 2023.

Ileana_D'Cruz with her Husband
Ileana D’Cruz with her Husband

Career (Ileana D’Cruz Biography)

Debut and early roles (2005–2006)

In 2005, D’Cruz was called for an audition by director Teja, but the project was canceled. She made her feature film debut in the Telugu language romance film Devadasu (2006), directed by Y. V. S. Chowdary. She underwent acting classes with Aruna Bhikshu, before starting to work on the film. She recalls that during filming she felt “pressured … almost cried and didn’t want to go further”, but went ahead after her mother encouraged her, giving her “the lecture of a lifetime […] at 3 am.” A review from Indiaglitz stated that she “has chiseled features and a figure to die for.” Devadasu became the year’s first commercially successful Telugu film, eventually grossing around ₹140 million, whilst earning D’Cruz the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debutant. She next appeared in the gangster film Pokiri in which she portrayed an aerobics teacher, who is harassed by a corrupt police officer. The film was a high financial success, emerging as the highest-grossing Telugu film at the time.

She made her Tamil-language film debut in Kedi (2006). Although the film did not do so well at the box office, D’Cruz remained too busy to accept all the film roles offered to her. Her Telugu film Khatarnak (2006) in which she acted opposite Ravi Teja did not do as well as expected, which has been attributed to her glamorous appearance not going down well with the audience. She subsequently experienced a breakthrough in her career as her following releases Rakhi (2006) and Munna (2007) proved critically and financially successful.

Breakthrough and establishment in Telugu cinema (2007–2011)

D’Cruz appeared in the 2007 film Aata. She received favorable reviews for her performance as Satya, a college student who is on the run from the home minister’s crooked son by whom she is targeted when leading a protest and demanding punishment for his crimes. In 2008, she performed the female lead role in the action film Jalsa, directed by Trivikram Srinivas. D’Cruz received largely positive remarks, with critics citing that she looked “pretty”, “damn cool”, and “every bit chic and stunning throughout the film” while being later awarded the Santosham Award, one of five awards for Jalsa, and the South Scope Style Award, besides garnering a nomination for the Best Actress – Telugu at the 56th Filmfare Awards South. Her first 2009 release, titled Kick, was likewise declared a box office success, becoming one of the highest-grossing films that year.

Later that year she starred in the films Rechipo and Y. V. S. Choudary’s Saleem both of which performed poorly at the box office.

Bollywood debut and success (2012–2017)

In early 2012, she starred in the Tamil film Nanban directed by S. Shankar, a remake of the 2009 Hindi film 3 Idiots. The film opened to highly positive reviews from critics praising the performance. It became a major financial success, grossing ₹400 million (US$5.0 million) at the box office in its first week. Her next release was the action comedy Julayi, written and directed by Trivikram Srinivas. D’cruz was featured as Madhu opposite Allu Arjun. The film opened to positive reviews and became the third biggest hit in 2012 and the biggest hit in Telugu. She then starred in Puri Jagannadh’s comedy Devudu Chesina Manushulu. In this film, she played the role of a taxi driver. The film received mixed reviews and eventually under-performed at the box office.

D’Cruz made her Hindi debut with Anurag Basu’s Barfi! In addition to playing the role of the narrator, she portrayed the character of Shruti Ghosh, a girl who leaves her true love for material comforts. The movie was released on 14 September 2012, to highly positive reviews from critics, and was a major commercial success, earning ₹1.75 billion (US$22 million) worldwide. D’Cruz’s performance was well received, earning her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, as well as a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. Rachit Gupta from Filmfare said “This is Ileana’s first film but her fantastic performance is just a testament to why the Telugu audience considers her a superstar. Of course, it also helps that she is the most visually appealing in Barfi! outshining even the scenic hills of Darjeeling”. Rajeev Masand stated, “Ileana leaves a lasting impression in her Hindi film debut, conveying both love and pain through those beautiful, expressive eyes”. The film was screened at the Busan International Film Festival, and Marrakech International Film Festival, and was chosen as India’s official entry to the Oscars for the 85th Academy Awards.

After taking a sabbatical, in February 2016 she started Akshay Kumar‘s Rustom which was released in August 2016. The film emerged as one of the highest Indian-grossing films of 2016, with more than 2 billion at the box office. Ileana was praised for her performance as Cynthia Pavri, which garnered her numerous award nominations.

In 2017, her films Mubarakan starring opposite Arjun Kapoor and Anil Kapoor, and Baadshaho starring opposite Ajay Devgn both failed to find an audience at the box office.

Recent work (2018–present)

D’Cruz’s first release of 2018 Raid, opened to positive critical and commercial feedback. After six years hiatus, she signed a Telugu film Amar Akbar Anthony starring opposite her frequent co-star Ravi Teja. Released amid good expectations the film opened with negative reviews and failed at the box office.

In 2019, she appeared in Pagalpanti, a comedy film by Anees BazmeeNews18 stated, “Ileana D’Cruz looks beautiful but has precious little to do.” In 2021, she played a Journalist in The Big Bull, a biographical crime film, alongside Abhishek BachchanTimes of India noted, “Ileana D’Cruz as the journalist puts up an honest performance.”

She has completed the filming of Unfair & Lovely alongside Randeep Hooda. She also has Untitled Shirsha Guha film in her kitty.

Ileana D'Cruz Biography
Ileana D’Cruz Biography

Other work and media image

D’Cruz has established herself as one of the leading actors of the Telugu and Hindi cinemaVogue said that she is a “well-recognized name” in the South Indian film industry. Taran Adarsh termed her “super efficient”. Verve noted, “D’Cruz makes the unreal seem believable on celluloid”. She stood at 18th place on Forbes India‘s most influential stars on Instagram in South Cinema for the year 2021.

She was widely praised for her Hindi film debut Barfi!. She was placed 2nd in Times of India‘s 10 Most Promising Female Newcomers of 2012 list. In 2012, placed her in their listing of the top 10 Bollywood actresses, where she ranked 8th D’Cruz has been suffering from body dysmorphic disorder. She has been vocal about the “body image” issues.

D’Cruz has been associated with a number of causes. She donated her clothes and accessories to raise money for renovating an animal hospital in Mumbai in 2013. She walked the ramp for “Smile Foundation”, to lend her support for girls’ education. In 2016, she attended a charity event for underprivileged kids.

In addition to her acting career, D’Cruz is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products including Clear Shampoo with Virat Kohli and CavinKare with Akshay Kumar. She is also the brand ambassador of Tourism Fiji. She has subsequently appeared on Times’ Most Desirable Women list ranking 20th in 2011 and 21st in 2013. She ranked 4th in the Hyderabad Times‘ Most Desirable Women list of 2013.



Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role(s) Language(s) Notes
2006 Devadasu Bhanu Telugu
Pokiri Shruti
Kedi Aarthi Tamil
Khatarnak Nakshatra Telugu
Rakhi Tripura
2007 Munna Nidhi
Aata Sathya
2008 Jalsa Bhagyamathi/Bhagi
Bhale Dongalu Jyothi
2009 Kick Naina
Rechipo Krishna Veni
Saleem Satyavathi
2010 Huduga Hudugi Herself Kannada Special appearance in the song “Ileana”
2011 Shakti Aishwarya Telugu
Nenu Naa Rakshasi Meenakshi/Shravya
2012 Nanban Ria Santhanam Tamil
Julayi Madhu Telugu
Devudu Chesina Manushulu Ileana
Barfi! Shruti Ghosh Sengupta Hindi
2013 Phata Poster Nikhla Hero Kajal Sharma
2014 Main Tera Hero Sunaina Goradia
Happy Ending Aanchal Reddy
2016 Rustom Cynthia Pavri
2017 Mubarakan Supreet “Sweety” Gill
Baadshaho Rani Gitanjali Devi
2018 Raid Malini Patnaik
Amar Akbar Anthony Aishwarya/Pooja/Teresa Telugu
2019 Pagalpanti Sanjana Paul Hindi
2021 The Big Bull Meera Rao
2023 Unfair & Lovely † TBA Completed
TBA Lovers † TBA Post-production
Ileana D'Cruz Biography
Ileana D’Cruz Biography

Music videos

Year Title Singer(s)
2017 Pehli Dafa Atif Aslam
2022 Ooo Ooo Qaran
2023 Sab Gazab Goldkartz, Badshah


Year Award Category Film Result
2006 54th Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Telugu Pokiri Nominated
Best Female Debut – South Devadasu Won
2009 56th Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Telugu Jalsa Nominated
6th Santosham Film Awards Best Actress Won
2010 57th Filmfare Awards South Best Actress – Telugu Kick Nominated
2012 7th Vijay Awards Favourite Heroine Nanban Nominated
BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor (Film) Debut – Female Barfi! Nominated
2013 58th Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut Won
Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer – Female Won
Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Zee Cine Awards Best Female Debut Won
Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow – Female Nominated
Star Guild Awards Best Female Debut Won
Times of India Film Awards Best Female Debut Won
Best Supporting Actress Won
ETC Bollywood Business Awards Most Profitable Debut (Female) Won
2014 Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow – Female Main Tera Hero Nominated
Happy Ending Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy or Romance Nominated
2015 Screen Awards Best Actress (Popular Choice) Main Tera Hero Nominated
2017 BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actress in a Romantic Film Rustom Nominated
Most Entertaining Actress in a Thriller Role Nominated
2022 Hit List OTT Awards Best Supporting Actor – Female The Big Bull Won

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