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Nayantara (born 18 November 1984 as Diana Mariam Kurian) is an Indian film actress, who appears in South Indian films. She made her acting debut in the 2003 Malayalam film Manassinakkare and followed with the successful Vismayathumbathu (2004) before foraying into Tamil and Telugu cinema.

She made her debut into Tamil cinema with Ayya (2005), and later that year appeared in the commercially successful Ghajini. She gained fame as a lead actress with films such as Chandramukhi (2005), Billa (2007), Yaaradi Nee Mohini (2008), Boss Engira Bhaskaran (2010) in particular, making herself one among the most sought after actresses in Tamil cinema. She debuted in Telugu with Lakshmi (2006) and featured in successful ventures like Tulasi (2007), Dubai Seenu (2007), Adurs (2010), Simha (2010) and later in 2010, made her Kannada film debut through the blockbuster Super. Her portrayal of Sita in Sri Rama Rajyam (2011) earned her Filmfare Award for Best Telugu Actress and Nandi Award for Best Actress. After a sabbatical in 2011-'12, she achieved further success with the Tamil films Raja Rani and Arrambam (both 2013).

Nayantara was born in Thiruvalla, to Malayali Syrian Christian parents Kurian Kodiyattu and Omana Kurian.  Her brother, Leno, who is nine years elder to her, lives in Dubai. As her father was an Indian Air Force official, she first shifted to Bangalore. She then studied in various parts of India, mainly in North India.  She did her schooling in Chennai, Jamnagar, Gujarat and Delhi. Following his retirement, they settled in Kerala, where she continued her college studies, at the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools in Kerala. In Tiruvalla, she studied at Balikamadom Girls Higher Secondary School and then attended Marthoma College for her bachelor's degree in English Literature. She has said that she would have become a chartered accountant if not an actress .


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