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Rediff.com asked readers to vote for the Top 5 Best Actresses for the year 2003. This is the first in a series on the Top 5 actresses of 2003.

The unanimous No 1: Preity Zinta.

The actressesís first brush with fame were the popular Lyril and Perk ads. This bubbly girl from Shimla had actually come down to Mumbai to work in Shekhar Kapurís Tara Rum Pum Pum. The film never took off.

Born on January 31, 1974, this Aquarian grew up in a hurry when her father, an army man, died in a car accident when she was barely 13. Her mother, who was with him at the time, suffered serious injuries and was bedridden for two years.

A tomboy, Preity graduated in criminal psychology.

Text: Ronjita Kulkarni
Design: Uday Kuckian

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