Antara Richa Gangopadhyay is a former South Indian actress and model. She is best known for her work in the Telugu film industry, appearing in several commercially successful movies such as Leader
(2012) and Mirchi
(2013). Richa has also appeared in the Tamil films Osthe
(2012), as well as the critically praised Mayakkam Enna
Richa Gangopadhyay was born on 20th March 1986 in New Delhi. Her parents both held successful careers with her father Utpal Gangopadhyay being the Vice President of Netshape Technologies while her mother Paula Gangopadhyay was the Director of Education at Henry Ford Museum, Detroit. After her birth, her parents moved to U.S.A in 1989 and Richa was raised in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
During her schooling at Okemos High School, she founded a youth tutoring program for children at risk in Lansing. The program which she ran for four years resulted in her featuring in the local media. She then continued her education at Michigan State University, majoring in Dietetics and Health Administration.
Richa then began to participate in beauty pageants, finishing in the top ten of the Miss India U.S.A competitions, earning a small prize for Miss. Congeniality. In 2007, she was the winner of the Miss. Michigan Pageant which was followed by her being crowned Miss. India U.S.A in New Jersey the same year. The actress was qualified to represent U.S.A in the 17th Annual Miss India Worldwide Pageant. However, Richa returned to India in 2008, to begin hercareer as an actress.
Richa began dating photographer Sunder Amu during the shoot of the movie Mayakkam Enna. However, the couple has recently separated and the actress has stated that she is now focusing on completing her MBA. In 2013, the actress quit the film industry, deciding to go abroad in order to finish her education.
Richa began her acting career with the political Telugu film Leader
(2010) directed by Sekhar Kammula
. She portrayed the role of Archana, a T.V correspondent who falls in love with the lead character. The film was commercially successful, and she received a positive response for her performance.
This was followed by a role in P. Vasu
's horror comedy Nagavalli (2010), a sequel to his earlier film Chandramukhi
(2005). The director was initially unimpressed by Richa's performance and she was almost dropped from the project. The film featured Richa as a girl who is psychologically possessed by the ghost of Nagavalli; her portrayal earned a lukewarm response from critics.
In 2011, she starred in the action film Mirapakaay
alongside Ravi Teja
. She was offered the role after Harish Shakar, the director, met the actress at the success party of her Telugu film Leader.
Her next film, the Tamil drama Mayakkam Enna
(2012) pairing her with actor Dhanush, earned her the highest critical appreciation she had received so far. The actress was presented with two awards for her work in the film - The Vijay Award for Best Debut Actress and the SIIMA Appreciation Award. Richa also earned a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress.
In 2012, Richa was then cast alongside Silambarasan
(2012), a Tamil remake of Salman Khan
’s blockbuster film Dabangg directed by S. Dharani. The film received mixed reviews at the box office, however, she was praised for her performance as Neduvalli.
The actress next ventured into the Bengali film industry, starring in the film Bikram Singha:
The Lion is Back (2012) alongside the popular actor Prosenjit Chatterjee
. This was followed by appearances in the Telugu films Soracharu
(2012) and Bhai