Persis Khambatta was born on October 2, 1948 in Bombay, India. At age 17, as Femina Miss India, she entered Miss Universe 1965, dressed in off-the-rack clothes she bought at the last minute. Khambatta became a model for companies such as Revlon. Her biggest acting break was getting the role of Lieutenant Ilia, the bald Deltan alien in Star Trek (1979). This led to roles in Nighthawks (1981), Megaforce (1982) and Warrior of the Lost World (1983). She was considered for the title role in the James Bond film Octopussy (1983), but was passed over for Maud Adams. Khambatta became the first citizen of India to present an Academy Award in 1980. She was nominated for Saturn Award Best Actress for her Star Trek role. Khambatta also made guest appearances on many popular American television series. In the early 1980s, Khambatta was seriously injured in a car crash in Germany and had to have heart bypass surgery.
A year before her death, she wrote and published a coffee table book called “Pride of India” which featured former Miss Indias; it was dedicated to Mother Teresa and part of the royalties went to the Missionaries of Charity. On August 17, 1998, Persis Khambatta was taken to the Marine Hospital in South Mumbai, complaining of chest pains. She died of a heart attack on August 18, 1998 at age 49, her funeral was held in Mumbai.
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