Model-turned-TV-host Padma Lakshmi was born in India to a Hindu family. Her first name means "Lotus" in Sanskrit, and her last name is the name of the Hindu goddess of wealth. While spending her final year at school in Spain, Lakshmi was discovered by a photographer, who noticed her inky black hair, long sinewy frame, and high cheekbones. She began modeling, and within a few years, she was working with major designers and was an in-demand figure in the fashion industry. In 2001, the model began trying her hand at acting, appearing in the Mariah Carey film Glitter. She also began appearing on the Food Network and in more successful movies like The Ten Commandments. In 2004, she married acclaimed and controversial author Salman Rushdie, though the two would split in 2007. Lakshmi's career continued to move full steam ahead, however, as she would gain still more fame as host of the Bravo competitive reality show Top Chef.