A beauty pageant winner, and successful model turned actress, Namrata Shirodkar had first appeared on screen as a child in the Shatrughan Sinha-starrer Shirdi Ke Sai Baba (1977). Born 22 January, 1972, into a Maharashtrian family with Goan roots, she is the elder of her sibling, actress Shilpa Shirodkar. Her grandmother was a famous Marathi actress in the early era of cinema, Meenakshi Shirodkar, who acted in films such as Brahmachari (1938), Jhoola (1941), and Miss Mary (1957). A well-known model, Namrata entered the Miss India pageant in 1993 primarily to fulfill her mother’s own dream: Namrata’s mother Vinita Shirodkar was a professional model but was unable to enter the contest in her time as she was married. Namrata considers her win as a gift to her mother. She also went on to bag sixth place in the Miss Universe pageant and was first runner-up in the Miss Asia Pacific pageant.
Pegged to make her film debut in Purab Ki Laila Pachhim Ki Chhaila, the film was unable to be released. She went on to feature in a minor role, making a special appearance in the Salman Khan and Twinkle Khanna-starrer, Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai (1998). The following year, she had hit films like Vaastav: The Reality (1999) in which she played Sonia "Sonu" Shivalkhar, wife of the gangster Raghu essayed by Sanjay Dutt, as well as the Milan Luthria-directed Kachche Dhaage (1999) in which she played Saif Ali Khan’s character Dhananjay Pandit’s love interest, Ragini. Both her performances won appreciation. She delivered a noteworthy performance in Astitva (2000), also bagging a nomination for IIFA Best Supporting Actor Award for Pukar (2000). Among her other films are Aaghaaz (2000), Tera Mera Saath Rahen (2001), Dil Vil Pyar Vyar (2002), LOC Kargil (2003), and Charas: A Joint Operation (2004). Namrata also featured in the Gurinder Chadha-directed crossover film, Bride and Prejudice (2004), which was an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice. She played Jaya Bakshi in the film, the elder sister of the character Lalita Bakshi played by Aishwarya Rai. The musical received largely positive reviews for reinvigorating Jane Austen's well-loved novel with fun and flamboyance.
On the personal front, she met Telugu actor Mahesh Babu on the sets of their film Vamsi in 2000. They married on 10 February, 2005. The couple has a son named Gautam Krishna Ghattamaneni, and a daughter, Sitara Ghattamaneni.
Namrata Shirodkar’s last film was Rok Sako To Rok Lo (2004). She lives in Hyderabad with her husband.