We have just passed 12.5 million views on Venus Observations and the closest population centre for that figure is Mumbai. We have been to the city at least three times and noticed how many of the inhabitants still refer to it as Bombay, however.
Trying to find a model or actress from India who is happy to take her clothes off for the camera is almost impossible so instead we have decided to feature the lovely, if dressed, Persis Khambatta, whose bald headed look caused a stir in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) where she played the part of Ilia.
Persis gets the chop
She was worried about having to shave all her hair off for the role but few actresses have looked so good bald. She had to remain bald for the entire seven months of filming, although it could have been worse as originally the idea was for her to appear in a proposed five year TV series rather than a film.
Born in Bombay in 1948, she was spotted by a photographer and started modelling as a teenager. She left India to pursue her modelling career but not before 1965 becoming Miss India in 1965. at the age of seventeen. and being the first Indian woman to compete in Miss Universe.
She made a number of films before Star Trek and regularly appeared in film and TV in the eighties although she said she could have got more parts if she had agreed to strip in films. In 1980 she allegedly prematurely revealed she had been cast in the Charlie's Angels TV series (although ABC denied this). It was said that Aaron Spelling was so furious he sacked her and hired Tanya Roberts instead. In 1980 she became the first Indian person to present an Academy Award.
Khambatta dated Henry Kissinger, Sylvester Stallone, Ted Kennedy and Rutger Hauer. Four years after her Star Trek appearance she had heart bypass surgery and she died of a heart attack at the age of just 49 in 1998. There was no autopsy and some say she was murdered. She had received death threats in the past for her support for Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi (who was assassinated in 1984). Whatever the truth, it was too early a death for such a beauty.