Ayesha Dharker

Ayesha Dharker (born on 16 March 1977) is a British actress, known for her appearance as Queen Jamillia, the Queen of Naboo, in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and for her stage performances.

Ayesha Dharker
Born (1977-03-16) 16 March 1977 (age 43)
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Robert Taylor (m. 2010)

Her other film roles include starring as a young woman brainwashed into contemplating becoming a suicide bomber in the Tamil film The Terrorist (1997), for which she was awarded Best Artistic Contribution by an Actress at the Cairo International Film Festival and nominated for a National Film Award for Best Actress.[citation needed]

She has also appeared in Outsourced and The Mistress of Spices, television series such as Arabian Nights, and the West End and Broadway musical Bombay Dreams.


Dharker was born on 16 March 1977 in Mumbai, India.[1]

She is the daughter of Imtiaz Dharker, a noted poet, artist and documentary film-maker, and Anil Dharker, a columnist and an ex-editor of the renowned Indian men's magazine Debonair.[2] Her father is from India and her mother, born in Lahore, was raised in Scotland, United Kingdom.[1]

In May 2010 she married Robert Taylor in St Giles Cripplegate, London.[3]


Dharker made her screen debut in the 1989 François Villiers film Manika, une vie plus tard. She subsequently went on to star in many American, French and Indian films. She has had many television roles in the UK, particularly in Cutting It and Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee, in which she co-starred with Meera Syal.

In the international award-winning film The Terrorist (1999), she played the lead character Malli, a role that earned her a nomination for the National Film Award for Best Actress in India and the Cairo Film Festival award for Best Artistic Contribution by an Actress.

Her most internationally recognised role came in 2002 when she played Queen Jamillia, the Queen of Naboo, in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. In the same year she appeared in the critically acclaimed Anita and Me. Dharker starred in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Bombay Dreams, both in London's West End and on Broadway (2004). She also starred in The Mistress of Spices (2005).

She joined as a recurring cast member of the BBC Asian Network radio serial Silver Street, playing the role of "Ambika"; she has also appeared in the episode "Planet of the Ood" of the long-running BBC sci-fi television series, Doctor Who as Solana Mercurio.

In 2006, she played the role of Asha in the film Outsourced.

In 2008, she played the role of Tara Mandal in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street.[4]

In 2010, she played doctor's wife Kamini Sharma opposite Sanjeev Bhaskar in the BBC's comedy drama series The Indian Doctor.

In 2017, Dharker begun playing Nina Karnik in a returning role on long running BBC drama Holby City.


Narrator for the audio book of Brick Lane by Monica Ali (2003).



Year Film Role Notes
1989 Manika, une vie plus tard Manika Kallatil
1992 City of Joy Amrita H. Pal
1997 Saaz Kuhu Vrundavan
1999 Split Wide Open Leela
The Terrorist (Tamil: Theeviravaathi) Malli Cairo International Film Festival Award for Best Artistic Contribution by an Actress
2000 The Mystic Masseur Leela
2002 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones Queen Jamillia
2002 Anita and Me Daljeet Kumar
2005 The Mistress of Spices Hameeda
Colour Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story Dr. Stukeley
2006 Outsourced Asha Bhatawdekar
2007 Loins of Punjab Presents Opama Menon
2010 Red Alert Radhakka


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Misteri della giungla nera, I Young girl
1995 A Mouthful of Sky
2000 Arabian Nights Coral Lips
2001 Doctors Meena Chauhan
2002 Cutting It Sunni Khadir
2003 Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee Chila
Doctors Mina Patel
2005 Waking the Dead Mary Sharman
2008 Doctor Who Solana Mercurio Episode: "Planet of the Ood"
2008–09 Coronation Street Tara Mandal
2010 The Indian Doctor Kamini Sharma
2015 Waterloo Road Yasmeen Khan
2017 Holby City Nina Karnik Regular Role


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Final Solutions Daksha[5] NCPA
2001 The Ramayana Sita Birmingham Rep/Royal National Theatre
2002 Bombay Dreams Rani Apollo
2006 Doctor Faustus Mephistophilis Bristol Old Vic
2010 Arabian Nights Shaharazade Royal Shakespeare Company
2010 Disconnect Vidya Royal Court
2013 The Djinns of Eidgah Dr Wani[6] Royal Court
2015 Othello Emilia Royal Shakespeare Company
2015 Anita and Me Daljit Birmingham Rep / Theatre Royal Stratford East
2016 A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play for the Nation Titania Royal Shakespeare Company
2016 The Island Nation Arcola
2017 Hijabi Monologues Bush Theatre
2018 Pericles Simonida Olivier Theatre
2019 Richard II Aumerle Sam Wanamaker Playhouse


  1. ^ a b Roy, Amit (15 May 2016). "The rise and rise of Ayesha Dharker". The Telegraph (Kolkota). Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  2. ^ SAWNET: Who's Who: Ayesha Dharker Archived 25 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Ayesha Dharker's London Wedding". 30 May 2010. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010.
  4. ^ Indian actress cast Archived 24 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine ITV
  5. ^ Challenging Religious Communalism With Theatre: Mahesh Dattani’s Final Solutions Pillai, Sohini,(2012). Honors Thesis Collection, Wellesley College. Retrieved 18 July 2019
  6. ^ The Djinns of Eidgah Royal Court Theatre, royalcourttheatre.com. Retrieved 18 July 2019

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