Samantha was born to Malayalee mother, Ninette and Telugu father, Prabhu; she was brought up in Tamil Nadu and pursued a career in modelling during her late teens. She has two elder brothers Jonathan and David. Samantha schooled at Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School and then completed a degree in commerce at Stella Maris College, Chennai.
Despite signing up to Ravi Varman's Moscowin Kaveri in mid 2007, her first major release was the critically acclaimed Gautham Menon film, Ye Maaya Chesave, which got released in February 2010. Ravi Varman's Moscowin Kaveri began in August 2007; the film introduced a host of new actors, with music carried out by Thaman, then making his debut in music composing. The third film signed by Samantha was the romantic drama, Baana Kaathadi, opposite Adharvaa. Samantha then went on to feature in Vamsi Paidipally's Telugu film Brindaavanam in which she had a supporting role alongside NTR Jr and Kajal Aggarwal. Her performance as Indu was well received despite the role having a shorter screen time than the ones she had played in her previous films, and the film became her second successful venture in Telugu. Samantha featured in the big budget Telugu film, Dookudu (2012) alongside Mahesh Babu, which became one of the most successful Telugu films of all time, in which the film won positive reviews. Samantha had also been signed on two feature in two big budget projects in Tamil, Mani Ratnam's Kadal (2013) and Shankar's I but was forced to opt out from both films, since she was suffering from a skin disease and could not work for two months during mid 2012.
Samantha next featured in S. S. Rajamouli's live action Telugu-Tamil bilingual project Eega. The film went on to become a large commercial success, grossing more than 1.25 billion, and went on to be dubbed in several foreign and Indian languages. Later she did Nee Thaane En Ponnvasantham, this movie was released in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. It earned mixed reviews and performed averagely at the box office, though Samantha received highly positive acclaim for her portrayal. Samantha next appeared in the Telugu multi-starrer film, Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu which won positive reviews and was commercially successful. The year of 2014 saw Samantha appear in six films and make a return to the Tamil film industry. Her first release saw Samantha portray a dual role in the family drama film Manam . Samantha later revealed that she solely worked on Alludu Seenu as a favour to producer Bellamkonda Suresh, who had helped her delay the making of Jabardasth during her health problems. She then featured in her second dual role as apart of Vijay Milton's road film, 10 Endrathukulla (2015), where she appeared alongside Vikram. Like Anjaan and Kaththi, critics lamented her role as a clumsy girl. Her upcoming films are Vada Chennai, Theri, 24, Brahmostavam, A Aa, Janatha Garage, Marine Drive, Kaththi (Telugu).
Samantha has actively been involved in philanthropic activities and donates her earnings from endorsements, product launches and inauguration events to her charitable trust, Pratyusha Support, which was registered in 2012, to provide medical support for women and children with the help of three doctor friends. Samantha has also been involved in spreading awareness of haemophilia. further initiative in 2014 saw the launch of a programme to fulfil the wishes of children with life-threatening diseases, with Samantha financing trips for children to fly on an aeroplane and travel to the Taj Mahal, while also organising opportunities for children to meet their favourite film actors. In November 2015, Samantha entered into a further agreement with Andhra Hospitals to sponsor vaccination of all infants below six months for rotaviral infections free of cost. Later in the month, the actress took part in an organ donation pledge at Madhapur. During the 2015 Chennai floods, she participated in gathering relief materials at Ramanaidu Studios and appealed to the Telugu-speaking public to help gather resources to send to Chennai. She later donated 30 lakh rupees for flood relief activities to take place in Pallavaram, the suburb in which the actress grew up.
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