As one of few porn stars with roots in India, Sunny Leone is a rarity whose beauty makes her stand out even more. Sunny was a nursing student who got a taste for the industry when she posed for Penthouse in 2001, and she was named Pet of the Month that March. Appearances in magazines such as Hustler and Swank followed, and in 2003 Sunny was the Penthouse Pet of the Year. That year she also starred with Tera Patrick in the video Penthouse Pets in Paradise.
Sunny signed a contract as a girl/girl performer with Vivid in 2005, becoming the first Vivid Girl of Indian descent. That December saw the release of Sunny, her first starring role. Her next movie, Virtual Vivid Girl Sunny Leone, made her the first Vivid Girl to do an interactive film and won Sunny her first AVN Award (Best Interactive DVD). When Sunny signed for six more films with Vivid in 2007, she agreed to perform with one man: her then-fiancé Matt Erikson. Her first movie under this contract, Sunny Loves Matt, was also her first post-breast augmentation feature. Sunny split from Erikson in January 2008, freeing her to perform with other men. She delivered particularly sizzling boy/girl scenes in such classic Vivid flicks as The Other Side of Sunny and Sunny's B/G Adventure. After leaving Vivid, Sunny continued to get fans overheated with standout performances in Deviance from SkinworXXX/Adam & Eve and Goddess (her first anal scene) from her own company, SunLust Pictures. In April 2012 Sunny overtook Jenna Jameson at the coveted top spot of the Fame Registry, an online ranking of porn stars based on Internet searches and web traffic.
One of the few porn stars to achieve major mainstream success, Sunny has appeared on TV many times, including the 2005 MTV Awards on MTV India, the 2006 World Series of Poker, E!'s Wild On, and Fox Reality's My Bare Lady 2. Impressive though her list of appearances already was, it couldn't compare to being cast on Bigg Boss 5, a popular Indian reality show, in 2011. This was her ticket to Bollywood. Acclaimed Indian film producer Pooja Bhatt cast her in the sequel to her father Mahesh Bhatt's 2003 hit Jism. (Though it's certainly erotic, explicit scenes are illegal in India.) Sunny became a resident of India, took Hindi lessons, and trained physically for the movie, which began filming in April 2012. Sunny went on to even greater Bollywood success with horror film titled Ragini MMS 2, directed by Pawan Kripalani, and a three-film deal with producer Parag Sanghvi of Alumbra Entertainment worth more than USD$1 million. Her Bollywood fame prompted her to retire from adult film, yet her popularity among porn fans is as strong as ever.
Sunny sex toys include a pocket pal molded to her vagina and a Sunny Leone Exciter vibrator. In September 2009, Sunny released the first officially sanctioned iPhone application featuring a porn star, consisting of non-nude photos, videos and a blog written by Sunny, but it was pulled in 2010. As a result of her tech friendliness, AVN named Sunny Web Starlet of the Year at the 2010 AVN Awards.
Though born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Sunny moved with her family to the US as a teenager. She loves video games, Italian food, reading, soccer, and horseback riding.