Ramya made her acting debut in the 2003 Kannada-language film Abhi, alongside Puneet Rajkumar, following which, she acted in many Kannada films, enacting the lead female role and establishing herself as one of the most sought-after actresses in the Kannada film industry.
Divya Spandana was born in Bangalore, Karnataka on 29 November 1982. Her parents originally hail from Mandya. She studied at St. Hilda's school in Ooty, and in Sacred Heart School (Church Park), Chennai, Tamil Nadu.She pursued her graduation at St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bangalore, but later discontinued. Ramya participated in stage shows and dance rehearsals from her grade school days. She aspires to become a film producer very soon and assures that she would obviously be playing the lead role in the film produced under her home banner.
Changing her name to Ramya, Divya made her acting debut in the 2003 Kannada-language film Abhi, alongside Puneet Rajkumar. She was originally supposed to make debut in Rajkumar's first film Appu, for which she, however, was not selected eventually, and was later offered and signed for the lead female role in Abhi, which became a commercial success. The same year, she had another release in Kannada with Excuse Me, which also did well at the box office, and also stepped into Telugu filmdom with the film Abhimanyu.
In 2004, Spandana debuted in the Tamil film industry, also under the name Ramya, with the film Kuththu alongside Silambarasan Rajendar, which managed only a mediocre run at the box office as did her next Tamil film Giri. Her debut film, however, gave her the name 'Kuthu' Ramya, by which she was then popularly known in Tamil Nadu. She had two releases in Kannada as well, Ranga S. S. L. C. and Kanti, out of which the latter, a love story set against the backdrop of borders and language issues, was declared a major success. In 2005 she had four releases, all being Kannada films, with the latter three films Aakash, Gowramma and Amrithadhare becoming major box-office successes, whilst also garnering critical acclaim for Ramya's performance and establishing her as a leading actress in Karnataka.
In 2006 she starred in Julie, a remake of the same-titled 1975 Hindi-language film. She essayed the role of a single, unwed mother in the film, which failed to attract audiences. After her following release, Datta did average business at the box office, her next Kannada release, Jothe Jotheyali was a successful venture,in spite of largely unfavorable reviews by critics. Her final 2006 release, Kavitha Lankesh's Tananam Tananam, an average grosser that released to mixed reviews, fetched Ramya her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She had described her role in the film as "little complex" and "challenging." In 2007, Ramya starred in three feature films; the first releasing, Arasu, co-starring Puneet Rajkumar and Meera Jasmine, was a huge hit.She then appeared as a sex worker in a short film Prarambha, directed by Santhosh Sivan, which was made in order to create awareness about AIDS and was part of Mira Nair's AIDS Jaago project. Her fourth 2007 release was Polladhavan, where she acted against Dhanush. The film, released during the 2007 Deepavali period, was considered a dark horse success and made possible Ramya's breakthrough in Tamil.Rajinikanth was all praises for the entire crew of Polladhavan.
Her first 2008 release, the Kannada film Mussanjemaatu with Sudeep, was a big hit, for which she also received a nomination for a Best Actress Award at the 56th Filmfare Awards South. Later that year, she starred in the films Bombaat and Anthu Inthu Preethi Banthu, with the former becoming declared a "super hit" as well.Her final release in 2008 was Gautham Menon's Vaaranam Aayiram for which she changed her screen name to her actual name Divya again, which is believed to have brought her more luck.She had also dubbed in her own voice for Vaaranam Aayiram, which became a high critical as well as commercial success. She did not have any releases in 2009, since both her films Bhimoos Bang Bang Kids and Jothegaara got delayed heavily due to financial problems.