Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is an Indian film actress. She worked as a model before starting her acting career, and ultimately won the Miss World pageant in 1994. Rai has acted in over 40 films in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali.
Often cited by the media as the "most beautiful woman in the world",Rai made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar (1997), and had her first commercial success in the Tamil movie Jeans (1998). She gained the attention of Bollywood through the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Her performance won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. In 2002 she appeared in Bhansali's Devdas, for which she won her second Filmfare Best Actress Award.
After a setback in her career during 2003–2005, she appeared in Dhoom 2 (2006), which was her biggest commercial success in India. She later appeared in films like Guru (2007), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and Enthiran (2010), which were commercially and critically successful. Rai has established herself as one of the leading actresses in Bollywood.
Rai's off-screen roles include duties as brand ambassador for various charity organisations and campaigns. She is married to fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan. In 2009 she was honoured with Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Government of India.
Rai was born into a Tulu-speaking Bunt family in Mangalore, Karnataka.Her father, Krishnaraj, was a marine biologist, while her mother, Brindya, is a housewife.She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai, who is an engineer in the merchant navy. He co-produced one of her movies, Dil Ka Rishta (2003).
The family moved to Mumbai, where Rai attended the Arya Vidya Mandir High School.Rai did her intermediate schooling at Jai Hind College for a year, and then joined DG Ruparel College in Matunga, securing 90 percent in the HSC exams.She trained in classical dance and music for five years during her teens Her favourite subject was zoology, so she initially considered a career in medicine.With plans to become an architect, she enrolled at Raheja College, but later gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling.
Rai did her first modelling assignment when she was in the ninth grade, for Camlin Pencils.One of her professors at Jai Hind College took pictures of her which were published in a fashion magazine.In 1991 Rai took part in the Ford Supermodel Contest and also appeared in Vogue Magazine.She has been on the cover of Vogue three times.
Rai became popular after appearing in a Pepsi commercial with actor Aamir Khan. She modelled for Longines watches, Coca-Cola, Lakmé Cosmetics, Casio pager, Philips, Palmolive, Lux, and Fuji films. She continued to model while pursuing her studies in architecture.She was named the official brand ambassador for De Beers diamonds in India.
In the 1994 Miss India contest, she won second place, behind Sushmita Sen, and was crowned Miss India World.She went on to win the Miss World title the same year, where she also won the Miss Photogenic award.After winning the pageant, she gave up her studies and spent one year reigning as Miss World in London.Rai continued to pursue a career as a model until she became an actress.
List of awards and nominations
1999 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,
2002 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Devdas
2000 - IIFA Best Actress Award for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
2003 - IIFA Best Actress Award for Devdas
2005 - IIFA Global Indian Media Personality Award
2007 - IIFA Glamorous Star Award
2007 - IIFA Most Searched Personality on MSN India
2009 - IIFA Star of the Decade - Female
2009 - IIFA Outstanding Achievement by an Indian in International Cinema