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Aishwarya Rai

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Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the launch of Longines New Sport Watch Collection (2007).


Aishwarya Rai

1 November 1973 (1973-11-01) (age 35)

Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Other name(s)

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan



Years active

1997 – present


Abhishek Bachchan (2007–present)

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan[1] (born Aishwarya Rai, and sometimes known simply as Aish, Tulu: ಐಶ್ವರ್ಯಾ ರೈ; 1 November 1973) is an Indian actress and former Miss World. Before starting her acting career, she worked as a model and gained fame after winning the Miss World title in 1994.

Often cited by media as the most beautiful woman in the world,[2][3][4] Rai made her movie debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar (1997) and had her first commercial success in the Tamil movie Jeans (1998). She came to the attention of Bollywood in the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Her performance in the film won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. In 2002 she appeared in Bhansali's next project, Devdas (2002), for which she won her second Best Actress Award at the Filmfare. After a low phase in her career during 2003-2005, she appeared in the blockbuster Dhoom 2 (2006), which turned out to be her biggest Bollywood commercial success. She later appeared in films like Guru (2007) and Jodhaa Akbar (2008), which were commercially successful and got her critical acclaim. Rai has thus established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses in the Indian film industry.

During her career, Rai has acted in over forty movies in Hindi, English, Tamil and Bengali including the international productions Bride & Prejudice (2003), Mistress of Spices (2005), The Last Legion (2007) and The Pink Panther 2 (2009) in English.



[edit] Early life

Rai was born in Mangalore to Krishnaraj Rai and Vrinda Rai. She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai, who is an engineer in the merchant navy and has also co-produced one of Rai's movies, Dil Ka Rishta (2003). At an early age her parents moved to Mumbai where she attended the Arya Vidya Mandir high school in Santa Cruz. Rai then entered Jai Hind College at Churchgate for one year, and then moved to Ruparel College in Matunga to finish her HSC studies. She did well in school and planned to become an architect and went on pursuing studies in architecture. She can communicate in several languages, including her mother tongue Tulu,[5] as well as Hindi, English, Marathi and Tamil.[6] She started studying architecture but gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling.[7]

[edit] Miss World

While pursuing her studies in architecture, Rai began modelling on the side. In the 1994 Miss India contest, she won the 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. She abandoned her academic education after winning the pageant and spent one year reigning as Miss World in London. Rai then started working as a professional model and then moved on to her current profession as an actress.

[edit] Film career

[edit] Early career

Rai made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil biopic film, Iruvar (1997) with Mohanlal,[8] The controversial film was a critical success and won many awards including Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival, two National Film Awards, and two Filmfare Awards South. Rai appeared in dual roles, opposite veteran actor Mohanlal, with one of her roles being a cinematic depiction of political leader and ex-actress J. Jayalalithaa.[9] Rai made her Bollywood debut in the film, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya opposite Bobby Deol, which also released that year; the film did not do well at the box office,[10] and was also panned by critics. However, her third project, S. Shankar's Tamil film, Jeans (1998) was a commercial success, earning her the Filmfare Best Actress Award South. The film was also noted for the song "Poovukkul", written by Vairamuthu, dubbing Rai as the "eighth wonder of the world", with the music video comparing her to seven other prominent world monuments.[11][12]

[edit] Success (1999-2005)

In 1999 Rai starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam opposite Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. The film was centered around Rai's character, Nandini, who is forced to marry Devgan's character despite being in love with another man (Khan), and as her husband tries to get her to her previous love, she eventually falls for him. Rai's portrayal won her critical acclaim, and the film became her first box office success in Bollywood. She won her first Filmfare Best Actress Award for the film. In the same year she appeared in Subhash Ghai's Taal, in which she played the role of a young village girl Mansi, who becomes a big Pop star after being hurt by her lover played by Akshay Khanna, the film was an average performer in India but was a big success among the international audience, especially in the United States, where it became the first Indian film to reach the top 20 on Variety's box office list.[13] Rai received another Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare for her performance.[14]

In 2000, she appeared in Mansoor Khan's Josh alongside Shahrukh Khan and Chandrachur Singh, in which she played a Catholic girl named Shirley who falls in love with the sibling of her Brother's enemy. The film was a commercial success. Later that year she appeared in Satish Kaushik's Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai opposite Anil Kapoor. It was a moderate success and her performance earned her a Filmfare Best Actress Award nomination. Later that year she played a supporting role in the Aditya Chopra's Mohabbatein alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan, the film was a major commercial success and became the second highest grosser of the year, it also earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award nomination. Later that year, she also starred in the Tamil film Kandukondain Kandukondain, alongside Mammooty, Ajith Kumar and Tabu.

In 2002, Rai appeared alongside Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas, an adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay famous novel by the same name. She played the role of Paro (Parvati), the love interest of the protagonist played by Khan. The film received a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival.[15] and became the highest grossing film of the year both in India and overseas.[16][17] Devdas won numerous awards including 10 Filmfare Awards, and Rai received her second Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance. In 2003, she acted in Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film, Chokher Bali, an adaptation of one of Rabindranath Tagore's novels by the same name. She portrayed the character of a young woman called Binodini, who is left to her own devices when her sickly husband dies soon after they are married.[18] That year she also appeared in her home production Dil Ka Rishta alongside Arjun Rampal and Rohan Sippy's Kuch Na Kaho alongside Abhishek Bachchan, none of which succeeded.

In 2004 she appeared in Gurinder Chadha's Bollywood-style English adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Bride and Prejudice alongside Martin Henderson. In the film she portrayed the role of Lalita Bakshi, the film's counterpart of Elizabeth Bennet in Austen's novel. This was followed by Rajkumar Santoshi's Khakee alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan and Jayapradha, in the film she played a negative role for the first time in her career. In the same year she appeared in in her second film with Rituparno Ghosh, Raincoat alongside Ajay Devgan. The film was highly acclaimed by the critics, whereas Rai received rave reviews for her performance.[19]

In 2005 she appeared in Shabd a film based on a love triangle alongside Sanjay Dutt and Zayed Khan. The film was a box office flop wheraeas it received average reviews from the critics. Her next release that year was Paul Mayeda Berges's The Mistress of Spices based upon the novel The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in which she starred alongside Dylan McDermott. The film received negative review by critics and was also a commercial failure. The same year she made a special appearance in Shaad Ali's Bunty Aur Babli in a hugely popular seven-minute dance sequence for the song "Kajra Re", alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan.

[edit] (2006-present)

Aishwarya Rai and Rajinikanth at the Machu Pichu, Peru site during a song picturization for Endhiran

In the year 2006, Rai starred in J P Dutta's Umrao Jaan, a second film adaptation of the Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada (1905), written by Mirza Hadi Ruswa. She portrayed courtesan and poetess by the same name from 19th century. The film was a critical and commercial failure, though Rai's work was generally well received. Critic Taran Adarsh wrote, "Aishwarya Rai looks ethereal. She has looked heavenly and performed so convincingly. She emotes through her expressive eyes and the consistency in her performance is evident from start to end".[20] Later that year she appeared as a master thief, Sunheri, in Yash Raj Films's Dhoom 2 directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, with an ensemble cast of Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu and Uday Chopra. The film turned out to be a blockbuster and became the highest grossing film of the year in India.[21] The film also sparked a controversy for a scene containing a kiss between her and Hrithik Roshan.[22] Her performance earned her a sixth nomination for Filmfare Best Actress Award.

In 2007 she appeared in Mani Ratnam's Guru as Sujata, speculated to be based on the life of Indian businessman Dhirubhai Ambani, it was a rag to riches story about an ambitious small town man who ends up as the owner of the biggest corporation in India. The film was premièred at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, making it the first Indian film to have a mainstream international premiere in Canada.[23][24] The film was critically acclaimed and performed well at the box office,[25] becoming one of the highest grossers of the year. Rai won the critical acclaim, with one critic writing, "Aishwarya Rai stuns you with a powerful performance. Known for her angelic looks all the while, the actor will make people sit up and notice the reservoirs of talent in Guru".[26] Rai got her seventh nomination for the Filmfare Best Actress Award for the film. In the same year she starred in Jag Mundhra's British film Provoked as Kiranjit Ahluwalia(an NRI woman who killed her abusive husband after facing severe domestic violence) alongside Naveen Andrews. The film was panned by critics and was also a commercial failure, though rai received positive reviews from critics. In the same year she appeared as a female Indian warrior from Kerala named Mira, in Doug Lefler's epic film The Last Legion alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth and Thomas Sangster. The film was a critical failure.[27]

In 2008, she starred alongside Hrithik Roshan in Ashutosh Gowariker's historical drama Jodhaa Akbar playing the role of Jodha Bai, the Hindu wife of the Muslim Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, played by Roshan. The film was a critical and commercial success, becoming one of the highest Bollywood grossers that year. She earned her eighth nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare for her performance. Later that year she co-starred with husband Abhishek Bachchan and father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan in Ram Gopal Verma's Sarkar Raj, playing the CEO of a major power company proposing to establish a new power plant in rural Maharashtra.

Rai returned to the Tamil film industry and is working with Rajinikanth for the movie Endhiran, directed by S. Shankar, in an interview to the news channel Aaj Tak she confirmed a fee of Rs 6 crores for the film, making her the highest paid actress in India.[28] She is also slated to co-star with Vikram in Mani Ratnam's next film, Ashokavanam which is also to be simultaneously made in Hindi, titled Raavan, with Abhishek Bachchan in the lead.[29] She set to appear in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's next film opposite Hrithik Roshan,[30] Vipul Shah's Action Replay opposite Akshay Kumar, Abhinay Deo's next film produced by Farhan Akhtar and Vishal Bharadwaj's next directorial venture.[31]

In 2009 Rai was awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to Indian cinema.[32] In the same year she refused to accept the second-highest Order Of France, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as her father was suffering from serious illness, and she wanted her whole family to attend the award function.[33] She is only the fourth Indian actor after Amitabh Bachchan, Nandita Das and Shahrukh Khan to be chosen for an Order Of France.[34]

[edit] Other work

In 1999 Rai participated in a world tour called the Magnificent Five along with Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Akshaye Khanna and Twinkle Khanna.[35] In 2003 she became the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.[36]

In 2004 she travelled all the way to Siachen Glacier, which at a height of 13000 ft is the highest battlefield in the world, to boost the morale of the jawans for a special New Year episode on the NDTV show, Jai Jawan.[37] In 2005, she became a brand ambassador for Pulse Polio, a campaign established by the Government of India in 1994 to eradicate Polio in India.[38]

In February 2005, Rai performed at the HELP! Telethon Concert to help raise money for the victims of 2004 tsunami earthquake in company with other Bollywood stars.[39]

In 2006 she appeared at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian art, on behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi. In 2008 she along with her family laid the foundation of a special school for underprivilged girls in the Daulatpur village in Uttar Pradesh.The school will be made by her family and is going to be named after her.[40]

In Summer 2008, Rai joined her husband and father-in-law along with Preity Zinta and Ritesh Deshmukh, Shilpa Shetty on the Unforgettable World Tour. The first leg of the tour covered the USA, Canada, London, and Trinidad. The second leg of the tour will most likely happen by the end of this year 2008. Amitabh's company AB Corp Ltd. along with Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd are behind the concert.[41]

[edit] Personal life

Aishwarya Rai with her husband Abhishek Bachchan at the IIFA Awards (2007).

Aishwarya has previously dated Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi. She is married to Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan who is three years younger. After much speculation concerning their relationship, her engagement to Abhishek Bachchan was announced on January 14, 2007. The announcement was later confirmed by Amitabh Bachchan.[42] Rai married Bachchan on April 20, 2007 according to traditional Hindu rites of the South Indian Bunt community, to which she belongs. Token North Indian and Bengali ceremonies were also performed. The wedding took place in a private ceremony at the Bachchan residence Prateeksha in Juhu, Mumbai. Though the wedding was a private affair intended for the Bachchan and Rai family and friends, the involvement of the media turned it into a national extravaganza.

[edit] International media

Rai has been the most popular face of Indian cinema globally. In 2004 she was chosen by Time magazine as one of the World's "100 Most Influential People",[43] and appeared on the cover of Time magazine, Asia Edition in 2003.[44] She was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile on 2 January 2005, which said that "at least according to thousands of Web sites, Internet polls and even Julia Roberts", she was "The World's Most Beautiful Woman".[2] In October 2004 a wax figure of Rai was put on display in London's Madame Tussaud's wax museum.[45] She was the 6th Indian and the second Bollywood personality after her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan to get this honour.

In 2005 she became a global brand ambassador of L'Oreal alongside Andie Macdowell, Eva Longoria and Penelope Cruz. The same year, a special Tulip in the Netherlands was named "Aishwarya Rai" after her.[46] Rai became the first Indian to appear on such shows as Late Show with David Letterman, and was the first Bollywood personality to appear on Oprah's "Women Across the Globe" segment. In 2005, Harpers and Queen's list of 10 Most beautiful women in the world ranked her at the 9th spot.[47]

[edit] Awards and nominations

Main article: List of Aishwarya Rai's awards and nominations

[edit] Filmography











Double role

Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya


Ashi Kapoor





Winner, Filmfare Best Actress Award South

India's official entry to the Oscars


Aa Ab Laut Chalen



Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam



Winner, Filmfare Best Actress Award

Ravoyi Chandamama


Special appearance




Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award





Guest appearance

Kandukondain Kandukondain


Meenakshi Bala




Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai


Preeti Virat

Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award

Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke


Sahiba Grewal




Nominated, Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award






Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam



Guest appearance

Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin


Komal Rastogi

23rd March 1931: Shaheed


Special appearance



Parvati (Paro)

Winner, Filmfare Best Actress Award

India's official entry to the Oscars

Shakti: The Power



Special appearance in song "Ishq Kamina"


Chokher Bali



Dil Ka Rishta


Tia Sharma

Kuch Naa Kaho


Namrata Shrivastav


Bride & Prejudice


Lalita Bakshi




Kyun...! Ho Gaya Na


Diya Malhotra




Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award




Antara Vashist/Tammana

Bunty Aur Babli


Special appearance in the song "Kajra Re"

Mistress of Spices




Umrao Jaan


Umrao Jaan

Dhoom 2



Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award





Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award




Kiranjit Ahluwalia

The Last Legion




Jodhaa Akbar


Jodhaa Bai

Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award

Sarkar Raj


Anita Rajan


The Pink Panther 2


Sonia Solandres












Action Replay



[edit] See also

[edit] References

1. ^ "The name’s Bachchan, Aishwarya Bachchan!". ExpressIndia. 2007-05-01. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.

2. ^ a b "The World's Most Beautiful Woman?" Retrieved on October 27, 2007

3. ^ Hiscock, Geoff (2007). India's global wealth club. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 6. ISBN 0470822384.

4. ^ Chhabra, Aseem (February 9, 2005). "Ash does fine on Letterman". Retrieved on 2009-05-09.

5. ^ "'They should not break up soon'". Retrieved on 2009-02-14.

6. ^ "Letterman unveils Ash to America". Times of India. 2005-02-09. Retrieved on 3 December 2008.

7. ^ Assomull, Sujata (5 February 1999). "My first break -- Aishwarya Ra". Indian Express. Retrieved on 2009-06-15.

8. ^ "Iruvar (1997)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2008-10-27.

9. ^ Warrior, Shobha (2003-09-03). "25 years, 25 landmarks". Rediff. Retrieved on 2009-04-02.

10. ^ "Box Office India report of 1997". Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.

11. ^ "Of Jeans and bottom lines". (V. Srinivasan).

12. ^ "Wonder of wonders". (Rajitha).

13. ^ Bist, Raju (2002-11-12). "Bollywood takes on the world". Asia Times. Retrieved on 5 December 2008.

14. ^ "Box Office India report of 1999". Archived from the original on 2007-12-21. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.

15. ^ Corliss, Richard (2002-06-03). "Cannes Kiss Off". Time.,9171,501020610-257165,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.

16. ^ "Box Office India report of 2002". Archived from the original on 2007-12-27. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.

17. ^ "Box Office India report of Overseas Gross". Archived from the original on 2007-12-27. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.

18. ^ "Chokher Bali will widen my horizon". Times of India. 2003-07-06. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.

19. ^ "Rain coat is simply beautiful". Retrieved on 2009-03-09.

20. ^ "movie review". Retrieved on 2009-03-06.

21. ^ "All Time Earners Inflation Adjusted". Retrieved on 2009-03-04.

22. ^ "Obscenity case filed against Aishwarya and Hrithik". The Hindu. 2006-12-02. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved on 2008-11-20.

23. ^ Canadian Press (2007-01-11]). "Thousands attend 'Guru' premiere". Toronto Star. Retrieved on 2008-08-15.

24. ^ "Canada mayor invites 'Guru' crew for world premiere". Indo-Asian News Service. Retrieved on 10 January 2007.

25. ^ "International Business Overview Standard". IBOSNetwork.

26. ^ Adarsh, Taran (2007-01-12). "Guru". IndiaFM. Retrieved on 2007-01-17.

27. ^ "'Superbad' delivers super debut with $31.2 million debut". International Herald Tribune. 2007-09-19. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.

28. ^ "Robot confirmed!". Sify. 2008. Retrieved on 2008-01-05.

29. ^ "Aishwarya busy with 'Endhiran' and 'Ravan'". MSN. 2008-12-17. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.

30. ^ "'Aishwarya is very special to me'". The Hindu. 2008-12-30. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.

31. ^ "Wait training". Mumbai Mirror. 2009-01-30. Retrieved on 2009-01-30.

32. ^ "Aishwarya, Akshay, Helen in Padma Shri list". The Hindu. 2009-01-26. Retrieved on 2009-01-26.

33. ^ "Ash won't accept award without Dad". The Times of India. Retrieved on 2009-02-12.

34. ^ "Ash refuses French award". Retrieved on 2009-02-13.

35. ^ "Magnificent Five". Elite Entertainment ( Retrieved on April 14 2007.

36. ^ "Aishwarya Bachchan Rai". Retrieved on 2009-02-14.

37. ^ "Ash on NDTV's Jai Jawan". Retrieved on 2009-02-12.

38. ^ "Actress Rai backs polio campaign". Retrieved on 2009-02-14.

39. ^ "Bollywood unites to present caring face". The Telegraph. February 8, 2005. Retrieved on February 8 2006.

40. ^ "Bachchans to build girls school in name of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan". Retrieved on 2009-02-20.

41. ^ "Amitabh-Abhishek planning world tour together : India Entertainment". Retrieved on 2008-11-13.

42. ^ "". Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Engaged.

43. ^ Perry, Alex (2004-04-18). "Aishwarya Rai". Time. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.

44. ^ "The Leading Lady". Time Asia. 2003-10-20. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.

45. ^ Arun, Neil (2004-10-01). "Bollywood goddess waxes beautiful". BBC News. Retrieved on 2008-10-27.

46. ^ "Holland tulip named after Aishwarya". Retrieved on 12 February 2009.

47. ^ "Aishwarya Rai Named 9th Most Beautiful Woman in the World". Retrieved on 2009-02-12.

[edit] External links


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