Aishwarya Rai (born on November 1, 1973) is an Indian actress and
former fashion model, currently one of the highest-paid actresses in India.
Aishwarya was crowned Miss World in 1994, and in 2000 was voted Most
Beautiful Miss World of All Time. Aishwarya Rai's fans ranked her as
"The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" in a Hello! Magazine poll. She has
been interviewed on 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Early Show, etc.
and was introduced by David Letterman as "the biggest movie star in the
world". Maxim magazine currently features her in their Girls of Maxim
Aishwarya Rai was born in Mangalore, in the South Indian state of Karnataka,
to Krishnaraj Rai, a marine engineer, and Vrinda Rai, a writer. Her
ancestors are from the Bunt community of Mangalore. Rai's family later
relocated to Mumbai. Rai has one brother, Aditya Rai, who is three years
older than she is. Aditya is a film producer, and has occasionally produced
films in which Rai acted. Aditya got married in early 2004.
Aishwarya Rai attended the Arya Vidya Mandir at Santacruz, Mumbai, then entered Ruparel College, Matunga, Mumbai. Aishwarya was an A student and was on track to become an architect. Rai's native language is Tulu; Aishwarya also speaks Hindi, English, Urdu, Kannada, Marathi, and Tamil.
Aishwarya Rai began modeling on the side while studying architecture. In the 1994 Miss India contest, she placed second behind Sushmita Sen, and went on to win the Miss World title that same year and the Miss Photogenic award. After the one year reign as Miss World in London, Rai then worked as a professional model, in advertising and Indian fashion magazines.
The first film Aishwarya Rai acted in was a Tamil movie Iruvar in (1997), directed by Mani Ratnam. Her first Hindi film was Aur Pyar Ho Gaya opposite Bobby Deol. Her breakthrough performance came in 1999 with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Later standout successes include Taal and Devdas. Besides Hindi language, Bollywood films, Aishwarya Rai has also acted in Tamil films such as Jeans and Kandukondain Kandukondain and the Bengali film Chokher Bali, and appeared in a Telugu film Ravoyi Chandamama. Since 2004 Aishwarya has also been appearing in an increasing number of English language films.
In 2002, Aishwarya Rai appeared with Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit in the lavishly produced Devdas, which was a huge hit. The film attracted overseas attention as well, receiving a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival, garnering international attention for Rai.
In 2003, Aishwarya Rai was a member of the jury at Cannes. In 2004, she was chosen by TIME Magazine's Asian Edition as one of Asia's "100 Most Influential People." She was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile on January 2, 2005 - "The Most Beautiful face in the Bollywood." A month later she appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, and on April 25, 2005, she was featured on Oprah's "Women Across the Globe" segment. A wax figure of Rai is on display in London's Madame Tussaud's wax museum. It is reported that Julia Roberts named Rai the most beautiful woman in the world.
Although frequently the subject of gossip column speculation about an imminent Hollywood career, it was only in 2004 that Aishwarya Rai finally acted in a foreign film, when British director Gurinder Chadha hired her to play the heroine in Bride and Prejudice, a Hollywood-funded but Bollywood-ized version of Jane Austen's classic novel, Pride and Prejudice. The movie came just shy of breaking even at the US box office but earned over 400% return on investment in global revenue. Aishwarya's next overseas venture, Mistress of Spices, written by Gurinder Chadha and her husband Paul Mayeda Berges, from the novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and directed by Berges, was released in the U.K. in April 2006 to a generally poor critical and commercial reception. Aishwarya has several other international, English-language films in the pipeline, including Provoked, The Last Legion, Singularity, and Chaos.
The song "Kajra Re", which Aishwarya Rai performed in the film Bunty Aur Babli, was voted best song of 2005 and best choreographed song of 2005 in a poll by the Hindustan Times. Aishwarya appeared at the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian culture, on behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi. For her three-minute dance performance, Aishwarya Rai was reportedly paid three crore rupees, the equivalent of about 600,000 U.S. dollars.
Aishwarya Rai does not prefer to talk to the media about her personal life. All the details mentioned in this section are bade on what was reported by the media.
Aishwarya Rai began dating Salman Khan, her co-star from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, after the filming of that movie. Their breakup a few years later generated a substantial amount of press attention; a police report from Rai's parents turned up alleging that Khan had smashed windows and furniture at their home, and an inebriated Khan subsequently assaulted Aishwarya on the set of a movie she was working on, soon before he was arrested for drunk driving and vehicular homicide. Years later, at the premiere of her film Provoked, in which she plays the role of a real-life victim of domestic violence, Aishwarya Rai reported having personally suffered from domestic violence, a reference that was linked by the press with her past relationship with Khan. After Salman, Aishwarya Rai is said to have dated Vivek Oberoi for some time, though she publicly denied the relationship. Some gossip columns have speculated that Rai is currently dating Abhishek Bachchan, with whom she filmed Umrao Jaan , Dhoom_2 and Kuch Naa Kaho. Both Abhishek and Rai have have dismissed the reports as untrue.
Aishwarya Rai has been described by others in the Bollywood film industry as having traditional values and being "a paragon of age-old, dutiful Indian femininity". As a practicing Hindu, she has described herself as having "immense faith in its gods", and when at home Aishwarya attends the Siddhivinayak Mandir, devoted to Lord Ganesh. When not on the road, Rai lives in Mumbai with her parents.
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