Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (born on 1 November 1973) is a Bollywood 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 the media as the most beautiful woman in the world.
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, as well as Hindi, English, Marathi and Tamil. She started studying architecture but gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling.
In 1999 Aishwarya began dating Bollywood actors Salman Khan, their relationship was often reported in the media until the couple separated in 2001. Rai cited “abuse (verbal, physical and emotional), infidelity and indignity” on part of Khan as a reason for ending their relation, though Khan has denied this. She was later linked to actor Vivek Oberoi but the relationship was never confirmed by her. Rai is married to actor Abhishek Bachchan. After much speculation concerning their relationship, their engagement was announced on January 14, 2007. The announcement was later confirmed by his father Amitabh Bachchan.The couple got married 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 families and friends, the involvement of the media turned it into a national extravaganza. They have been cited as a supercouple in the Indian media. Rai has been very close to her family and used to live with them in Bandra, Mumbai until her marriage.
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 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), The Mistress of Spices (2005), The Last Legion (2007) and The Pink Panther 2 (2009) in English. In 2009 Rai was awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to Indian cinema. In the same year she refused to accept the second-highest Order Of France, Order des Arts et des Lettres as her father was suffering from serious illness, and she wanted her whole family to attend the award function. She is only the fourth Indian actor after Amitabh Bachchan, Nandita Das and Shahrukh Khan to be chosen for an Order Of France. In June 2009, she was declared the Female Star of The Decade at the tenth International Indian Film Academy Awards held in Macau.