Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, popularly known as Aish, was born on November 1, 1973, in Mangalore. Her family moved to Mumbai shortly and she received her primary and secondary education in Mumbai itself. Always bright throughout school and college, Rai aspired to become an architect some day. But these plans were put on hold when she won the title of Miss India World in 1994. She went on to win Miss World title in 1994 and hasn't looked back since.
Often cited by the media, and once voted as the "most beautiful woman in the world", Rai made her acting debut with Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar (1997), and had her first commercial success in Jeans (1998). She found success in Bollywood with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Devdas (2002) and eventually won two Filmfare Awards in the Best Actress category.
After a series of unsuccessful films during 2003–2005, she appeared in the blockbuster action thriller Dhoom 2 (2006) and subsequently featured in such films as Guru (2007), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and Enthiran (2010). She gained critical acclaim for her performances in offbeat, independent films such as Chokher Bali (2003), Raincoat (2004), and Provoked (2007). Rai has since established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses of Indian cinema.
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 the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Government of India.
Her name gained a lot of recognition overseas when she was chosen as one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2004. She has also appeared as a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman and Oprah's Women Across The Globe segment. She was also signed on as one of the brand ambassadors of L'Oreal in 2005, which put her in the same league as Andy McDowell, Eva Longoria and Penelope Cruz!
Rai has been a regular at the Cannes Film Festival since 2002, and was one of the Cannes' jury in 2003. In October 2004, a wax figure of Rai became on display in Madame Tussaud's. The same month, her first foreign film, Bride and Prejudice released. He next international project was The Mistress Of Spices with Dylan McDermott.
With her husband Abhishek Bachchan, Rai has one child, who was born on November 16, 2011. Her daughter became quite popular as "Beti B". The baby girl was finally named Aaradhya Bachchan four months later, in March 2012.
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