Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is an Indian model and actress. She first garnered international fame after winning the ‘Miss World 1994’ pageant. After modeling for a few years, she ventured into the film industry as an actress. Thanks to her beauty and acting skills, she went on to make a name for herself in the Hindi film industry. The recipient of two ‘Filmfare Awards’ and ‘Padma Shri,’ the fourth highest civilian award from the Government of India, Aishwarya has often been cited in the Indian and international media as "the most beautiful woman in the world." Prior to entering the film industry, she did not have much of an acting experience, but with the guidance of several seasoned directors, she went on to emerge as one of the finest actresses of Bollywood. Rai made her movie debut in Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film ‘Iruvar.’ Subsequently, she caught the attention of Bollywood filmmakers after appearing in the movie ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.’ Although she has been criticized for her performance in some of her movies, she has also displayed brilliant performances in films like ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,’ ‘Devdas,’ ‘Jodha Akbar,’ ‘Chokher Bali,’ and ‘Raincoat.’ She was the first Indian actress to become a jury member at the ‘Cannes Film Festival.’
Aishwarya Rai was born on November 1, 1973, into a Tulu speaking family in Mangalore, Karnataka, India, to Krishnaraj and Vrinda Rai. Her father was an Army biologist who died on March 18, 2017. Her elder brother, Aditya Rai, is in the merchant navy.
When the family moved to Mumbai, Rai attended ‘Arya Vidya Mandir High School.’ She then went to ‘Jai Hind College’ for a year, and later joined ‘DG Ruparel College’ in Matunga. She secured 90 percent in the intermediate exams.
During her teens, she learnt classical dance and music for five years. Initially, she aspired to become an architect, and enrolled at ‘Rachana Sansad Academy of Architecture.’ However, she gave up her studies to pursue a career in modeling.
In 1993, Aishwarya Rai gained popularity in the modeling industry after appearing in a ‘Pepsi’ advertisement alongside actor Aamir Khan. The breakthrough in her career came in 1994 when she won the second place in the ‘Miss India’ pageant. Subsequently, she was crowned ‘Miss India World.’ She then represented India in the ‘Miss World’ pageant, and won the crown.
In 1997, she made her acting debut with Mani Ratnam's Tamil film ‘Iruvar.’ She portrayed both ‘Pushpavalli’ and ‘Kalpana’ in the film. The same year, she made her Bollywood debut with the film ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya.’
Aishwarya Rai won ‘Filmfare Awards’ for ‘Best Actress’ for ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ (1999) and ‘Devdas’ (2002). While ‘Taal’ earned her a ‘Best Actress’ nomination, ‘Mohabbatein’ earned her a ‘Best Supporting Actress’ nomination.
In 2009, she was awarded the ‘Padma Shri’ by the Government of India for her contribution to arts. It is the fourth-highest Indian civilian award. She was awarded the ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,’ a national order of France, in 2012.
In 1999, Aishwarya Rai dated Bollywood actor Salman Khan. The couple ended their relationship in 2002 due to "verbal, physical and emotional abuse” on part of Khan. She dated Vivek Oberoi in 2004.
She started dating actor Abhishek Bachchan while filming ‘Dhoom 2.’ Their engagement was announced in January 2007, and they got married on April 20, 2007 in Mumbai. Their daughter Aaradhya was born on November 16, 2011.