Aishwarya Rai (Tulu-Kannada: ಐಶ್ವರ್ಯ ರೈ, Devanāgarī: ऐश्वर्या राय, (born November 1, 1973), is an award-winning South Indian actress. Rai, who won the Miss World title in 1994, made her film debut in Mani Ratnam's Iruvar (1997) and had her first critical and commercial success with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), with whom she repeated this success with Devdas (2002). Since then, she has acted in nearly forty Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and English films. Today, she is considered to be one of the most popular actresses in India and the best-known Indian actress in the world. Rai is married to Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan and is daughter-in-law to Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan.
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. Her family relocated to Mumbai (Bombay) after her birth. Rai has one elder brother, Aditya Rai who is a film producer. Rai attended the Arya Vidya Mandir at Santacruz, Mumbai, then entered Jai Hind College, Churchgate, Mumbai for one year and then moved to Ruparel College, Matunga, Mumbai to finish her HSC. She was an A student and was on track to become an architect. Her mother tongue is Tulu. She also speaks Hindi, English, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil.
Rai began modeling on the side while pursuing for studies in Architecture, which did not materialise. In the 1994 Miss India contest, she was controversially 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, she then worked as a professional model, in advertising and Indian fashion magazines and later got into the Indian film industry.
Rai debuted in Mani Ratnam's Tamil language film, Iruvar (1997) with Mohanlal. She was introduced to Bollywood in the film, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya with Bobby Deol as her co-star; the film was not a big hit on box office. However, her third project, a Tamil-language film, Jeans (199 by S. Shankar was a critical and commercial success for which she was awarded the Filmfare Best Actress Award South. Aishwarya then appeared in many Bollywood films; a few successful films of her career include Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Taal (1999) for which her performance was lauded. She was awarded the Filmfare Best Actress Award for her role in the former. In 2000 she had a supporting role in the hit film Mohabbatein and also in another hit film Josh.
In 2002, Rai appeared with superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit in the lavishly produced Devdas, which was a major box-office success. and earned her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. The film attracted overseas attention as well, receiving a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival. It was during this time that she garnered the attention of the West as an Indian actress and went on to appear in a few Hollywood projects.
As her name gained popularity in the West, she was chosen by Time magazine in 2004 as one of the World's "100 Most Influential People" and in 2003, appeared on the cover of Time magazine. She was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile on January 2. A month later she appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. She was also featured on Oprah's "Women Across the Globe" segment. In 2003, she acted in the critically acclaimed and commercial success Bengali film, Chokher Bali, an adaptation of one of Rabindranath Tagore's novels by the same name.
Rai has been a regular at the Cannes Film Festival since 2002, and was a member of the Jury at Cannes in the year 2003. In October 2004, a wax figure of Rai became on display in London's Madame Tussaud's wax museum. The same month, her first foreign film was released: Bride and Prejudice. The film was an Indian version of Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice. The film did well commercially in the U.K but not in India. Her next overseas venture, The Mistress of Spices, was critically acclaimed though not commercially successful. She then 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. In between her overseas acting stints, she appeared in the Indian film Bunty Aur Babli in a hugely popular seven minute dance sequence for the song "Kajra Re".
At the end of the year 2006, she had two releases: Umrao Jaan and Dhoom 2. Umrao Jaan did poorly in India; however, her role in Dhoom 2, a sequel to the 2004 hit movie Dhoom brought her great attention. It was a hit commercially too. 2007 saw the release of Mani Ratnam's Guru which premiered in Toronto. The film, based on the life of Indian businessman Dhirubhai Ambani, was critically acclaimed and a big box office hit. Her most recent film, Provoked, based on the book "Circle of Light" where she portrays a real life character, was released on 6 April, 2007 in India and the UK. The film did well commercially in the UK. It was critically acclaimed all over the world. At the end of April 2007 her first American film, The Last Legion, was released in Russia and the Netherlands. The film opened in North American theaters in August 2007.
Aishwarya Rai was under fire for a kissing scene in her Bollywood blockbuster Dhoom 2.The kissing scene from a movie starring Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan, has upset an Indian lawyer who has filed a criminal case against them, accusing them of obscenity. She dated actors Salman Khan & Vivek Oberoi. Her turbulent relationship with Salman Khan filled gossip columns. Her parents also had lodged a complaint against him. 
After much speculation concerning their relationship, her engagement to Abhishek Bachchan was announced on January 14, 2007. They married on April 20, 2007 in a private ceremony held at the Bachchans' bungalow Prateeksha. The event was heavily covered by the media.
* 1998 - Filmfare Best Actress Award South for Jeans
* 1999 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,
* 2002 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Devdas
* 1999 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Taal 
* 2000 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai 
* 2000 - Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for Mohabbatein 
* 2004 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Raincoat 
* 2006 - Filmfare Best Actress Award for Dhoom 2 
International Indian Film Academy Awards
* 2000 - IIFA Best Actress Award for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
* 2003 - IIFA Best Actress Award for Devdas
* 2005 - IIFA Global Indian Media Personality Award
* 2007 - IIFA Glamorous Star Award
* 2000 - IIFA Best Actress Award for Taal
* 2005 - IIFA Best Actress Award for Raincoat
Star Screen Awards
* 1997 - Star Screen Award Most Promising Newcomer - Female for Aur Pyar Ho Gaya
* 1999 - Star Screen Award Best Actress for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
* 2002 - Star Screen Award Jodi No. 1 along with Shahrukh Khan for Devdas
* 2002 - Star Screen Award Best Actress for Devdas
* 1998 - Star Screen Award Best Actress for Taal
* 2000 - Star Screen Award Best Actress for Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai
* 2000 - Star Screen Award Best Supporting Actress for Mohabbatein
* 2004 - Star Screen Award Best Actress for Raincoat
* 2006 - Star Screen Award Best Actress for Dhoom 2
* 2006 - Star Screen Award Jodi No. 1 along with Hrithik Roshan for Dhoom 2
Zee Cine Awards
* 2000 - Lux Face of the Year
* 2000 - Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Female for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
* 2003 - Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Female for Devdas
* 2003 - Zee Cine True Indian Beauty Award
* 2005 - Zee Cine Critics' Best Actor Award- Female for Raincoat
* 2000 - Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Female for Taal
* 2007 - Zee Cine Award Best Actor- Female for Umrao Jaan
* 2000 - Rupa Filmgoers Millennium Best Actress Award for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam 
* 2000 - Priyadarshini International Best Actress Award for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam 
* 2001 - BWSX Fantasy Award for Best Supporting Actress Mohabbatein 
* 2003 - True Indian Actress Award 
* 2004 - Global Foreign Artiste Debutantes to Mainstream Media Award 
* 2004 - F Awards-For Excellence in Indian Fashion - Female Celebrity Model of the Year
* 2005 - MTV Immies Best Performance in a Song - Kajra Re
* 2005 - Voted The Most Desired Dream Date 
* 2007 - Stardust Star of the Year Award - Female for Dhoom 2
Femina Miss India
* 1994 - Miss Catwalk 
* 1994 - Miss Miraculous
* 1994 - Miss Photogenic 
* 1994 - Miss Perfect Ten 
* 1994 - Miss Popular
* 1994 - Miss India World (Winner of the title)
National honours and recognitions
* Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Field of Entertainment in 2002
* India Times named her No.1 on the list of the "100 Most Beautiful Indian Women in the Past Century". 
* Most photographed woman in India. 
* GR8! Women Award for Contribution to Cinema in 2004
* She was voted No. 2 in the India's "Most Desirable Women List" in 2006. . 
* She was ranked number one in its list of "Top 10 Actresses of 2006" by BollySpice.com a web-based Indian film magazine. 
* She was ranked No. 10 in the list of the "Best Bollywood Actresses Ever". 
International honours and recognitions
* Miss World 1994 
* Most Beautiful International Titleholder of All Times Gold Medal Winner in 2000 
* Most Beautiful Miss World of All Times-Received the highest score of 9.911 in 2000
* She was ranked 7th in the list of the "Most admired Indians" by The Week, a British Magazine conducted a survey in 2000 where. She was the only actress in that top list. 
* First person to make her mark on the Dubai Studio City Wall of Fame during the IIFA Awards in Dubai. 
* She was voted 3rd in the list of "Sexiest Asian Women" by Eastern Eye, a UK based magazine. 
* She placed number seven on "The World’s 101 Sexiest Celebrity Bodies On Earth". 
* Time Magazine put her picture on its cover page in 2003. Before Aishwarya, only Parveen Babi’s picture was placed in 1976. 
* She is the only Bollywood star to appear in Rolling Stone (Issue 932, October 2, 2003), Rolling Stone one of the most popular and iconic magazines of USA. 
* She became the first Indian actor to be a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003.
* Wax London's prestigious Madame Tussauds Wax museum 
* She was voted as the "World’s Most Attractive Woman" in 2003 by Hello Magazine readers. one of the most popular British Magazines. She got the place beating Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Gwyneth Paltrow. 
* She was in the list Time Magazine’s "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2004. 
* She was ranked No. 30 in TIME magazine's issue of "100 Most Influential People of the Year". This is her second time making the list, her first being in 2004. 
* She was featured in the 2004 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. 
* Mattel, the largest toy producing company released Barbie dolls adorned with costumes of Aishwarya Rai in 2005. The dolls were a super hit. They were sold in minutes after release. 
* In the 2005 IIFA awards ceremony that took place in Amsterdam a new breed of tulip was named after her.  
* British Govt’s Next Step World Diversity Champion Award in 2005
* Global Diversity Award by the European Union in 2005.  
* She was voted number 12 on VH1's 50 Sexiest Actresses of the Last 20 Years in 2005. 
* She is the only Bollywood personality appeared on CBS 60 mins, Oprah Winfrey  , Good Morning America  and The David Letterman Show 
* People Magazine, one of the most popular American weekly magazines included her in their list of "100 Most Beautiful People in the World" in 2006. 
* She was voted No. 5 in the list of "Sexiest Stars of 2006". She was the only woman in the Top 5. 
* She is the first Indian actress to be signed on with the American Library Association. In addition, a poster with her picture on it has been made for schools and libraries all over USA. 
* E! Entertainment television, an American cable television voted her the "7th sexiest Celebrity in the World". 
* VH1, an American cable television channel voted her 12 out 50 "Sexiest Actresses of the Last 20 Years". 
* She was voted "Ninth Most Beautiful Woman in the World" for second year in a row in a survey conducted by Harpers & Queen in their list of the world’s 100 most beautiful women.  
* Wax New York's prestigious Madame Tussauds Wax museum at Time Square in 2007
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