Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a popular Indian actress and is a high-profile celebrity in India. She was born on November 1, 1973 in Mangalore, Karnataka, India to Krishnaraj, an Army Biologist and Brinda, a homemaker. She has one brother named Aditya Rai, an engineer-turned-producer, who produced her film
Dil Ka Rishta in 2003. Her family shifted to Mumbai and she studied at Arya Vidya Mandir High School during her early years. She later attended Jai Hindi College and moved to DG Ruparel College in Matunga, where she scored 90% in the Higher Secondary School Certificate. During her teenage years, she trained in classical dance and music for 5-years. Initially, she planned to pursue a career in medicine, but it didn’t work out. She then took an architecture course at the Raheja College of Arts, but she decided to pursue a modeling career and so gave up on her studies.
In year 1991, she won the Ford’s international supermodel contest and was later featured in Vogue magazine. She became widely popular after doing an appearance in a Pepsi ad together with
Aamir Khan and Mahima Chaudhary in year 1993. She joined the
Miss India pageant in year 1994 and won the second place after
Sushmita Sen. Aishwarya was crowned Miss India World in the event. She then represented India at the Miss World pageant, held at the Sun City in South Africa in the same year. The pretty belle went on to win the crown.. After the pageant, she became the ambassador of peace in her one-year reign in London. Aishwarya pursued her modeling career until she entered the world of cinema.
She debuted as an actress in the 1997 Mani Ratnam’s political drama film, ‘
Iruvar’, which features Mohanlal, Tabu,
Prakash Raj and Revathi in the lead roles. In the same year, she was cast in the Bollywood romantic comedy film, ‘
Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya’, opposite
Bobby Deol in the lead role. Though the film failed commercially, Rai earned the Star Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer through this film. This was followed by another romantic comedy film, ‘
Jeans’ in 1998; a film that was written and helmed by S. Shankar. She acted in the lead role alongside Prashanth and Nassar. ‘Jeans’ was considered to be one of the most expensive films in India during that time and due to its success, it was dubbed in Hindi and Telugu languages and was even nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998. Rai was acclaimed for her dancing and acting skills in the film and interestingly, she learnt the language and dubbed for her own dialogues.
In 1999, she starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ together with
Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn. This film became a turning point in her career after bagging the Best Actress award at the Filmfare Awards, Star Screen Awards and IIFA Awards in year 2000 aside from the many praises she received by critics and co-stars. In the same year, she acted in the lead role in the Bollywood musical romantic drama film, ‘
Taal’. Rai earned a nomination at the Filmfare for Best Actress for her performance as an aspiring singer in the film. She went on to appear in Aditya Chopra’s musical romantic drama film, ‘
Shah Rukh Khan. This film became the second highest grossing film of the year and gained her another nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare.
In 2002, Rai was cast in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s award-winning romantic drama film, ‘
Devdas’, opposite Shah Rukh Khan. This film was adapted by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel by the same name. This time, Rai bagged the Best Actress Award at the 2002 Filmfare Awards, Star Screen Awards, IIFA Awards and Zee Cine Awards In 2004, she appeared in the neo-noir drama thriller film, ‘
Khakee’, along with
Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn,
Akshay Kumar, Prakash Raj, Tanuja,
Atul Kulkarni and
Tusshar Kapoor. In the same year, she acted in Samir Karnik’s ‘Kyun! Ho Gaya Na’ opposite
Vivek Oberoi in the lead roles. Rai received international recognition after her appearance in the British film, ‘Bride and Prejudice’, which was adapted by Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice,. Later, she collaborated again with filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh in the drama film, ‘Raincoat’, opposite Ajay Devgn in the lead roles. Rai got another nomination at the Filmfare for Best Actress.
She went on to appear in films like ‘
Shabd’ and ‘The Mistress of Spices’ in year 2005. In 2006, she acted in Sanjay Gadhvi’s blockbuster film, ‘
Dhoom 2’ and the biographical film, Guru in 2007, where she received her 7th nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare. She also acted in the British film, ‘Provoked’; a film that is based on the real-life story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, an NRI who killed her husband after years of abuse. Rai was also seen in the fantasy film, ‘The Last Legion’ in 2007.
After a number of critically and commercially acclaimed films, she acted in Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘
Jodhaa Akbar’ in 2008. Her portrayal of Rajkumari Jodhaa’s character gained her another nomination at the Filmfare. Subsequently, she was cast in Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘
Sarkar Raj’, a sequel to the 2005 blockbuster film ‘
She acted in ‘
The Pink Panther 2’ in 2009 and in 2010 Rai was cast in ‘
Guzaarish’ and ‘
Action Replayy’. After a long hiatus, Rai was recently seen in the action drama film, ‘
Jazbaa’, helmed by Sanjay Gupta.
While filming Dhoom 2, her co-star
Abhishek Bachchan, the son of the legendary actor, Amitabh Bachchan, fell in love with her. They got engaged on January 14, 2007 and got married on April 20 the same year. Their wedding was a private ceremony in Juhu, Mumbai. On September 28, 2009, the couple appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She gave birth to their daughter,
Aaradhya Bachchan on November 16, 2011