Sunday, May 13, 2007

Born on November 1, 1973 in Manglore, India, Aishwarya Rai was born into a well-educated family and raised by her mother, who held a teaching degree, and her father, a marine engineer.
At age 4 Aishwarya, along with her older brother, moved with their parents to Bombay where she would eventually major in architecture at the Rachana Institute.

With natural beauty, charm and intelligence, Rai also modeled professionally - which led to her entering beauty contests and, ultimately, winning the title of Miss World in 1994.

A series of modeling assignments followed when Bollywood inevitably beckoned. Rai soon landed her first film role in the critically acclaimed Iruvar in 1997.

From Miss World to Bollywood

Pronounced Ush-war-ya Rye (or Ash as she is popularly known), Aishwarya Rai has been a major international star ever since her role in Rahul Rawail's Aur Paar Ho Gaya won her the Best Female Debutante Award.

She also has been awarded Best Actress by FilmFare and Zee Cine for her work in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and nominated for performances in Mohabbatein and Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai.

From Miss World to Bollywood
Pronounced Ush-war-ya Rye (or Ash as she is popularly known), Aishwarya Rai has been a major international star ever since her role in Rahul Rawail's Aur Paar Ho Gaya won her the Best Female Debutante Award.

She also has been awarded Best Actress by FilmFare and Zee Cine for her work in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and nominated for performances in Mohabbatein and Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai.

Today, Aishwarya Rai is the actress that Julia Roberts calls "the most beautiful woman in the world." Rai has graced the covers of magazines worldwide, including the India edition of TIME Magazine as well as appearances in publications ranging from The Rolling Stone to the UK's Hello! Magazine.

From Bollywood to Hollywood
Abhishek Bachchan &Aishwarya Rai in "Gura"
Rai's inevitable debut in Hollywood came with a starring role appearance in Bride and Prejudice, a re-working of the Jane Austin novel directed by Bend It Like Beckham director, Gurinder Chadha, which had its U.S. release in Feburary, 2005.


In her claim to Tinsel Town stardom, Rai appeared on American TV in a nationally televised interview on '60 Minutes' and on The Late Show with David Letterman.

In 2005, the actress was followed everywhere by paparazzi when she made a surprise appearance at the opening of the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, and was a major focus of attention on the Oprah Winfrey June 2005 special, Women Across the Globe.

Meanwhile, Rai has wrapped up filming on her biggest Hollywood film to date playing a Byzantine warrior princess in The Last Legion, co-starring with Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley.
Another recent film, Provoked, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and was being readied for worldwide release.

One Scandal... and a Wedding

However, that news was quickly eclipsed by wedding plans to actor Abhishek Bachchan with whom Rai co-stars in Guru.

The official wedding day finally arrived on April 20 when a quiet, private ceremony was attended by close friends and family. The wedding was preceded by a tradtional Sangeet (music) celebration and a mehendi (henna) ceremony.

By Hollywood standards, the nuptials were successfully guarded from an anticipated media circus, dramatically punctuated by one bizarre incident in which a fledgling actress - claiming to be groom's secret lover - publicly slit her wrists in protest.

It is the first marriage for both Bollywood stars.

In February, Ash's fortunes continued to rise when she won the Star of the Year Award (female) at the Max Stardust Awards held in Mumbai for her performance in Dhoom 2, the same role in which she was nominated as Best Actress at the annual FilmFare Awards.
Meanwhile, her next U.S. flim release, "Provoked", opened the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles on April 9.