Monday, January 2, 2012

Aishwarya Rai Biography

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (born 1 November 1973) is an Indian film actress. Aishwarya Rai worked as a model before starting her acting career, and ultimately won the Miss World pageant in 1994. Aishwarya Rai has acted in over 40 films in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali.

Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai
Often cited by the media as the "most beautiful woman in the world", Aishwarya Rai made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar (1997), and had her first commercial success in the Tamil movie Jeans (1998). She gained the attention of Bollywood through the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Her performance won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. In 2002 she appeared in Bhansali's Devdas, for which she won her second Filmfare Best Actress Award.

After a setback in her career during 2003–2005, Aishwarya Rai appeared in Dhoom 2 (2006), which was her biggest commercial success in India. She later appeared in films like Guru (2007), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and Enthiran (2010), which were commercially and critically successful. Rai has established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses in Bollywood.

Aishwarya 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 Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Government of India.

Early life

Aishwarya Rai was born into a Tulu-speaking Bunt family in Mangalore, Karnataka. Her father, Krishnaraj, was a marine biologist, while her mother, Brindya, is a housewife. She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai, who is an engineer in the merchant navy. He co-produced one of her movies, Dil Ka Rishta (2003).

The family moved to Mumbai, where Aishwarya Rai attended the Arya Vidya Mandir High School. Rai did her intermediate schooling at Jai Hind College for a year, and then joined DG Ruparel College in Matunga, securing 90 percent in the HSC exams. She trained in classical dance and music for five years during her teens. Her favourite subject was zoology, so she initially considered a career in medicine. With plans to become an architect, she enrolled at Raheja College, but later gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling.

Modelling career

One of her earliest modelling assignment was, when she was in the ninth grade, for Camlin Pencils. One of her professors at Jai Hind College took pictures of her which were published in a fashion magazine. In 1991 Aishwarya Rai took part in the Ford Supermodel Contest and also appeared in Vogue Magazine. She has been on the cover of Vogue three times.

Aishwarya Rai became popular after appearing in a Pepsi commercial with actor Aamir Khan. She modelled for Longines watches, Coca-Cola, Lakmé Cosmetics, Casio pager, Philips, Palmolive, Lux, and Fuji films. She continued to model while pursuing her studies in architecture. She was named the official brand ambassador for De Beers diamonds in India.

In the 1994 Miss India contest, she won second place, behind Sushmita Sen, and was crowned Miss India World. She went on to win the Miss World title the same year, where she also won the Miss Photogenic award. After winning the pageant, she gave up her studies and spent one year reigning as Miss World in London. Aishwarya Rai continued to pursue a career as a model until she became an actress.

Film career

Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai
Early career (1997–98)
Aishwarya Rai made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil biopic film Iruvar (1997), where she worked alongside Mohanlal. The film was a critical success and won many awards, including Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival, and two National Film Awards. Aishwarya Rai appeared in dual roles, one of which was a depiction of political leader and former actress J. Jayalalithaa. Aishwarya Rai made her Bollywood debut in the film in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, opposite Bobby Deol, which released the same year; the film was unsuccessful at the box office. Her third project, Jeans (1998), a high-budget Tamil film directed by S. Shankar, was a commercial success. The film included the song "Poovukkul", written by Vairamuthu, in which Rai's character is compared to the seven wonders of the world and described as the eighth. The film was India's official entry to the Academy Awards in that year.

Career (1999–2002)
In 1999 Aishwarya Rai starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, opposite Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. The film had Rai playing Nandini, who is forced to marry Devgan despite being in love with another man (Khan). Her husband tries to help her locate her previous love, and his caring attention eventually wins her over. Rai's portrayal won her critical acclaim, with a review on stating, "Aishwarya looks beautiful as usual ... This film will most likely draw her accolades from all over, may be even get her recognised as an actress the way Manisha Koirala did in Khamoshi. In many scenes, there is no trace of makeup and she looks very fresh". The film was her first box office success in Bollywood, and earned her a Filmfare Best Actress Award.

In the same year she appeared in Subhash Ghai's Taal, in which she played Mansi, a young village woman who becomes a big pop star after being hurt by her lover, played by Akshay Khanna. The film was an average grosser in India but was a big success outside India, especially in the United States, where it became the first Indian film in the top 20 on Variety's box office list. Her performance was praised, with a reviewer from writing, "After being praised for her looks and acting talent in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Aishwarya has excelled in Taal. She looks ethereal and unlike the former film, has a very sober and soft role. Though she looks pained and tragic in most of the film, she does a good job of a woman who is very protective of her father and one who doesn't think twice before rejecting a lover who has insulted her father." She received another Best Actress nomination from the Filmfare Awards for her work in the film.

In 2000 she appeared in Mansoor Khan's Josh alongside Shahrukh Khan and Chandrachur Singh, in which she plays a Catholic named Shirley who falls in love with the sibling of her brother's enemy. The film was a commercial success. Later that year she appeared in Satish Kaushik's Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai, opposite Anil Kapoor. It was a moderate success, and her performance earned her a Filmfare Best Actress Award nomination. Later that year she played a supporting role in Aditya Chopra's Mohabbatein, alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan. The second-highest grosser of the year, the film was a major commercial success, and earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award nomination. Later that year, she starred in the Tamil film Kandukondain Kandukondain, alongside Mammooty, Ajith Kumar, and Tabu.

In 2002 Aishwarya Rai appeared alongside Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas, an adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay's novel of the same name. She played the role of Paro (Parvati), the love interest of the protagonist, played by Khan. The film received a special screening at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. It became the highest-grossing film of the year in India and overseas, earning a revenue of Rs 390 million domestically. Devdas won numerous awards, including 10 Filmfare Awards, and Aishwarya Rai received her second Filmfare Best Actress Award for her performance.

Professional setback (2003–05)
In 2003 she acted in Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film Chokher Bali, an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's novel of the same name. She portrays the character of a young woman called Binodini, who is left on her own when her sickly husband dies soon after they are married. The film was critically acclaimed and did well at the box office. That year she appeared in the Bollywood film Dil Ka Rishta, with Arjun Rampal, and Rohan Sippy's Kuch Na Kaho, alongside Abhishek Bachchan, neither of which fared well at the box office.

Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai
In 2004 she appeared alongside Martin Henderson in Bride and Prejudice, Gurinder Chadha's Bollywood-style English adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. She played Lalita Bakshi, the film's version of Austen's character Elizabeth Bennet. Based on 131 reviews, the film has a rating of 64 percent at the review website Rotten Tomatoes. She played a negative role for the first time in Rajkumar Santoshi's Khakee, which also featured Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan, and Jayapradha. The film was a box office success. In the same year she worked with director Rituparno Ghosh for the second time, in Raincoat, where she starred alongside Ajay Devgan. The film was highly acclaimed by critics, with Aishwarya Rai receiving rave reviews for her performance.

In 2005 Aishwarya Rai appeared in Shabd, a film based on a love triangle, alongside Sanjay Dutt and Zayed Khan. The film was unsuccessful at the box office; it received average reviews from critics. Her next release was Paul Mayeda Berges's The Mistress of Spices, based on the novel of the same name by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, in which she starred alongside Dylan McDermott. The film received negative reviews from critics, and was a commercial failure. The same year she made a special appearance in a hugely popular seven-minute dance sequence for the song "Kajra Re", with Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, in Shaad Ali's Bunty Aur Babli.
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