Sunday, July 4, 2010

Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (born 1 November 1973) is an Indian actress and former Miss World. Before starting her acting career, she worked as a model and gained fame after winning the Miss World title in 1994. During her career, Rai has acted in over 40 movies in Hindi, English, Tamil and Bengali, which include a number of international productions.

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

After a low phase in her career during 2003–2005, she appeared in the blockbuster Dhoom 2 (2006), which turned out to be her biggest Bollywood commercial success. She later appeared in films like Guru (2007), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and Enthiran (2010) which were commercially and critically successful. Rai has thus established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses in the Indian film industry.

Rai was born in Mangalore to Krishnaraj Rai and Vrinda Rai. She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai, who is an engineer in the merchant navy and has also co-produced one of Rai's movies, Dil Ka Rishta (2003). At an early age her parents moved to Mumbai where she attended the Arya Vidya Mandir high school in Santa Cruz. Rai then entered Jai Hind College at Churchgate for one year, and then moved to Ruparel College in Matunga to finish her HSC studies. She planned to become an architect, and started studying architecture, but gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling.

While pursuing her studies in architecture, Rai began modelling on the side. In the 1994 Miss India contest, she won the 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. She abandoned her academic education after winning the pageant and spent one year reigning as Miss World in London. Rai then started working as a professional model and then moved on to her current profession as an actress.

Rai made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil biopic film, Iruvar (1997) with Mohanlal, The controversial film was a critical success and won many awards including Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival, two National Film Awards, and two Filmfare Awards South. Rai appeared in dual roles, opposite veteran actor Mohanlal, with one of her roles being a cinematic depiction of political leader and ex-actress J. Jayalalithaa. Rai made her Bollywood debut in the film, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya opposite Bobby Deol, which also released that year; the film did not do well at the box office, and was also panned by critics. However, her third project, S. Shankar's Tamil film, Jeans (1998) was a commercial success. The film was also noted for the song "Poovukkul", written by Vairamuthu, in the lyrics of which, she is compared to the seven wonders of the world and described as the eighth.

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