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MAIN Arrow to Art & Culture Art & ... Arrow to Hollywood Pop Culture Arrow to Actresses Actresses Arrow to Aishwarya Rai Aishwarya Rai

aishwarya RaiBorn 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.

Aishwarya Rai Time CoverShe 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.

Worldwide acclaim finally came in 2002 with her appearance opposite Shahrukh Khan in Devdas, the first Bollywood picture to receive a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival, which later broke box-office records in India and the United States.

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

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 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 film, Provoked, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May followed by a critically acclaimed worldwide release.

The Big Bollywood Wedding

Back in Bollywood in 2007, the actress was at the center of controversy when a kissing scene in "Dhoom 2" so outraged lawyer Shalendra Dwivedi that he filed a criminal case against the actress and co-star Hrithik Roshan for public lewdness and obscenity.

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

By August, Rai was busy shooting her next Hollywood vehicle, Pink Panther 2, and in 2008 opened in another Bollywood blockbuster, Jodhaa Akbar, co-starring with Hrithik Roshan. The film marked the widest distribution of any Hindi film to date, released in more than 115 theaters in the United States alone.

The Bollywood superstar added Raavanan, Raavan, and Endiran to her movie credits in 2010 and also starred in two releases by year's end, Guzaarish, and Action Replay.

With the birth of a baby girl in November 2011, Rai began a prolonged absence from film work. But she is about to make a comeback in 2015 -- with the October release of Sanjay Gupta's action-thriller Jazbaa, co-starring Shabana Azmi and Irrfan Khan.

Following her comeback film, she is also slated to star alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in Karan Johar's romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

Aishwarya Rai around the Web

Aishwarya Rai - IMDB - A complete biography and roster of film credits, TV appearances and television commercials with related personal details and fun facts.

Aishwarya - A great view of the star in a handful of different photo galleries including scenes from her films, plus chat, guest book and related resources.

JOSHINYOU | Aishwarya Rai - Vital stats, brief bio, fan club contacts, and featuring downloadable wallpapers plus an extensive gallery of photos of the star in publicity shots and film appearances. - Aishwarya Rai - Photographs, biography, filmography, wallpapers, close-ups and other pictures chronicling her film career.

Hello! Profile - Aishwarya Rai - Archived overview of the star's life and career at the digital version of the popular UK mag including photo gallery, filmography.

BollyWHAT - Aishwarya Rai - Dishing the dirt on the Bollywood star regarding her past, troubling episodes with former boyfriend, actor Salman Khan, and her sometimes strained relationship with the Indian media.

"Queen of Bollywood" to Land in Hollywood - An archived collection of Aishwarya Rai story articles gathered from various publications including quotes from a TIME magazine interview, with pictures and related resources from The Seoul Times.

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