Spotlight – Aishwarya Rai

Meet Aishwarya Rai, notably one of the most successful Indian actress and former Miss World. Rai has starred in over forty movies in Hindi, English, Tamil, and Bengali. She is often referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world, with her radiant appearance.

Aishwarya Rai was born in Mangalore, India on November 1, 1973. While pursuing her studies in Architecture, she began modelling to earn money on the side. Rai entered the 1994 Miss India contest; she placed second but was still eligible to enter the Miss India World contest, and the 1994 Miss World contest, winning both. Aishwarya made her acting debut in the 1997 biopic “Iruvar“. The film won many awards including ‘Best Film Award’, at the Belgrade International Film Festival, two National Film Awards, and two Filmfare Awards South.

Though “Iruvar” was successful, it was the film “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” starring alongside popular actor Salman Khan that gave Aishwarya her breakthrough. Her character was often seen wearing no make-up in the movie, which drew much attention to Rai’s natural and extravagant beauty. She received a ‘Best Actress’ nomination at the Filmfare for her performance in the movie. In 2002, Aishwarya starred in the movie “Devdas”, adopted from a novel of the same name. The movie received a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival, and became the highest grossing-film of the year in india and overseas. The success of the movie earned Rai a ‘Best Actress Award’ at the Filmfare Awards. Aishwarya Rai became the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.

Rai has proven to not just be an exceptional actress with a pretty face, she is also an activist; being an ambassador of The Eye Bank Association of India’s nationwide campaign to promote eye donation in India. In 2004, she travelled to Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, to boost the morale of the jawans. In 2005, she became a brand ambassador for Pulse Polio, a campaign established by the Government of India in 1994, to eradicate polio in India. Rai performed at the HELP! Telethon Concert in 2005, to help raise money for the victims of the 2004 tsunami earthquake. Along with her family, Aishwarya developed a school for underprivileged girls  in a village in Uttar Pradesh. The school will be named after her.

Rai was chosen by Times magazine as one of the world’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2010, her second time appearing since 2004. In 2005, she became the global brand ambassador for L’Oreal cosmetics. She’s the first Indian to appear on American television talk shows.

Aishwarya Rai married fellow actor Abhisheck Bachchan in 2007. They got married according to a tradition Hindu rites of the Bunt community to which she belongs. Rai is a Hindu and deeply religious.



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