Aishwarya Rai is an Indian actress, model, and the winner of the Miss World pageant of 1994. While working in Bollywood films, she has also starred in various south Indian films. She has received several awards including two Filmfare awards and was also honored with Padma Shri in the year 2009. After marrying her co-star Abhishek Bachchan
in 2007, Aishwarya took a break from acting owing to the birth of the couple`s first child in 2011. She made her comeback to the silver screen in the year 2015 with the movie Jazbaa
Aishwarya Rai was born to an army biologist, Krishnaraj, and a homemaker, Brinda, in Mangaluru, Karnataka. After the family moved to Mumbai, she was enrolled in Aryan Vidya Mandir High School. Later, she attended the Jai Hind college for a year before joining the DG Ruparel college. Although she was trained in classical music and dance during her teens, Aishwarya aspired to take up medicine as a profession. She later enrolled at Rachana Sansad Academy of Architecture having plans to become an architect. However, she quit her education, soon, to pursue a career in modeling.
After doing a few modeling assignments, Aishwarya Rai won an international supermodel contest organized by Ford in the year 1991. However, she first came into limelight after she appeared in the television commercial for Pepsi, along with Aamir Khan
and Mahima Chaudhry
. She gained instant recognition for her line - "Hi, I`m Sanjana" - in the advertisement. Further, in the year 1994, she stood second in the Miss India pageant but went on to claim the Miss World title, the same year. Following this, she continued her modeling career until she took up acting.
After Aishwarya Rai started working in Bollywood, she dated Salman Khan
for a period of 2 years until the couple decided to split in 2001. Later, while filming for the movie Dhoom 2, she fell in love with her co-star Abhishek Bachchan. The couple had previously starred together in two films viz. Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, and Kuch Naa Kaho.
Aishwarya got engaged to Abhishek Bachchan on 14th January 2007 and the couple got married on 20th April 2007 in a private ceremony at the Bachchan family`s residence, Prateeksha, in Mumbai. 4 years after their marriage, Rai gave birth to their first child, Aaradhya, on 16th November 2011.
While having a successful modeling career, Aishwarya decided to work in movies and made her acting debut in 1997 with Mani Ratnam`s
Tamil movie, Iruvar. The movie was a critical success and received several awards. In the same year, she made her Bollywood debut with Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya
. Both these movies were commercial failures. However, she went on to grab Screen Award for Best Female Debut for her role in the movie Aur Pyar Ho Gaya.
A year later, came Jeans, which was a commercial success and Rai`s performance was appreciated. Later, in the year 1999, she starred in the movie, Aa Ab Laut Chalein
, which turned out to be a big failure at the box office.
After the release of the movie Taal, Aishwarya starred in Tamil movie, Kandukondain Kandukondain, which was well received at the box office in 2000. It was only in 2002 that her role in Devdas gave her an uplift in her career.
Devdas` success for Rai was shortlived as two of her next releases, Dil Ka Rishta
, and Kuch Na Kaho
turned out to be disasters at the box office. Further, Rai`s mixed bag acting career saw another footfall as she failed to impress the audience and critics with films such as Kyun! Ho Gaya Na, Bride and Prejudice, Shabd, Umrao Jaan
, and Mistress of Spices
. However, she revived her acting career with notable performances in Mani Ratnam`s Guru
and Ashutosh Gowariker`s
Jodha Akbar - both these films were commercial hits.
In 2010, Rai turned to South Indian cinema and starred in Mani Ratnam`s Raavanan, and S. Shankar
`s Enthiran, which was at that time was the most expensive Indian movie and is one of the highest grossing films of Indian cinema. Raavanan was simultaneously shot in Hindi as well, titled Raavan. However, the movie wasn`t well received at the box office. Before taking a 5-year break from acting, Rai starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali`s Guzaarish
, released in 2010, which also starred Hrithik Roshan
. Although the movie was not a commercial hit, Rai once again impressed the critics with her performance. The Telegraph even described it to be as `one of Rai`s best performances`.
After the birth of her first child, Rai returned to acting after a gap of 5 years in 2015, with Sanjay Gupta`s Jazbaa
. The movie, however, received a moderate response and was an average hit. In 2016, Aishwarya starred in one of the most anticipated movies of her career, Sarbjit
, which is based on the life of an Indian farmer Sarabjit Singh who was convicted by the Pakistani Court for the act of terrorism. She was also seen in Karan Johar
`s commercially successful film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
in the role of Saba Taliyar Khan alongside Ranbir Kapoor
and Anushka Sharma
, and gained appreciation for her role. Her 2018 projects include Fanney Khan
which marks her collaboration with Anil Kapoor
after a long gap of 18 years. Her next release was Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1
(2022) alongside Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Karthi and Trisha Krishnan in lead roles.