Interesting Facts and Figures: Aishwarya Rai

April 3rd, 2009 - 5:25 pm ICT by Sampurn Wire  

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.

Rai was born in Mangalore to Krishnaraj Rai and Vrinda Rai.

Her family belongs to the Bunt community of Mangalore.

She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai who works in 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 did well in school and planned to become an architect and went on pursuing studies in architecture.

She can communicate in several languages, including her mother tongue Tulu, as well as Hindi, English, Marathi and Tamil.

She started studying architecture but gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling.

While pursuing her studies in architecture, Rai began modeling 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 studies 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 movie debut in Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Iruvar (1997), had her first commercial success in the Tamil movie Jeans (1998), which earned her a Filmfare Best Actress Award South.

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.

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 2009 Rai was awarded the Padma Shri for her contributions to Indian cinema.

In the same year she refused to accept the second-highest Order Of France, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as her father was suffering from serious illness, and she wanted her whole family to attend the award function.

She is only the fourth Indian actor after Amitabh Bachchan, Nandita Das and Shahrukh Khan to be chosen for an Order Of France .

In 2003 she became the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2004 she travelled all the way to Siachen Glacier, which at a height of 13000 ft is the highest battlefield in the world, to boost the morale of the jawans for a special New Year episode on the NDTV show, Jai Jawan.

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.

In February 2005, Rai performed at the HELP! Telethon Concert to help raise money for the victims of 2004 tsunami earthquake in company with other Bollywood stars.

In 2006 she appeared at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, as part of a performance showcasing Indian art, on behalf of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi.

In 2008 she along with her family laid the foundation of a special school for underprivilged girls in the Daulatpur village in Uttar Pradesh.The school will be made by her family and is going to be named after her.

Aishwarya has previously dated Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi.

She is married to Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan who is three years her junior.

After much speculation concerning their relationship, her engagement to Abhishek Bachchan was announced on January 14, 2007.

The announcement was later confirmed by Amitabh Bachchan. Rai married Bachchan on April 20, 2007 according to traditional Hindu rites of the South Indian Bunt community, to which she belongs. Token North Indian and Bengali ceremonies were also performed.

The wedding took place in a private ceremony at the Bachchan residence Prateeksha in Juhu, Mumbai.

In 2004 she was chosen by Time magazine as one of the World’s “100 Most Influential People”, and appeared on the cover of Time magazine, Asia Edition in 2003.

She was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile on 2 January 2005, which said that “at least according to thousands of Web sites, Internet polls and even Julia Roberts”, she was “The World’s Most Beautiful Woman”.

In October 2004 a wax figure of Rai was put on display in London’s Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. She was the 6th Indian and the second Bollywood personality after her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan to get this honour.

In 2005 she became a global brand ambassador of L’Oreal alongside Andie Macdowell, Eva Longoria and Penelope Cruz.

The same year, a special Tulip in Netherland was named “Aishwarya Rai” after her.

Rai became the first Indian to appear on such shows as Late Show with David Letterman, and was the first Bollywood personality to appear on Oprah’s “Women Across the Globe” segment.

In 2005, Harpers and Queen’s list of 10 Most beautiful women in the world ranked her at the 9th spot.

In 2009 American toy making company Mattel decided to model a celebrity Barbie on Rai, making her the first Indian actress to have a doll modeled on her. -Sampurn Media
Aishwarya Rai

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