Aishwarya Rai (born 1 November 1973), also known by her married name Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, is an Indian actress, model and the winner of the Miss World pageant of 1994. Through her Bollywood acting career, she has established herself as one the most popular and high-profile celebrities in India. Rai has received several awards, including two Filmfare Awards from ten nominations, and she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2009. She is often cited as the “most beautiful woman in the world”.
While in college, Rai did a few modelling assignments. Following appearances in several television commercials, she entered the Miss India pageant, in which she placed second. She was then crowned Miss World 1994, after which she began receiving offers to act in film. She made her acting debut with the 1997 Tamil film Iruvar and had her first Hindi film release in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya that same year. Her first commercial success was the Tamil romantic drama Jeans (1998), following which she achieved wider success and two Best Actress awards at Filmfare for her performances in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Devdas (2002). She garnered critical appreciation for portraying Rabindranath Tagore’s heroine, Binodini, in the Bengali film Chokher Bali (2003), a depressed woman in the relationship drama Raincoat (2004) and as Kiranjit Ahluwalia in the British drama film Provoked (2006). Rai’s greatest commercial successes have been the adventure film Dhoom 2 (2006), the historical romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and the science fiction film Enthiran (2010). She also received praise for portraying a nurse in the drama Guzaarish (2010). After a five-year sabbatical from film acting, she made her comeback with the thriller Jazbaa (2015).
Rai married actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 with whom she has a daughter. Her off-screen roles include duties as a brand ambassador for several charity organisations and campaigns. She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS). In 2003, she was the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 1999, Rai began dating Bollywood actor Salman Khan; their relationship was often reported in the media until the couple separated in 2001. Rai cited “abuse (verbal, physical and emotional), infidelity and indignity” on the part of Khan as reasons for ending the relationship.Rai gave birth to a baby girl on 16 November 2011. Her daughter became popularly known by the name of “Beti B”, a name attributed to her by fans and the media, since the couple took over four months to name their daughter. The baby girl was finally named Aaradhya Bachchan in March 2012.
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