Born: 1 November 1973
Birthplace: Mangalore, India
Best known as: Star of the 2002 Bollywood movie Devdas
Aishwarya Rai is an international triple threat: model, beauty pageant queen, and movie star. Since 1997 she has been one of the superstars of "Bollywood," the Indian film industry. As a college student she entered and won the 1994 Miss World contest, an honor which opened the door to work as a model. A striking brunette with hooded eyes and full lips, she appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan
, and other fashion magazines. Her first film was the 1997 political drama Iruvar
. As Bollywood underwent an explosion of success and innovation, Rai became one of its favorite daughters. She proved to be a voluptuous presence in the mode of Sophia Loren
and Gina Lollobrigida
; like Lollobrigida, Rai has often been hyped as "the most beautiful woman in the world." Her 2002 film Devdas
was a tremendous hit. She has worked mainly in Indian films, but in recent years she has appeared in Western productions, including Bride and Prejudice
(2004, a colorful take on the Jane Austen
tale) and Mistress of Spices
(2005). Rai was married to actor Abhishek Bachchan on 20 April 2007. The wedding was a spectacular event in India; as noted by Agence France Presse, "The couple have been dubbed 'India's Brangelina' after Hollywood's A-list couple, Brad Pitt
and Angelina Jolie
Rai is known as “Ash” or “Aishu” to her fans… Abhishek Bachchan is the son of another famous actor, Amitabh Bachchan… Her official site once described Rai as “the first Indian female to be immortalized in wax at the world famous Madame Tussaud’s wax museum in London”… Also according to her website, Rai’s favorite film is Casablanca (1943, with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart).
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