Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was born in a Tulu speaking family in Mangalore, Karnataka on November 1, 1973. Her family later moved to Mumbai. You would be surprised to know that Ash actually had ambitions of becoming an architect. She enrolled herself in Rachana Sansad Academy of Architecture but later opted out to pursue a career in modelling. (All pictures/mid-day archive and Instagram)
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was crowned 'Miss World' in 1994 and is still considered as the most beautiful 'Miss World' ever. She was the second Indian to win the crown; Reita Faria being the first, who won the title in 1966.
Having made her film debut with Mani Ratnam's Iruvar in 1997, Aishwarya has worked with some of India's most well-known filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas and Guzaarish), Ashutosh Gowariker (Jodhaa Akbar), Rituparno Ghosh (Chokher Bali and Raincoat), among others.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made her Bollywood debut opposite Bobby Deol with Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (1997), which fared average at the box office. She later starred as a lead actress in Rishi Kapoor's 'Aa Ab Laut Chalein' opposite Akshaye Khanna.
Aishwarya finally found fame with movies such as Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Taal and the critically acclaimed Devdas.
It was in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's acting chops were noticed and she won the Filmfare award for best actress in the same year.
Aishwarya Rai reunited with her Aa Ab Laut Chalein co-star Akshaye Khanna in Subhash Ghai's musical love story Taal (1999) and also romanced Anil Kapoor in the film.
Aishwarya Rai's role of Paro in Devdas (2002) was notable and her chemistry with actor Shah Rukh Khan made the film one of the most loved romantic dramas of all times.
Rai married actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 with whom she has one daughter - Aaradhya Bachchan. It was on the sets of the film 'Dhoom 2' that the couple fell in love and eventually tied the knot. On screen, they have been seen together in Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke (2000), Kuch Naa Kaho (2003), Bunty Aur Babli (2005), Umrao Jaan (2006), Dhoom 2 (2006), Guru (2007) and Raavan (2010).
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan garnered both critical and box-office success with Ashutosh Gowariker's period romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008). Her next role was in the 2009 Harald Zwart-directed spy comedy The Pink Panther 2. Starring alongside Steve Martin, Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer, Ash portrayed the role of Sonia Solandres, a seductive criminology expert.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has also appeared in Hollywood films such as Bride And Prejudice, The Mistress Of Spices, The Last Legion and Provoked.
In 2010, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gave a heart-wrenching performance in yet another Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, Guzaarish opposite Hrithik Roshan.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gave birth to a girl, Aaradhya, on 16 November 2011. She took a five-year break, making a comeback with Jazbaa in 2015. "Recently, there was a colleague who asked me, 'Was Jazbaa the comeback vehicle you wanted?' I was like, 'Guys, it was a script, I liked the idea and I went with it'. I don't want to play into how one has to go about things," Aishwarya said as she explained how her choices have always been about following her heart, and not the herd.
"I came in from Miss World, so because I experienced blast of stardom so early, I, from the very beginning -- from Mani Ratnam to date -- made choices from my heart, and tried being myself... I ended up doing my own thing and not following patterns that existed before, after or what is the natural trajectory of a leading lady in our industry. I think that's why people think I end up breaking preconceived norms... And that wonderfully continues," she further added.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan raised a lot of eyebrows as she romanced a much-younger Ranbir Kapoor in 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil'. In hindsight, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan feels she has been "school girlish" in her choices and feels she should have been more fierce about taking up projects. "I think I was very school girlish in my choices... I was very good at keeping with schedules, and because of that I kind of walked away from some very great films and opportunities... because I would be sincere to schedules. Now when I think back, I should have maybe been more fierce and aggressive with wanting the films and allowed the schedules to figure themselves out as I have seen a lot of colleagues, who have worked over the years," Aishwarya told in an interview.
Aishwarya's portrayal of the character in Sarbjit, where she played Dalbir Kaur, was lauded by critics and audience. She was even nominated for Filmfare award for Best Actress.
Well, in 2018 the superhit Jodi of Taal - Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anil Kapoor reunited with Fanney Khan. The duo appeared on screen after 17 years for the Rakeysh Omprakash Nehra's directorial. The duo had worked together in Subhash Ghai's Taal which released in 1999 and Satish Kaushik's Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai which released in 2000.
We wish the lovely lady a very happy birthday!
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a former Miss World, a global icon, a Bollywood actress and the brand ambassador of a leading cosmetic giant for over a decade. This beautiful woman has led an exemplary life. As Aishwarya turns 45, we take a look at her Bollywood journey!
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