Aishwarya Rai was born to Krishnaraj, a marine biologist and Brindya, a housewife, in Mangalore, India.
Aishwarya has an older brother. She is probably best known to Western audiences for winning the Miss World pageant, as well as her famous eyes. She has since segued into acting in India cinema.
Aishwarya Rai went to Arya Vidya Mandir High School and then attended Jai Hind College and DC Ruparel College. She trained in classic dance and music during her teens. Before modeling, she considered becoming an architect or medicine.
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Her first modeling assignment was for Camlin Pencils after one of her professors took pictures of her, which were then published in a fashion magazine. At the age of 17, she entered the Ford Supermodel Contest in 1991 and won. She subsequently appeared in Vogue India.
Aishwarya has modeled for Titan Watches, Longines watches, LOreal, Coca-Cola, Lux, among others. She was also named the official brand ambassador for De Beers diamonds in India. She still studied architecture while modeling. She then went on to win the Miss World title.
She has since appeared in many India films, becoming one of Bollywoods pre-eminent leading ladies.
In 2003, she became the first Indian actress to be a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2005, 60 Minutes did a profile on her and described her as the worlds most beautiful woman. She even had a tulip named after her in the Netherlands. There are reportedly over 17,000 websites dedicated to her and she is the most photographed woman in India. In summer of the same year, Mattel released limited edition Barbie dolls inspired by Aishwarya. Released only in Britain, they sold out in minutes and are now considered collectibles among fans.
Aishwarya Rai got engaged to actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 and later married that same year. Aishwarya had lived with her family until her marriage, as she is Hindu and religious. The Indian media described them as a supercouple.
Aishwarya Rai is fluent in English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Urdu.
She has said she will donate her eyes after her death: People know me more because of my eyes. So I decided to donate my eyesI like to do social service from my heart. Whatever is possible, I do, but I dont speak of that.
Aishwarya gave birth to her first child when she was 38, a daughter named Aaradhya Bachchan on November 16, 2011. She and her husband live in Mumbai, India.