Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (pronounced [əjɕʋərjaː rəj]; born 1 November 1973) is an Indian film actress. She worked as a model before starting her acting career, and ultimately won the Miss World pageant in 1994. Rai has featured in films in various languages including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali.
Often cited by the media as the "most beautiful woman in the world", Rai made her acting debut with Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar (1997), and had her first commercial success in Jeans (1998). She tasted success in Bollywood with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Devdas (2002) and eventually won two Filmfare Awards in the Best Actress category.
After a series of unsuccessful films during 2003–2005, she appeared in the blockbuster action thriller Dhoom 2 (2006) and subsequently featured in such films as Guru (2007), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and Enthiran (2010). She gained critical acclaim for her performances in offbeat, independent films such as Chokher Bali (2003), Raincoat (2004), and Provoked (2007). Rai has thus established herself as one of the leading contemporary actresses of Indian cinema.
Rai's off-screen roles include duties as brand ambassador for various charity organisations and campaigns. She is married to fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan. In 2009 she was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Government of India.
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