A look at Aishwarya's Rai's rise in Bollywood, and on the global horizon, through the years, on her birthday, November 1, 2007.
One of Bollywood's leading ladies, Ash burst upon the world stage when her striking beauty (and little else), won her the Miss World crown in 1994. This former architecture student
became one of India's most famous models landing a prestigious Pepsi campaign with Aamir Khan.
She also made an appearance in the Vogue magazine. Her film debut was made with Mani Rathnam's Iruvar (1997) which received critical acclaim and but her performance in Rahul
Rawail's Aur Paar Ho Gaya (1997) garnered her the Best Female Debutante Award.
In 2000 she was awarded Best Actress by Filmfare and Zee Cine for her work in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. In 2001 Ash was nominated for Filmfare's Best
Supporting Actress Award for Satish Kaushik's Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai. The film co-starred Kajol and Anil Kapoor.
Ash's star continued to rise in 2002 working again with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Devdas (opposite Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit). One of Mumbai film industry's most ambitious
and most successful projects Devdas (though critically trashed) went on to become a hit. It also became the first 'Bollywood' picture to ever receive a special screening at the prestigious
Cannes Film Festival.
Described as "the world's most beautiful woman" by Julia Roberts, Ash is the only Bollywood actress to be featured as the International Face of Bollywood in the Time (Asia) magazine.
The magazine also listed her on their list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World Today" in the year 2004.
She is also the first Indian actor to be a part of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival 2003. Besides that she also has the rare honour to be the member of the elite L'Oreal Dream Team,
joining international beauties like Catherine Deneuve & Andie MacDowell as their international ambassador.
Ash can undeniably be listed as the face of Indian beauty. What with having been featured on almost all the prestigious magazine covers across the globe.
She was listed on Rolling Stone Magazine's annual "Hot List", Hello Magazine’s Most Attractive Women in the World”, Stuff Magazine, FHM magazine, V-Life from Variety Magazine,
GQ Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Harper’s & Queen and countless others.
She also became the first Indian female to be immortalized in wax at the world famous Madame Tussaud’s wax museum in London. 2005 started with appearances on “60 Minutes”,
“David Letterman Show” and the most watched television program in the world the “Oprah Winfrey Show”.
On the commercial front, her item number in the 2005 Superhit Bunty aur Babli, Kajrare was a rage among the masses.
At the end of the year 2006, she had two releases: Umrao Jaan and Dhoom 2. Umrao Jaan did poorly in India; however, her role in Dhoom 2, a sequel to the 2004 hit movie Dhoom brought her great attention. While it was a hit commercially, it also sparked controversy for a scene containing a kiss between Rai and Hrithik Roshan, which made several conservative female audiences uncomfortable, and a court case is currently pending in India.
2007 has been a big year for the actress, personally and professionally.
Firstly, Mani Ratnam's Guru, which had her and Abhishek in the lead roles, was critically acclaimed and a big box office hit. Her most recent film, Provoked, based on the book "Circle of Light" where she portrays a real life character, was released on 6 April, 2007 in India and the UK. The film did well commercially in the UK. It was critically acclaimed all over the world. At the end of April 2007 her first American film, The Last Legion, was released in Russia and the Netherlands. Recently Aishwarya has also signed the sequel to Pink Panther and will also be seen as Mumtaz Mahal opposite Ben Kingsley in the Hollywood film Taj Mahal.
Professionally, after much speculation concerning their relationship, Aishwarya married Abhishek Bachchan in a private ceremony held at the Bachans' bungalow Prateeksha on April 24, 2007.
Aishwarya continues to charm India and abroad with her professionalism, her dedication towards her work, her enterprising spirit in seeking out new horizons and her beauty and charm,
which have made her a graceful ambassador from India on the world horizon.