Indian Cinema Series
The international media often refers to her as the most beautiful woman in the world, and she even has had a variety of tulip named after her in honour of her beauty. But Aishwarya Rai says: ‘All this is transient. I mean.you know, it changes with time, and that’s the external.’
The 36 year old Indian actress comes in at No. 4 on our Top 5 Indian Actresses list. Rai’s first claim to fame was in the late 1990s with her Bollywood debut in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, for which she won the prestigious Filmfare Best Actress Award. Her career since has been prolific–to date, Rai has been in over 40 movies and has established herself as a top female presence in contemporary Indian film. Along with her native language of Tulu, Rai also speaks Hindi, English, Marathi and Tamil, which has added considerably to her versatility.
Rai was brought up in a middle-class home, and while studying to become an architect did some modelling on the side. But this part-time gig continued to blossom and Rai was crowned Miss World in 1994, aged 21.
Rai is only the fourth-ever Indian thespian to be selected for an Order Of France (although she actually refused to officially accept the award without the presence of her father, who could not travel due to illness at the time) and is also brand ambassador for The Eye Bank Association of India’s nationwide campaign to promote eye donations in India, and Pulse Polio, a government campaign to eradicate the disease in India.
In 2004, Rai was chosen as one of Time magazine’s ‘World’s 100 Most Influential People,’ and she has a wax figure at London’s Madame Tussaud’s wax museum.
She adorns the front cover of the current issue of People magazine (India), which includes a feature on her life in the limelight.