Aishwarya Rai Bachchan(née Aishwarya Rai, Tulu: , Aiśvarya Rai ?, pronounced ; 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 acted in over 40 films in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali.Often cited by the media as the "most beautiful woman in the world",Rai made her acting debut in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar (1997), and had her first commercial success in the Tamil movie Jeans (1998). She gained the attention of Bollywood through the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Her performance won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award. In 2002 she appeared in Bhansali's Devdas, for which she won her second Filmfare Best Actress Award.After a setback in her career during 2003–2005, she appeared in Dhoom 2 (2006), which was her biggest commercial success in India. She later appeared in films like Guru (2007), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and Enthiran (2010), which were commercially and critically successful. Rai has established herself as one of the leading actresses in Bollywood.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 Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Government of India.
In 1999 Rai starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, opposite Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. The film had Rai playing Nandini, who is forced to marry Devgan despite being in love with another man (Khan). Her husband tries to help her locate her previous love, and his caring attention eventually wins her over. Rai's portrayal won her critical acclaim, with a review on Rediff.com stating, "Aishwarya looks beautiful as usual ... This film will most likely draw her accolades from all over, may be even get her recognised as an actress the way Manisha Koirala did in Khamoshi. In many scenes, there is no trace of makeup and she looks very fresh". The film was her first box office success in Bollywood, and earned her a Filmfare Best Actress Award.In the same year she appeared in Subhash Ghai's Taal, in which she played Mansi, a young village woman who becomes a big pop star after being hurt by her lover, played by Akshay Khanna. The film was an average grosser in India but was a big success outside India, especially in the United States, where it became the first Indian film in the top 20 on Variety's box office list. Her performance was praised, with a reviewer from Rediff.com writing, "After being praised for her looks and acting talent in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Aishwarya has excelled in Taal. She looks ethereal and unlike the former film, has a very sober and soft role. Though she looks pained and tragic in most of the film, she does a good job of a woman who is very protective of her father and one who doesn't think twice before rejecting a lover who has insulted her father."She received another Best Actress nomination from the Filmfare Awards for her work in the film.