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Her name is Aishwarya Rai, and she is an actress living and working in Bombay, India. The reigning queen of Indian cinema (and also a classically trained dancer) Rai has starred in 24 films over the last seven years…
Who is the most beautiful woman in the world? Half a century ago, Hollywood would have presented her to us. Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman or perhaps Elizabeth Taylor. But today? Correspondent Bob Simon reports the woman who currently holds the title, at least according to thousands of Web sites, Internet polls and even Julia Roberts, is someone you’ve probably never heard of.
Her name is Aishwarya and she is an actress living and working in Bombay, India. The reigning queen of Indian cinema (and also a classically trained dancer) has starred in 24 films over the last seven years.
That may seem like a lot of movies, but Bollywood, India’s film capital, is famous for churning out more movies a year than Hollywood. Three new films are produced and distributed worldwide every day, attracting a global audience of 5 billion people. That’s twice the reach of Hollywood.
The reason Bollywood films have such universal appeal is because they’re squeaky-clean. There are no sex scenes, not even kissing. Every time you think someone’s going to do it, they’ll burst into song instead.
“I’d assume that’s really a reflection of our society,” says, when asked to explain the films’ modesty. “Of course people kiss and of course people have a very healthy love life. This is the land of the Kama Sutra. But nevertheless, in our society you don’t really see people around the street corner kissing or being extremely, overtly, physically demonstrative publicly. They do it privately but not publicly.”
Unlike some of her Hollywood counterparts, Rai’s very much like the women she portrays: wholesome, dutiful and deeply religious. So much so, she insisted we visit her favorite temple for this interview.
Title: Miss World ’94.
Star sign: Scorpio.
Date of Birth: November 1, 1973.
Place of Birth: Karnataka, India.
Weight: 55 kg.
Family: Mother Brindya, Brother Aditya.
Languages : English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil
Address: Aishwarya Rai,
402 Ramlaxmi Niwas,
16th Road ( Near Khar Gym),
Mumbai 400054, INDIA.
Aishwarya Rai (Ash) is one of Bollywood’s pre-eminent leading ladies. This Indian darling burst upon the world stage when her striking beauty, poise and commanding intelligence won her the Miss World crown in 1994.
This former architecture major soon became one of India’s most famous models landing a prestigious Pepsi campaign and appearing in Vogue Magazine. India’s top Bollywood directors were soon lining up to work with Ash. Her film debut in Mani Rathnam’s ‘Iruvar’ (1997) received critical acclaim and her performance in Aur Paar Ho Gaya’ (1997) directed by Rahul Rawail 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 that same year, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her special appearance in Aditya Chopra’s Mohabbatein (2000). In 2001 Ash was nominated for FilmFare’s Best Actress Award for Satish Kaushik’s “Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai”.
Ash’s star continued to rise in 2002 working again with Sajay Leela Bhansali in ‘Devdas’. ‘Devdas’ is the most ambitious and most successful film in Bollywood history. It became the first Bollywood picture to ever receive a special screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and broke box-office records in India and the United States.
2003 brought even more exciting opportunities. Ash became the first Indian actor to be a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. She is also the latest member of the elite L’Oreal Dream Team, joining beauties Catherine Deneuve & Andie MacDowell as their international ambassador. She graced the covers of India Today and the prestigious TIME Magazine. Time Magazine has also listed her on their list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World Today”.
She has graced numerous covers worldwide including USA, UK, China, Russia, Israel, United Emerites, Italy, Spain and France. Ash was also 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.
2004 saw Aishwarya take on the leading role in her first English language film for Gurinder Chadha in “Bride & Prejudice”. 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”. Aishwarya’s career continues to grow even stronger – she will soon be seen in Mistress of Spices for director Paul Berges, Jag Mundhra’s Provoked, Sanjay Gadhvi’s Dhoom 2 and legendary film producer Dino De Laurentiis’s The Last Legion opposite Colin Firth and Sir Ben Kingsley. The Queen of Bollywood is already becoming the talk of tinseltown and is currently in negotiations on two major motion pictures.