Happy Birthday Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Bollywood’s beauty turns 42https://indianexpress.com/photos/entertainment-gallery/happy-birthday-aishwarya-rai-bachchan-worlds-most-beautiful-woman-turns-41/

Happy Birthday Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: Bollywood’s beauty turns 42

World's most beautiful woman Aishwarya Rai Bachchan turns 42 today. She has always made heads turn and has represented the country on international platforms several times. The beauty queen, who won the Miss World pageant in 1994 made her debut in Bollywood with the movie 'Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya' in 1997.

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World's most beautiful woman Aishwarya Rai Bachchan turns 42 today. She has always made heads turn and has represented the country on international platforms several times. The beauty queen, who won the Miss World pageant in 1994 made her debut in Bollywood with the movie 'Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya' in 1997. Her first movie was a Tamil film titled 'Iruvar' in the same year. She earned recognition in the industry with the 1998 film 'Jeans'. Some hit Bollywood films to her credit include, 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam', 'Devdas', 'Jodha Akbar' and more.

Aishwarya made her comeback onscreen this year with Sanjay Gupta's 'Jazbaa' and is currently shooting for Karan Johar's 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' in London.

The actress got married to actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 and the couple has a three year old daughter Aaradhya.

Born into an ethnic Bunt family in Mangalore, Aishwarya Rai was born to marine biologist Krishnaraj and Brinda. She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai, who is an engineer in the merchant navy. Even as her fame continues to rise, Aishwarya Rai is known to be very close to her family and her values and lifestyle are influenced by her family. (Express archive photo)

Aishwarya Rai, who was educated in Mumbai, intended to pursue medicine but later got herself enrolled in architecture, gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling. In 1991, Aishwarya Rai won a supermodel contest and was eventually featured in the American edition of Vogue. She is also a trained classical dancer and learnt music for five years during her teens. (Express archive photo)

Even before she won the Miss World pageant, Aishwarya had won many a hearts back home with the Pepsi ad in 1993 with Aamir Khan. But things changed overnight for this former beauty queen after winning the Miss World title in 1994.

Aishwarya was also awarded with 'Miss Photogenic' title at the Miss World event. (Express archive photo)

Aishwarya made her acting debut in 1997 with Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar, which was a critical success. That same year, she made her Bollywood debut in ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya’ opposite Bobby Deol, which was a commercial failure. Aishwarya failed to make an impact and reviewers were critical Aishwarya's acting ability.

On the personal front, Aishwarya Rai was linked up with Bollywood's bad boy Salman Khan. Soon after she began her career in Bollywood in 1999, Aishwarya Rai began dating co-actor Salman Khan. Their relationship was often reported in the media until the couple separated in 2001. Aishwarya Rai cited "abuse (verbal, physical and emotional), infidelity and indignity" by Salman Khan as the reason for ending the relationship. However in a 2009, Salman Khan denied beating her: "It's not true that I hit a woman." (Express archive photo)

Together Salman and Aishwarya appeared in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam', where their affair started and long after their break-up in 'Dhai Akshar Prem Ke' in which Salman Khan had a cameo role.

Soon after Aishwarya Rai broke up with Salman Khan, she was linked with her 'Kyun! Ho Gaya Naa' co-star Vivek Oberoi. Vivek Oberoi famously gave her 30 gifts on her 30th birthday. Vivek Oberoi had also called a press conference to report threats and some 41 missed calls from Aishwarya's ex-beau Salman Khan, a move which he later claimed ruined his career and made him an industry outcast. Aishwarya, who never came out in open about her 'relationship', quoted Vivek Oberoi as 'immature'.

And in 2007, Aishwarya Rai became Aishwarya Rai Bachchan when she tied the knot with Abhishek Bachchan, the heir of Bollywood royalty in a grand ceremony.

The couple married on April 20, 2007 as per traditional Hindu rites of the Bunt community at the Bachchan residence, 'Prateeksha'. Since then they have been described as a supercouple!

On November 16, 2011, Aishwarya Rai gave birth to a baby girl, who was popularly known by the name of 'Beti B'. After a long wait of at least four months, the new parents disclosed the name of their newborn daughter Aaradhya. Aishwarya is known to be a hands on mother and one often sees Aaradhya accompanying her mother at the various events she attends. In fact these past two years at Cannes it was Aaradhya's arrival which was the most awaited rather than that of her mother. (Photo: Twitter/express archive photo)

Post her daughter's birth Aishwarya Rai Bachchan came under tremendous scrutiny for her post pregnancy weight gain. The actress made various appearances in her puffed up shape including one at the Cannes film festival last year.

Aishwarya went on to say that she had never endorsed size zero and was happy to be a healthy mom. Aishwarya took her time to shed the weight and has regained her former envious figure. At Cannes 2013, Aishwarya surprised her fans with her well tonned body, marking her return with style and grace. (AP/Twitter)

Aishwarya Rai is also very popular for her humanitarian work. In September 2012, Aishwarya was appointed as the new international Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS.

Along with other members of the Bachchan family, Aishwarya laid the foundation of a special school for underprivileged girls in Daulatpur village in Uttar Pradesh in 2008. The construction is being funded by the Bachchan family, and the school will be named after Aishwarya. (IE photo)

Aishwarya Rai, who is truly a global icon, finally accepted the second-highest Order Of France, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in 2012.

The award was presented to her on her birthday in November 2011 and as per her wish she was accompanied by her family including little Aaradhya.

Aishwarya Rai is also the brand ambassador for The Eye Bank Association of India's nationwide campaign to promote eye donation in India. She is also the pioneer among celebrities for eye donation as she pledged to donate her eyes to the Eye Bank Association of India.

Aishwarya Rai is seen as India's unofficial ambassador to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. She was the first Indian actress to be on the jury of the Cannes International Film Festival. Her appearance at the Cannes film festival is the most awaited events for fashion critics and her fans back home in India.

In October 2004 a wax figure of Aishwarya Rai was put on display in London's Madame Tussaud's wax museum. She was the sixth Indian and the second Bollywood personality—after her father-in-law, Amitabh Bachchan—to get this honour.

Coming back to her professional life, after doing 'Iruvar' and 'Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya', Aishwarya next appeared in the 1998 big-budget Tamil romantic drama 'Jeans'. 'Jeans' was later submitted as India's official entry to the Academy Awards for 1998. The next year she appeared in Rishi Kapoor’s directorial venture 'Aa Ab Laut Chalen'. The film bombed at the box office and Aishwarya was panned by critics with some saying that she 'never gets a scene where she can portray any depth. All she does is cry and smile and look pretty.'

Aishwarya Rai first tasted success in Bollywood with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's romantic drama 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' in 1999 with her then beau Salman Khan. The film, which also starred Ajay Devgn, marked a significant turning point in her career. Aishwarya's performance was praised over her co-actors and till date is largely considered her big dramatic breakthrough. 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' emerged as a major commercial success and won Aishwarya Rai a Filmfare Award for Best Actress.

Aishwarya Rai was next seen in Subhash Ghai's musical love story 'Taal' with Akshaye Khanna and Anil Kapoor. Though the film was a moderate domestic success, Aishwarya Rai received a second Best Actress nomination that year at the Filmfare Awards.

In 2000, Aishwrya Rai's Tamil film ‘Kandukondain Kandukondain’ by Rajiv Menon was a critical and commercial success and earned Aishwarya Rai positive comments from critics. The Indian Express summarised her skills: "Attacking her role with just the perfect dollop of innocence, Aishwarya does full justice to her part, and matches up perfectly to Tabu."

Aishwarya Rai next starred in films including Mansoor Khan’s 'Josh' where she was played the role of Shah Rukh Khan's twin sister. She was then seen in Satish Kaushik's 'Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai'. Her role as a rape victim earned a third Best Actress nomination at Filmfare.

Aishwarya Rai then worked with her now husband Abhishek Bachchan for the first time in 'Dhai Akshar Prem Ke', the film was another commercial failure in Aishwarya's filmy career.

Aishwarya Rai next took on a supporting role in Aditya Chopra's ensemble romance 'Mohabbatein'. Despite earning mixed reviews from film critics, 'Mohabbatein' emerged as the second highest grossing film of the year and earned Aishwarya Rai a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. That following year, she starred alongside Govinda and Jackie Shroff in the romantic comedy 'Albela'. Upon release, both the film and her performance received mostly negative reviews.

Aishwarya Rai's second major breakthrough was again with director Sanjay leela Bhansali in 'Devdas', where she was cast alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit. Aishwarya's portrayal of Paro won her accolades like never before. Besides 'Devdas' also took Aishwarya to a new level of fame altogether with its screening at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. International media went gaga over Aishwarya Rai's performance in Devdas: "Aishwarya Rai proves she has the acting talent to back up her flawless looks".

In 2003, Aishwarya Rai featured in two romantic dramas of Bollywood, her brother's production debut 'Dil Ka Rishta' with Arjun Rampal, and Rohan Sippy's 'Kuch Na Kaho' again with Abhishek Bachchan. Neither of these films fared well critically or commercially.

She was later noted for her role in Rituparno Ghosh's independent Bengali film 'Chokher Bali', an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's novel of the same name. Her portrayal of an emotionally manipulative widow was a major critical success and Rai earned positive notice for her performance; Derek Elley of Variety noted, "Aishwarya Rai dominates the film with her delicately sensual presence and physical grace".

Aishwarya Rai was next seen in her first negative role in Rajkumar Santoshi's 'Khakee' (2004), a suspense thriller featuring Amitabh Santoshi's 'Khakee' featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan and Tusshar Kapoor. Her next release 'Kyun! Ho Gaya Na' received positive to mixed comments from critics, but failed commercially.

In late 2004, Aishwarya Rai garnered international recognition for her role opposite Martin Henderson in Gurinder Chadha's British film 'Bride and Prejudice'. Aishwarya failed to make an impact there. The New York Times mentioned her as "radiantly beautiful but inert".

Next Aishwarya collaborated with director Rituparno Ghosh, for the second time in 'Raincoat' with Ajay Devgn, 'Raincoat' met with wide critical acclaim and among other wins. In 'Raincoat; Aishwarya Rai appeared to have shed her inhibitions about looking unglamorous. Aishwaraya Rai eventually received another Best Actress nomination at Filmfare.

In 2005 Aishwarya Rai was seen in Sanjay Dutt and Zayed Khan starrer adult drama 'Shabd', which received predominantly negative reviews and proved a commercial failure. That same year, Aishwarya Rai took on the lead role in 'The Mistress of Spices', which again received unanimous negative reviews from film critics and was a commercial failure.

That same year Aishwarya Rai was seen in her first item song 'Kajra Re' along with future father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan and future husbanf Abhishek Bachchan in Shaad Ali's comedy 'Bunty Aur Babli.' In 2005, this remained Aishwarya's only successful venture.

In 2006, Aishwarya Rai had a rough start with J P Dutta's remake of 'Umrao Jaan'. The film and its protagonist (Aishwarya) suffered the obvious comparisions with the previous film which had veteran actress Rekha in the lead.

The same year Aishwarya redefined size-zero in Yash Raj Films' blockbuster film 'Dhoom: 2'. 'Dhoom: 2' was Aishwarya Rai's first major commercial success after 'Devdas'. Her performance earned her a sixth Filmfare Award nomination in the Best Actress category.

In 2007, Aishwarya Rai featured as the wife of her then fiance Abhishek Bachchan in Mani Ratnam's 'Guru'. The film met with international critical acclaim and emerged as a box-office success. Soon after the release of 'Guru' Amitabh Bachchan announced that the two actors were engaged-to-be-married. And soon enough in April that year. Aishwarya Rai tied the knot with Abhishek Bachchan.

Aishwarya Rai continued working post marriage and was seen alongside Naveen Andrews and Miranda Richardson in Jag Mundhra's independent British drama 'Provoked', as the real-life character of Kiranjit Ahluwalia. Aishwarya Rai earned positive comments for her performance as a battered wife. Internationally well-received, the film emerged as a moderate commercial success in the United Kingdom.

That same year, she starred in Doug Lefler's epic film 'The Last Legion' alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth, and Thomas Sangster. the film proved a major critical and commercial failure.

Aishwarya Rai's third milestone was in 2008 with Ashutosh Gowariker's period romance 'Jodhaa Akbar' with Hrithik Roshan. Aishwarya Rai received heaps of praises for her portrayal of the Rajput princess. A critic had called 'Jodhaa Akbar', Aishwarya's finest outings on screen."

That same year she paired up with her husband, Abhishek Bachchan, and father-in-law, Amitabh Bachchan for Ram Gopal Varma's political drama 'Sarkar Raj', a sequel to the 2005 box-office hit 'Sarkar'. The film was a critical and commercial success, with praise directed to the performances of the three leads.

In 2009, Aishwarya Rai was seen in her second negative role in Steve Martin 'Pink Panther'. The film did a moderate business however failed to make an impression for our Indian beauty. International media described her expressions as 'wooden'.

In 2010, Aishwarya Rai teamed up with hubby Abhishek Bachchan for Mani Ratnam's 'Raavan.' However, this time the 'Guru' team failed to deliver. Both the film and Aishwarya Rai received mixed review bordering on the negative.

The same year year Aishwarya Rai was seen opposite Rajinikanth in the science fiction Tamil film 'Robot', which emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. She then appeared in Vipul Shah's 'Action Replayy' co-starring Akshay Kumar, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Neha Dhupia which bombed at Box Office.

In 2010 Aishwarya Rai once again teamed up with Sanjay Leela Bhansali for the third time fior Hrithik Roshan starrer 'Guzaarish'. Despite failing at Box Office, 'Guzaarish' met with positive critical comments.

In 2011, Madhur Bhandarkar' announced Aishwarya Rai as the protagonist of his drama film 'Heroine', however, due to her pregnancy, Aishwarya Rai was replaced by Kareena Kapoor, the original choice for the role. Since the birth of her daughter Aaradhya, Aishwarya Rai has taken a sabbatical form films. (IE photo)

Even though Aishwarya Rai did not return to the silver screen, she caused quite a stir with her stage performances post pregnancy. The first being, during 'Miss India' competition, where Aishwarya stole the show with her vivacious dance moves. Soon after that, Aishwarya joined Abhishek for a stage performance at an awards show last year, held in Vancouver.

The 2014 Cannes Film Festival saw Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in her absolute best on the red carpet. The actress looked beautiful in a golden Roberto Cavalli strapless fishtail gown at the premiere of ‘Two Days, One Night’. She was definitely a stunner.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan scored another fashion ace in an ivory white Roberto Cavalli fishtail gown for her second outing at the Cannes red carpet this year.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was the epitome of style in a black-buttoned trench coat with matching boots at Glasgow where the beauty was present for the Common Wealth Games as an ambassador for a designer watch brand.

Former beauty queen and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan attended a reception at 10 Downing Street on behalf of the Smile Train charity along with Samantha Cameron, the wife of British Prime Minister, David Cameron. (Source: Twitter)