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Aishwarya Bachchan Rai (Tulu-Kannada: ಐಶ್ವರ್ಯ ರೈ, Devanāgarī: ऐश्वर्या राय, IPA: [ɛʃvərjɑː rɑːj]) (born November 1, 1973), is an award-winning Indian actress. Rai, who won the Miss World title in 1994, made her film debut in Mani Ratnam's Iruvar (1997) and had her first critical and commercial success with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), with whom she repeated this success with Devdas (2002). Since then, she has acted in nearly forty Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and English films. Today, she is considered to be one of the most popular actresses in India and the best-known Indian actress in the world. Rai is married to Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan and is daughter-in-law to Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan.
Rai was born in Mangalore, in the South Indian state of Karnataka, to Krishnaraj Rai, a marine engineer, and Vrinda Rai, a writer. Her ancestors are from the Bunt community of Mangalore. Her family relocated to Mumbai (Bombay) after her birth. Rai has one elder brother, Aditya Rai who is in the merchant navy. Rai attended the Arya Vidya Mandir at Santacruz, Mumbai, then entered Jai Hind College, Churchgate, Mumbai for one year and then moved to Ruparel College, Matunga, Mumbai to finish her HSC. She was an A student and was on track to become an architect. Her mother tongue is Tulu. She also speaks Hindi, English, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil.
Rai began modeling on the side while pursuing for studies in Architecture, which did not materialise. In the 1994 Miss India contest, she was controversially placed second behind Sushmita Sen, and went on to win the Miss World title that same year and the Miss Photogenic award. After the one year reign as Miss World in London, she then worked as a professional model, in advertising and Indian fashion magazines and later got into the Indian film industry.