Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (born Aishwarya Rai, and sometimes known simply as Ash or Gullu- November 1, 1973) is an Indian actress and former Miss World. Before starting her acting career, she worked as a model and gained fame after winning the Miss World title in 1994.
Aishwarya was born in Mangalore to Krishnaraj Rai and Vrinda Rai. She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai, who is an engineer in the merchant navy and has also co-produced one of Rai’s movies, Dil Ka Rishta (2003). At an early age her parents moved to Mumbai where she attended the Arya Vidya Mandir high school in Santa Cruz. Aishwarya then entered Jai Hind College at Churchgate for one year, and then moved to Ruparel College in Matunga to finish her HSC studies. She did well in school and planned to become an architect and went on pursuing studies in architecture.
She can communicate in several languages, including her mother tongue Tulu, as well as Hindi, English, Marathi and Tamil. She started studying architecture but gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling. While pursuing her studies in architecture, she began modelling on the side. In the 1994 Miss India contest, she won the second place behind Sushmita Sen, and was crowned Miss India World. She went on to win the Miss World title the same year, where she also won the Miss Photogenic award. She abandoned her academic education after winning the pageant and spent one year reigning as Miss World in London. Aishwarya then started working as a professional model and then moved on to her current profession as an actress.
Aishwarya is married to actor Abhishek Bachchan. After much speculation concerning their relationship, their engagement was announced on 14 January 2007. The announcement was later confirmed by his father Amitabh Bachchan. The couple got married on 20 April 2007 according to traditional Hindu rites of the South Indian Bunt community, to which she belongs. Token North Indian and Bengali ceremonies were also performed. The wedding took place in a private ceremony at the Bachchan residence Prateeksha in Juhu, Mumbai. Though the wedding was a private affair intended for the Bachchan and Rai families and friends, the involvement of the media turned it into a national extravaganza. They have been cited as a supercouple in the Indian media. Aishwarya has been very close to her family and lived with them in Bandra, Mumbai until her marriage.