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Meet the Irresistible Lisa Ray

Last updated on: September 10, 2009 

Meet the Irresistible Lisa Ray

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Most of us in India first got a glimpse of Lisa Ray in a towel.

The stunner, unforgettably clad in Bombay Dyeing, immediately made the nation's collective jaw drop. She was spotted by an agent -- so goes the apocryphal star-is-born story -- while vacationing in India.

She was just 16, a Canadian citizen born to a Bengali father and a Polish mother.


Image: Lisa Ray

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Her father loved movies, raising Lisa on a wonderful diet of Satyajit Ray and Federico Fellini classics.

After her iconic towel advertisement made immense waves, Lisa moved base to India and made an immediate splash in a bright scarlet swimsuit on the cover of fashion monthly, Gladrags. A true supermodel was born, overnight.


Image: Lisa Ray
Photographs: Mike Cassese/Reuters
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Standing a modest five feet in her socks, Lisa didn't have the height to pursue ramp modelling but impressively managed to maintain supermodel status all the same.

She made her debut in Tamil cinema with Nethaji but didn't cause any waves, and realised her true audience was in the north of the nation.


Image: Lisa Ray

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Lisa's rise to stardom took place at the time India was beginning to realise the potential of the music video, and she made a sensational appearance in the video for a song called Afreen, by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Both song and video were immense hits, and Lisa Ray was fittingly crowned as one of the most glamorous women in the country.


Image: Lisa Ray

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Her Hindi film career never quite took off -- her debut, Kasoor, opposite Aftab Shivdasani, was quite an ill-timed dud -- and it didn't help that she wasn't proficient enough in Hindi to dub her own lines.

She impressed fellow Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, however, and was cast in both the disastrous Bollywood/Hollywood and the Oscar-nominated Water.


Image: Lisa Ray and Joh Abraham in a scene from Water

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On September 9, Lisa revealed the devastating news that she was suffering from multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer condition.

Her film I Can't Think Straight is due to release in India this Friday, and all our thoughts and prayers are with the gorgeous 37-year-old actress. Lisa's showing tremendous spirit and spunk as she has vowed to spread awareness about this rare condition and fight it.


Image: Sheetal Sheth and Lisa Ray in a scene from I Can't Think Straight

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