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The mistress of them all

Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan was born on November 1, 1973 to marine biologist Krishnaraj Rai and writer Vrinda Rai in Mangalore.

The Rais moved to Mumbai soon after Aishwarya's birth. She schooled at Arya Vidya Mandir, went to Jai Hind College for a year, then moved to Ruparel College.

While aiming for a career as an architect, Aishwarya began modelling. By the time she was crowned Miss World in 1994, India had long begun to pay her a lot of attention.

Bollywood was clearly the way to go -- we're assuming it's a lot more interesting to hang around film stars than architects -- so Aishwarya took the plunge. She made her big screen debut down South with Mani Ratnam's Iruvar in 1997, and followed it up with Jeans a year later.

Her Hindi film debut came with Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (1997). It's hard to believe that Ash has over 40 films under her belt, including Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and English titles like Bride & Prejudice and Mistress of Spices. Marriage may have slowed her down a little, but we're sure she's going to light up the screen a few more times before she's done with cinema.

Also See: When a skirt made history

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