The gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who celebrated her 34th birthday on Thursday at the Taj Mahal in Agra truly lives up to her name. Aishwarya – the name itself spells grace, scintillating beauty, fame and adulation.
Ash enjoys perfect bliss with Abhishek Bachchan , with whom she married earlier this year and became the daughter-in-law of Bollywood mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan .
And here are some facts that explain how Ash lives up to her name:
Ash first Indian actress to be on the jury of the Cannes International Film Festival. Is reportedly the highest paid actress in Bollywood.
Ash made her first commercial for Camlin pencils when she was in the 9th grade. Was the Coca Cola Girl for the Middle East and South Asia. Ash is featured in the 2004 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
In a poll conducted by Hello magazine, Ash was voted the number-one attractive woman of 2003, beating actresses such as Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
In April 2003, L’Oréal signed Ash as its new international brand ambassador (spokesperson). Ash is the first Bollywood star to appear in Rolling Stone magazine (Issue 932, October 2, 2003).
Ash gained 20 pounds for Bride and Prejudice because she didn’t want her character to look like a supermodel and also felt that it would add a sense of realism to the character.
The first movie star Ash ever met was Rekha when she was still in high school at the time and was a model. While at a grocery store with her mother, Ash was tapped on the shoulder by none other than Rekha herself.
Rekha recognized Ash from her modeling ads. She complimented the young Ash on her good looks and wished her all the best.
Aamir Khan and Ash are the only stars to advertise for both Coca Cola and Pepsi.
After winning the title of Miss World in 1994, the host of the event, Richard Steinmetz, actually asked Ash out. But being a professional, she refused right away.
During the filming of the song ‘Dola Re Dola’ in Devdaas Ash’s ears were bleeding because to the heavy earrings she had to wear, but she continued to perform anyway.
Ash is a trained classical dancer. She learnt classical dance and music for five years while in her teens.
Ash won the title of Miss Photogenic in the 1994 Miss World Pageant. Ash has won over 100 awards since 1994 when she was 20.
Ash was listed in Time magazine as one of 100 most influential people in the world (The 2004 TIME 100).
Ash ran the Olympic-torch relay in June 2004.
Ash turned down a role in The Myth due to her touring schedule. The role was eventually given to Mallika Sherawat.
Ash has over 17,000 Web sites dedicated to her.
In 2004, Ash became the first Bollywood and Indian actress to have her own statue at London’s Madame Tussauds museum.
On January 2nd, 2005, Ash became the first Indian actress to be interviewed on “60 Minutes”.
Ash was voted number 9 in Harpers and Queen magazine’s list of the 100 most beautiful women of today. (Harpers and Queen, June 6, 2005).
A tulip produced in 2005 was named for Ash. Ash was a member of the jury at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
When Oprah Winfrey saw Ash’s interview on ‘60 Minutes’ (1968), she was so fascinated by her that she got a hold of Ash and invited her to be a guest on her show. On April 25, 2005, Ash became the first Indian and South Asian actress to be featured on ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’.
Ash is said to have turned down the role of Helen in the film ‘Troy’ (2004).
Director Andy Tennant offered Ash a part in ‘Hitch’ (2005), but she turned it down because she was so busy with other films. Actor Will Smith later talked about how he missed out on working with the beauty.
In the summer of 2005, Mattel released limited edition Barbie dolls inspired by Ash and her costumes. They were released only in Britain and sold out within minutes. These dolls are now considered rare collectibles among fans.
Ash’s favourite film is Casablanca.
Ash was voted number 12 on VH1’s 50 Sexiest Actresses of the Last 20 Years. (December 2005).
Roger Ebert has said he considers Ash the most beautiful actress in the world.
Ash was voted as E’s 7th sexiest celebrity in the world.
Ash is the first actress from India to get signed on with the American Library Association and also have a poster made of her for schools and libraries all across America.
When President George W. Bush visited India in March 2006, he invited Ash, along with Aamir, to a luncheon. Ash could not attend because she was in Brazil at the time for Dhoom 2.
Ash performed to an audience of 85,000 in Melbourne, Australia at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games with 800 backup dancers (March 2006).
Ash is very popular in many Arab countries.
Ash featured in People Magazine as one of the 100 Most Beautiful People in the World. (Issue May 8, 2006).
Ash caused a daylong traffic jam in Dubai, United Arab Emirates while filming soap commercial. People would stop for hours just to catch a glimpse of their favorite actress. (September 5, 2006).
Ash was listed number 3 by UK magazine Eastern Eye one of “Asia’s Sexiest Women” (September 2006).
Ash’s Pepsi ad with Aamir was shot in one night during the infamous Bombay riots.
Ash came in number 1 in BollySpice.com Magazine’s list of “Top 10 Actresses of 2006”.
Ash was invited in 2005 to be a presenter at The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) (TV), but was unable to attend because she was busy filming for Mistress Of Spices.
Ash is active in various charities and often visits orphanages.
Ash’s favorite Western designer is Giorgio Armani. Whenever she is in London, clothes are taken to her hotel for her to choose from. Director Brett Ratner is a fan of Ash and he wanted her to be cast in ‘Rush Hour 3 (2007)’, but she turned down the offer.
Ash’s wax statue at Madame Tussauds Museum in London was borrowed by the museum in New York for six weeks. The statue was flown to New York and made its debut on August 15, 2007, making her the first Indian actress in the American version of the museum.
Ash’s wedding invitations were embossed with two entwined as and delivered along with a box of chocolate meringues.