She first became a rage when she teamed up with Aamir Khan and Mahima Chaudhary in a coke ad in 1993. As soon as it hit the screens, Bachchan became a star and the following year she participated in the Miss India contest and won the first runner-up title.
Since then she's become brand ambassador to international brands like L'Oreal and Longines, has featured in People magazine's list of most beautiful people in 2006 and also found a place in Time magazine's World's 100 Most Influential People lists in 2004 and 2010.
Meanwhile, she shone on the international firmament with films like Bride and Prejudice and Pink Panther 2 and by becoming a regular on the Cannes red carpet.
Delhi-based fashion designer Kunal Kapoor calls Bachchan a perfect mix of desi and western looks. "Aishwarya is one style icon who maintained her charisma from her modelling to films and she is still going strong. She has got an amazing mix which makes her one of the most beautiful women of the world."
Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who perhaps gave her the best role in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, not only describes her as a beautiful girl but says "she has a beautiful mind too, a sharp mind and a thinking mind that questions and answers".
‘An evolved person'
"Also, over the years, I feel through her exposure to world cinema as a jury member, going to Cannes, going to various other film festivals, meeting international actors and directors — all that has really made her an evolved person."
Her cinematic journey started with director Mani Ratnam's 1997 Tamil hit movie Iruvar and in the same year she was introduced to Bollywood by Rahul Rawail with his directorial venture Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. In her more than a decade-long career she came out with hits like Devdas, Dhoom 2, Guru and Jodhaa Akbar.
In 2007, when she was the reigning star, she announced her engagement to co-star Abhishek Bachchan. On April 20 the same year they tied the knot amidst a media frenzy. After playing a perfect daughter-in-law, Bachchan is now in the family way and Raveena Tandon says having a happy family was her long-cherished dream.
"I remember she and me together on flights, going for concerts, chatting, long hours away, then too she dreamed of a happy settled family life," said Tandon.
American talk show queen Oprah Winfrey had said: "The movie star couple more famous than anybody else in the world — even more than Brad and Angelina... anybody."
In 2009, Winfrey had invited Bachchan and hubby Abhishek on The Oprah Winfrey Show and said, "India's Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan have five billion, yes, I said five billion fans around the globe... They are husband and wife, and superstars of Bollywood."
Currently Bachchan is shooting for Madhur Bhandarkar's Heroine.
In between she won many honours and titles — Britain's Hello! magazine voted her its most attractive woman of 2003. In the same year, she appeared on Rolling Stone magazine's annual Hot List. In 2008, US TV channel E! Entertainment listed Bachchan's eyes as the sexiest on their Sexiest Body Parts list.
On the home front, she was honoured with the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award, in 2009.
"She is one lady who did everything just perfect. With timeless beauty and elegance, hope she continues her life the way she is doing. Congrats for being mum, Aishwarya," said Kapoor.