ONE DAY INTERNATIONAL MVP…NEXT DAY A MARINER

  The Genius has traded away Outfielder Ben Gamel to The Mariners.  In return The Yankees acquired  Juan De Paula and Jio Orozco, in return.  The Genius loves to trade players away and get them back.  Especially when they have not faired well with the Yankees.  DePaula, eighteen, in 41 innings for The Mariner’s Arizona League team, was 1-2 with a 3.07 E.R.A. and 53 K’s.  No photos available.  But The Genius likes the name, Depaula.  The Yankees had Jose DePaula.  Orozco, is 19 and pitched in The Arizona League, as well.  In 70 innings, Orozco was 5-3 with a 3.73 E.R.A. and 87 K’s.  Orozco was 2-2 with a 4.o7 E.R.A. with the Mariners in 2016.  Cashman continues to acquire   young arms.

Aishwarya Rai

 

Aishwarya Rai

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai 2015.jpg

Rai in 2015
Born (1973-11-01) 1 November 1973 (age 42)
Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Ethnicity Tulu
Occupation Model, Actress
Years active 1991–present
Spouse(s) Abhishek Bachchan (m. 2007)
Children 1[1]
Relatives See Bachchan family
Signature
Signature of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.svg

Aishwarya Rai (born 1 November 1973[2]), also known by her married name Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, is an Indian actress, model and the winner of the Miss World 1994 pageant. Through her successful acting career, she has established herself as one of the most popular and high-profile celebrities in India. Rai has received several awards, including two Filmfare Awards from ten nominations, and she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2009. She is often cited as the “most beautiful woman in the world”.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

While in college, Rai did a few modelling assignments. Following appearances in several television commercials, she entered the Miss India pageant, in which she placed second. She was then crowned Miss World 1994, after which she began receiving offers to act in film. She made her acting debut with the 1997 Tamil film Iruvar and had her first Hindi film release in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya that same year. Her first commercial success was the Tamil romantic drama Jeans (1998), following which she achieved wider success and two Best Actress awards at Filmfare for her performances in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Devdas (2002). She garnered critical appreciation for portraying Rabindranath Tagore‘s heroine, Binodini, in the Bengali film Chokher Bali (2003), a depressed woman in the relationship drama Raincoat (2004) and as Kiranjit Ahluwalia in the British drama film Provoked (2006). Rai’s greatest commercial successes have been the romance Mohabbatein (2000), the adventure film Dhoom 2 (2006), the historical romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and the science fiction film Enthiran (2010). She also received praise for portraying a nurse in the drama Guzaarish (2010). Rai took a sabbatical from film acting in 2010, and made her comeback with the thriller Jazbaa (2015).

Rai married actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 with whom she has a daughter. Her off-screen roles include duties as a brand ambassador for several charity organisations and campaigns. She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS). In 2003, she was the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.

Early life and modelling career

Rai was born into a Tulu-speaking Bunt[9] family in Mangalore, Karnataka.[10] Her father, Krishnaraj, was an Army biologist, while her mother, Brinda, is a homemaker.[11] She has one elder brother, Aditya Rai, who is an engineer in the merchant navy. Rai’s movie Dil Ka Rishta (2003) was co-produced by her brother and co-written by her mother.[12][13] The family moved to Mumbai, where Rai attended the Arya Vidya Mandir High School.[11] Rai did her intermediate schooling at Jai Hind College for a year,[14] and then joined DG Ruparel College[15] in Matunga, securing 90 percent in the HSC exams.[11][16] She trained in classical dance and music for five years during her teens.[16] Her favourite subject was zoology, so she initially considered a career in medicine.[16] Then with plans to become an architect, she enrolled at Rachana Sansad Academy of Architecture,[16] but later gave up her education to pursue a career in modelling.[14]

In 1991, Rai won an international supermodel contest (organised by Ford) and was eventually featured in the American edition of Vogue.[15][17] In 1993, Rai gained huge public recognition for her appearance in a Pepsi commercial with actors Aamir Khan and Mahima Chaudhry. The single line – “Hi, I’m Sanjana,” of her dialogue in the commercial made her instantly famous.[17][18] In the 1994 Miss India pageant, she won second place, behind Sushmita Sen, and was crowned Miss India World, also winning five other sub-titles, including “Miss Catwalk”, “Miss Miraculous”, “Miss Photogenic”, “Miss Perfect Ten” and “Miss Popular”.[19] With Sen representing India at the Miss Universe pageant, Rai’s duties as the first runner-up included representing India in the rival Miss World Pageant, held that year in Sun City, South Africa. She went on to win the crown[20] where she also won the “Miss Photogenic” award and Miss World Continental Queen of Beauty − Asia and Oceania.[21] After winning the pageant, Rai spoke of her dream for peace for this world, and her desire to be an ambassador of peace during her one-year reign in London.[19][22] Rai continued to pursue a career as a model until she became an actress.[23]

Acting career

Early work (1997–1998)

Rai made her acting debut in 1997 with Mani Ratnam‘s Tamil film Iruvar, a semi-biographical political drama, featuring Mohanlal, Prakash Raj, Tabu and Revathi. The film was a critical success and among other awards, won the Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival[24] Rai featured as Pushpavalli and Kalpana – dual roles; the latter was a fictionalised portrayal of politician and former actress Jayalalithaa.[25] Due to Rai’s weak Tamil-speaking skills, her dialogue in the film was dubbed by Tamil actress Rohini.[26] That same year, she was cast as Ashi, a naive teenager in her first Bollywood film – Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, a romantic comedy opposite Bobby Deol. Both Iruvar and Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya were commercial failures and reviewers were critical of Rai’s acting ability in both the films. However, for the latter, she won a Screen Award for Best Female Debut.[17][27]

In the 1998 big-budget Tamil romantic drama Jeans directed by S. Shankar, Rai appeared alongside Prashanth and Nassar. She played Madhumita, a young woman who accompanies her ailing grandmother to the United States to seek medical attention. A commercial success, the film earned Rai praise for her acting and dancing skills.[28] Unlike in Iruvar, Rai practised and dubbed for her own lines in the film.[29] Jeans was later submitted as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards for 1998.[30] Her first role in 1999 was in the melodrama Aa Ab Laut Chalen, directed by Rishi Kapoor. The film was a critical failure and had a below average performance at the box office.[31] Rai’s portrayal of Pooja Walia, a traditional Indian woman living in the United States, met with negative reviews; Rediff.com published, “Aishwarya Rai sports a plastic smile and never gets a scene where she can portray any depth. All she does is cry and smile and look pretty”.[32]

Public recognition and success (1999–2001)

In 1999, Rai starred in the romantic drama Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam which became a significant turning point in her career.[33] The film, an adaptation of Maitreyi Devi‘s Bengali novel Na Hanyate, was directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and co-starred Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. She played the main protagonist Nandini, a Gujarati woman who is forced into wedlock (with Devgan’s character) despite being in love with another man (played by Khan). TheMovieReport.com praised Rai’s performance over her co-actors and noted, “Rai, in a luminous, award-winning performance (largely considered her big dramatic breakthrough—and justifiably so), fills in the conflicted emotional shades that Khan fails to bring with his one-dimensional presence”.[34] Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam emerged as a major commercial success and won Rai a Filmfare Award for Best Actress.[35] Rai next took the leading role of Mansi, an aspiring singer, in Subhash Ghai‘s musical Taal; alongside Akshay Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Amrish Puri and Alok Nath.[36] A reviewer for Rediff praised her dancing prowess in it.[37] A moderate domestic success, Taal was notable for being the first Indian film to feature in the top twenty listing at the American box-office.[38][39] Rai received a second Best Actress nomination that year at the Filmfare Awards ceremony.

In 2000, Rai starred in Kandukondain Kandukondain, a Tamil language adaptation of Jane Austen‘s novel Sense and Sensibility. Directed by Rajiv Menon, the film also starred Tabu, Mammooty and Ajith Kumar in prominent roles. Rai was cast as Meenakshi (based on the character of Marianne Dashwood), the younger sister of Tabu’s character.[40] The film was a critical and commercial success and earned Rai positive comments from critics; a review carried by The Indian Express summarised, “Attacking her role with just the perfect dollop of innocence, Aishwarya does full justice to her part, and matches up perfectly to Tabu.”[41][42][43]

Rai next starred alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Chandrachur Singh in the action drama Josh. She portrayed Shirley Dias, the twin sister of Khan’s character who falls in love with his arch enemy’s brother (played by Singh).[44] The casting of Rai as Khan’s sister was considered an unusual pairing at the time; director Mansoor Khan, however, described it as “perfect”.[45] Despite earning mixed reviews from film critics, Josh emerged as a commercial success.[46][47] Satish Kaushik‘s social drama Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai was Rai’s next release; she played a rape victim in the film. Co-starring Anil Kapoor and Sonali Bendre, the film was well received by critics and did moderate business at the box office. Film critic Sukanya Verma praised Rai’s decision to star in the film and added that she “conveys the turmoil and pain of a rape victim well. But it is her transition from an emotional wreck trying to gather the broken pieces of her life back together that is amazing.”[48] Rai eventually earned a third Best Actress nomination at Filmfare.[49]

Following a leading role in the box-office flop Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, Rai took on a supporting role in Aditya Chopra‘s ensemble romance Mohabbatein. Rai’s role was that of Megha Shankar, the daughter of Amitabh Bachchan‘s character who commits suicide after realising that her father will not accept her romance with one of his students (played by Shah Rukh Khan). Despite earning mixed reviews from film critics, Mohabbatein emerged as the second highest-grossing film of the year and earned Rai a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination.[47][49][50] The following year, she starred alongside Govinda and Jackie Shroff in the romantic comedy Albela. Upon release, both the film and her performance received mostly negative reviews; Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama criticised the film and mentioned Rai as “plastic in some scenes”.[51]

Devdas and international recognition (2002–07)

Khan and Rai are looking at what appears to be a huge book.

Rai with her co-star Shah Rukh Khan at the promotion of their film Devdas in 2002

After featuring in David Dhawan‘s slapstick comedy film Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, Rai appeared alongside Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s love-saga Devdas, an adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay‘s novel of the same name.[52] She played the role of Paro (Parvati), the love interest of the protagonist (played by Khan). The film was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and was featured by Time in their listing of the “10 best films of the millennium”.[53][54] The film emerged as a major international success with revenues of over ₹840 million (US$12 million).[55][56] Alan Morrison, writing for Empire, praised the performances of the three leads and wrote, “Aishwarya Rai proves she has the acting talent to back up her flawless looks”.[57] Devdas was chosen as India’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and received a nomination at the BAFTA Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.[58] In India, the film won 10 Filmfare Awards, including a second Best Actress award for Rai.[59]

In 2003, Rai featured in two romantic dramas of Bollywood, her brother’s production début Dil Ka Rishta, alongside Arjun Rampal, and Rohan Sippy‘s Kuch Na Kaho, alongside Abhishek Bachchan.[60] Neither of these films fared well critically or commercially.[60][61] She was later noted for her starring role in Rituparno Ghosh‘s independent Bengali film Chokher Bali, an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore‘s novel of the same name.[62] She portrayed the character of Binodini, an emotionally manipulative widow, struggling with her sexual desires in early-20th century Bengal.[63] The film was a major critical success and Rai earned positive notice for her performance; Derek Elley of Variety noted, “Rai dominates the film with her delicately sensual presence and physical grace”.[64] Commercially, the film was a sleeper hit.[65][66]

After the success of Chokher Bali, Rai returned to mainstream Hindi film with Rajkumar Santoshi‘s Khakee (2004), an action thriller featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan and Tusshar Kapoor. The film tells the story of five constables embroiled in a mystery surrounding a terrorist attack; Rai’s role was that of Mahalakshmi, a gun moll. While filming for Khakee, Rai was accidentally hit by a running car, which resulted in the fracture of her left foot.[67] Upon release, the film received moderate critical and commercial success.[68] In her next release, the romantic comedy Kyun! Ho Gaya Na…, Rai played Diya Malhotra, a university student who develops a one-sided attraction toward her friend Arjun Khanna (played by Vivek Oberoi). The film received positive to mixed comments from critics, but failed commercially.[69][70]

In late 2004, Rai garnered international recognition for her starring role opposite Martin Henderson in Gurinder Chadha‘s British film Bride and Prejudice, a Bollywood-style adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. International film critics were appreciative of Rai’s “beauty” but questioned her acting abilities; a review carried by The New York Times mentioned her as “radiantly beautiful but inert”.[71] With a worldwide gross of $24 million against a production budget of $7 million, Bride and Prejudice proved a commercial success.[72] Rai next collaborated with director Rituparno Ghosh, for the second time, in the relationship drama Raincoat, an adaptation of O. Henry‘s The Gift of the Magi. Also featuring Ajay Devgan, Raincoat met with wide critical acclaim and among other wins, won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.[73] The Hindu noted, “[A]s Neerja, [Rai] appears to have shed her inhibitions about looking unglamorous. What is more, she seems to have made an earnest effort to emote, using less of her body and limbs and more of her face, and eyes in particular”.[74] She eventually received another Best Actress nomination at Filmfare.

Rai next co-starred alongside Sanjay Dutt and Zayed Khan in the 2005 adult drama Shabd, which tells the story of an author who convinces his wife to pursue an illicit relationship with a younger man in research for his next book. The film received predominantly negative reviews and proved a commercial failure. The Times of India concluded, “For the umpteenth time, Ms Rai looks drop-dead gorgeous. And that’s about it. She is like that picture postcard you get when what you were actually waiting for is a letter. It’s very beautiful to look at, but is of no use because it says nothing.”[75] That same year, Rai took on the lead role of Tilo in Paul Mayeda Berges‘s romantic fantasy film The Mistress of Spices, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.[76] The film received negative reviews from film critics[77][78] and emerged as a commercial failure.[79][not in citation given] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian termed Rai’s performance as “annoying” and wrote that she “wafts and simpers” through the entire film.[80] Rai’s only successful venture of 2005 was a special appearance in Shaad Ali‘s comedy Bunty Aur Babli, in which she featured in the popular item number Kajra Re.[81][82]

Rai had two film releases in 2006, J P Dutta‘s Umrao Jaan and Yash Raj FilmsDhoom 2. The former, an adaptation of Mirza Hadi Ruswa‘s Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada (1905), tells the story of a doomed courtesan from 19th-century Lucknow. Rai played the titular role, a character famously played by Rekha in the first film adaptation of the novel. Reviewers, while comparing the film to its previous adaptation, were critical of the film as well as of Rai’s performance. BBC noted, “While only Aishwarya could emulate the grace and poise of Rekha, she doesn’t quite capture the intensity of Umrao’s abiding melancholy”, adding that “Rai’s incandescent beauty and artistry [..] does indeed keep the audience watching, though not necessarily emotionally engaged.”[83]

In the Sanjay Gadhvi-directed adventure film Dhoom 2, Rai portrayed Sunehri, a petty thief who helps the police catch an illusive criminal; the film had an ensemble cast including Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, and Uday Chopra.[84] Though critically unsuccessful, the film was Rai’s first major commercial success since Devdas; the film was declared a blockbuster, and became the highest grossing Indian film of 2006 with gross revenues of over ₹1.11 billion (US$16 million).[85] Rediff.com commented, “[She] is all gloss and no depth. You seldom feel any tension in her behaviour and expressions. [..] Sunehri enters the film nearly 50 minutes after its opening in a disguise. In no time, she is wearing the flimsiest of clothes. Once she opens her mouth—and she does it two minutes after appearing in the film—she spoils the image.”[86] Nonetheless, her performance earned her a sixth Filmfare Award nomination in the Best Actress category.

In 2007, Rai played the wife of Abhishek Bachchan’s character in Mani Ratnam’s social drama Guru. A fictionalised biography of businessman Dhirubhai Ambani, Guru tells the rag to riches story of an uneducated man who builds a multinational corporation. The film met with international critical acclaim and emerged as a box-office success.[87] Richard Corliss of Time labelled her character as an “ornament”, but Raja Sen from Rediff described it as “arguably her finest performance, visible especially when she takes over the film’s climax.”[88][89] Rai received her seventh Best Actress nomination at Filmfare for her performance in the film. Rai next starred alongside Naveen Andrews and Miranda Richardson in Jag Mundhra‘s independent British drama Provoked, as the real-life character of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, a non-resident Indian who murders her husband after suffering years of domestic abuse.[90] Rai earned mostly positive comments for her performance.[91] Critic Indu Mirani from DNA wrote, “Aishwarya Rai plays the battered wife in what is undoubtedly one of her best performances to date. Rai convincingly goes through the various stages of shock, bewilderment, remorse and finally vindication”.[92] Internationally well-received, the film emerged as a moderate commercial success in the United Kingdom.[93][94] That same year, Rai starred alongside Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth and Thomas Sangster as the Indian warrior Mira in Doug Lefler‘s epic film The Last Legion.[95]

Jodhaa Akbar and other roles (2008–10)

Rai at the premiere of Raavan in 2010

After a series of films that under-performed either critically or commercially, Rai garnered both critical and box-office success with Ashutosh Gowariker‘s period romance Jodhaa Akbar (2008). The film narrates a partly fictionalised account of a marriage of convenience between the Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar (played by Hrithik Roshan) and the Rajput princess Jodha Bai (played by Rai). Rajeev Masand noted, “Aishwarya Rai is wonderfully restrained and uses her eyes expertly to communicate so much, making this one of her finest outings on screen”.[96] The film had gross earnings of ₹1.12 billion (US$17 million) and fetched Rai a Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare Awards ceremony.[97] She then co-starred with her husband, Abhishek Bachchan, and her father-in-law, Amitabh Bachchan, in Ram Gopal Verma‘s political drama Sarkar Raj, a sequel to the 2005 box-office hit Sarkar.[98] Rai was cast as Anita Rajan, the CEO of an international power firm who proposes to set up a plant in rural Maharashtra. The film was a critical and commercial success, with praise directed to the performances of the three leads.[99][100][not in citation given]

Rai’s next role was in the 2009 Harald Zwart-directed spy comedy The Pink Panther 2. Starring alongside Steve Martin, Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer, Rai portrayed the role of Sonia Solandres, a seductive criminology expert. Like its predecessor, the sequel received negative reviews from critics,[101] but did a moderate business of $34 million at the American box office.[102] Roger Ebert wrote, “Rai is breathtaking in Bollywood films, where they devote a great deal of expertise to admiring beauty, but here she’s underutilized and too much in the background”;[103] USA Today mentioned her expressions as “wooden” and added, “She looks gorgeous, but her expression rarely changes”.[104]

In 2010, Rai was cast by Mani Ratnam in his bilingual modern-day adaptation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Her role was that of Ragini (modeled on Sita, the heroine of Ramayana), a woman married to the superintendent of police, who is kidnapped by a bandit. The Hindi version (Raavan) and the Tamil version (Raavanan) of the film were shot simultaneously and Rai played the same role in both the film versions.[105] The films received polarising reviews from film critics, as did Rai’s performance. Kaveree Bamzai of India Today wrote, “Aishwarya’s Sita is one of the best things in the film … her performance is heartfelt—this is a performer who is at ease playing women, rather than girls”.[106] However, film critics Aniruddha Guha and Rajeev Masand criticised her character and noted, “She’s left to scream and shriek and hiss.”[107] Commercially, Raavanan emerged as a success while Raavan flopped.[108] Rai’s next role was opposite Rajinikanth in the science fiction Tamil film Enthiran (2010), directed by S. Shankar.[109] She was cast as Sana, a college student and the girlfriend of Rajinikanth’s character. At the time of release, Enthiran was the most expensive Indian film production and eventually emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.[110][111][112] She then appeared as Mala, an impetuous brat, in Vipul Shah‘s Action Replayy; a science fiction comedy co-starring Akshay Kumar, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Neha Dhupia.

Rai’s final film of 2010 was the drama Guzaarish; her third collaboration with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Hrithik Roshan.[113] The film tells the story of Ethan Mascarenas, a former magician (played by Roshan) suffering from quadriplegia, who after years of struggle, files an appeal for euthanasia. Rai’s role was that of Sophia D’Souza, Mascarenas’ nurse, who is abused by her alcoholic husband. Despite flopping at the box-office, Guzaarish met with positive critical comments. The Telegragh described it to be “one of Aishwarya Rai’s best performances” and The Times of India summarised, “Aishwarya is a stunning picture of fire and grace, walking away with certain scenes by her sheer vitality.”[114][115] In 2011, Rai was cast as the protagonist of Madhur Bhandarkar‘s social drama Heroine; however, due to her pregnancy, Rai was replaced by actress Kareena Kapoor, the original choice for the role.[116][117]

Work after sabbatical (2015–present)

After a five-year sabbatical from film acting, Rai made a comeback with Sanjay Gupta‘s drama-thriller Jazbaa, co-starring Shabana Azmi and Irrfan Khan.[118] A remake of the Korean thriller Seven Days (2007), the film saw Rai play the role of Anuradha Verma, a criminal lawyer who is forced to defend a rapist in exchange for her daughter’s safety. The film received mixed reviews from critics but turned out to be a profitable venture at box-office.[119][120] Shomini Sen from CNN-IBN writing, “Jazbaa scores only because of the performances. Aishwarya Rai grunts and screeches on some scenes but manages to deliver a convincing performance.”[121]

In 2016, Rai starred in Omung Kumar‘s biographical drama Sarbjit. The film is based on the life of Indian farmer Sarabjit Singh, who was convicted of terrorism by a Pakistani court, and how his sister Dalbir Kaur fought relentlessly for his release. Rai played the role of the sister of Sarabjit Singh (played by Randeep Hooda).[122] The film premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival,[123] and received mixed to negative reactions from critics, as did Rai’s performance.[124] Few reviewers expressed that Rai was “miscast” as she neither looked nor sounded like a Sikh woman.[125] Her Punjabi accent and her over-the-top performance in some scenes was largely criticized, though several critics took note of how much she stood out in the film’s quieter scenes.[126][127][128] Rajeev Masand summarised that “she’s required to scream and shout and weep copiously to express her anguish; the shrillness does her no favors. In quieter moments – like one in which Dalbir can’t bear to part with her stillborn baby – the actress shines.”[129] Commercially, the film performed poorly.[130] As of May 2016, Rai is filming for Karan Johar‘s romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.[131]

Off-screen work

Endorsements

Rai made her first commercial for Camlin pencils when she was in the 9th grade. Rai became popular after appearing in a Pepsi commercial with actor Aamir Khan.[16] She is the only actress who endorsed both Pepsi and Coca-Cola.[132] She is one of the top brand ambassadors in the country and is one of the top paid Bollywood actresses in this respect.[133] She modelled for Titan Watches,[134] Longines watches, L’Oréal, Coca-Cola,[135] Lakmé Cosmetics, Casio pager, Philips, Palmolive,[136] Lux, Fuji films,[137] Nakshatra Diamond Jewellery,[138] and Kalyan Jewellers.[139] She was named the official brand ambassador for De Beers diamonds in India.[137] Rai has been ranked the 2nd most popular watch brand ambassador worldwide in a survey, conducted by World Watch Report.[140] In 2013 Rai and her husband Abhishek Bachchan have been roped in as the brand ambassadors by the TTK Group.[141] Rai endorses Lodha’s Worli project by Lodha Group World One.[142]

Social and humanitarian work

In 1999 Rai participated in a world tour called the Magnificent Five, along with Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Akshaye Khanna and Twinkle Khanna.[143] In the same year, she was appointed as Longines Ambassador of Elegance.[144] In 2003 she became the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival.[145] In the same year she became a global brand ambassador of L’Oréal, alongside Andie MacDowell, Eva Longoria and Penélope Cruz.[146][147] Rai is the brand ambassador for The Eye Bank Association of India’s nationwide campaign to promote eye donation in India.[148] In 2005 she became a brand ambassador for Pulse Polio, a campaign established by the Government of India in 1994 to eradicate polio in India.[149] In the same year, Rai was appointed spokesperson for the International Year of Microcredit, raising awareness of the main goals and priorities of the United Nations’ poverty alleviation efforts.[150]

In February 2005 Rai performed with other Bollywood stars at the HELP! Telethon Concert, an event to raise money for the victims of the 2004 tsunami earthquake.[151] Along with other members of the Bachchan family, she laid the foundation of a special school for underprivileged girls in Daulatpur village in Uttar Pradesh in 2008. Construction is being funded by the Bachchan family and the school will be named after Rai.[152] She appeared along with various other Bollywood actors at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The performance showcased Indian culture as a lead-up to India hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games.[153]

Rai is a UN Microcredit Spokesperson.[154] She supports PETA India.[155] She pledged to donate her eyes to the Eye Bank Association of India and appeared in a public awareness film on eye donation.[156] In November 2004, Rai created the Aishwarya Rai Foundation to help needy people in India.[157] In 2009 Rai was appointed as the first Goodwill Ambassador of Smile Train, an international charity that provides free Cleft lip and palate surgery to children in need. Her work with Smile Train will focus not only on India, but on 76 different developing countries around the world.[158][159] In September 2012, Rai had joined United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and renowned Hollywood actor Michael Douglas at a ceremony to commemorate the International Day of Peace in New York.[160] Later that week, she was appointed as the new international Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, the joint United Nations programme on AIDS and HIV. She will raise global awareness on protecting children from HIV infection and increasing access to antiretroviral treatment.[161]

Stage performances

Rai performing at the 17th Annual Star Screen Awards (2011)

Rai has taken part in several stage shows and world tours since 2001. Her first world tour, a series of concerts called Craze 2001, was performed across the US alongside Anil Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Preity Zinta and Gracy Singh. The show faced early cancellation due to the 11 September 2001 attacks, and the team prepared to return to India as soon as possible. However, the shows continued successfully in Canada.[162] In 2002, she participated in the show From India With Love in the UK, along with Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta. It took place at two outdoor venues, Manchester‘s Old Trafford and London’s Hyde Park, with over 100,000 spectators.[163] In the summer of 2008, Rai, her husband Abhishek Bachchan, her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan, and actors Preity Zinta, Ritesh Deshmukh and Madhuri Dixit starred in the “Unforgettable World Tour” stage production. The first leg covered the USA, Canada, Trinidad, and London, England. Rai is also involved in the functional and administrative operations of her father-in-law’s company, originally known as ABCL, and rechristened as AB Corp. Ltd. That company, along with Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., developed the Unforgettable production.[164][165]

Offshore investments

Rai along with her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan were named in the Panama Papers leak of confidential documents that provided detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, including the identities of shareholders and directors of the companies. The documents show how wealthy individuals, including public officials, hide their money from public scrutiny.[166][166] As per Reserve Bank of India guidelines, Indian citizens were not allowed to start an overseas entity before 2003.[166]

Personal life

In 1999, Rai began dating Bollywood actor Salman Khan; their relationship was often reported in the media until the couple separated in 2002. Rai cited “abuse (verbal, physical and emotional), infidelity and indignity” on the part of Khan as reasons for ending the relationship.[167]

Rai with husband Abhishek Bachchan in 2014

Though they both appeared in Dhai Akshar Prem Ke (in which her then longtime boyfriend, Salman Khan, had a brief cameo) and Kuch Naa Kaho, Abhishek Bachchan fell in love with Rai whilst filming Dhoom 2.[168] Their engagement was announced on 14 January 2007 and later confirmed by his father, Amitabh Bachchan.[169] The couple married on 20 April 2007 according to traditional Hindu rites of the Bunt community, to which she belongs.[170] 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.[170] They have been described as a supercouple in the Indian media.[171][172] Rai is very close to her family and lived with them in Bandra, Mumbai, until her marriage.[173][174][175] Rai is Hindu and deeply religious.[6] Her international presence shot up when Abhishek Bachchan accompanied her to the Cannes Film festival shortly after their marriage, and later to The Oprah Winfrey Show, appearing on 28 September 2009.[176] They were described as being more famous as a couple than Brangelina.[177][178][179]

Rai gave birth to a baby girl on 16 November 2011.[180] Her daughter became popularly known by the name of “Beti B”, a name attributed to her by fans and the media, since the couple took over four months to name their daughter..[181]

Rai is commonly referred to by fans and the media by the nicknames “Ash” and “Aish”, but has stated that she dislikes being called as such. She has discouraged people from referring to her by names other than “Aishwarya” as she does not want to “spoil [her] good name”.[182]

In the media

Rai at Cannes Film Festival. Her blue eyes have been identified by the Indian media as a trademark

Rai Bachchan is one of the most popular Bollywood celebrities in the world.[41][183][184][185][186] Despite constant media speculation, she keeps her personal life well-guarded.[187] Her beauty and performances have made her as a style icon for young women.[188] Over 17,000 websites dedicated to her,[189] she was selected by Verve Magazine in its list of the country’s most powerful women.[190] In 2001 Forbes named Rai among the top five Indian movie stars.[4] In a reader poll conducted by UK’s Hello! magazine, she was voted “the most attractive woman of 2003”.[191] In the same year, Rai appeared in Rolling Stone magazine’s annual “Hot List”.[192] In 2004 she was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the world’s most influential people, and appeared on the cover of its 2003 Asia edition.[193][194][195] Rai has earned the distinction of being the first Indian actress to be on the jury of the Cannes International Film Festival[196] In October 2004 a wax figure of Rai was put on display in London’s Madame Tussaud’s wax museum.[197] She was the sixth Indian and the second Bollywood personality—after her father-in-law, Amitabh Bachchan—to get this honour. In 2007 the same figure was displayed at Madame Tussaud’s Museum in Times Square in New York.[198] As her most distinctive physical features, Rai’s green-blue eyes, luscious lips, sexy curves and ultra-feminine mannerisms have been cited by the media as her trademark.[199] In 2005 she was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile on 2 January, which said that “at least according to thousands of Web sites, Internet polls and even Julia Roberts”, she was “the world’s most beautiful woman”.[6] The same year, a tulip in the Netherlands was named “Aishwarya Rai” after her.[200] Also in 2005, Mattel released a limited edition of Barbie dolls of Rai in the United Kingdom.[201] The British magazine Maxim ranked Rai first on their list of “Hottest Women of India”.
Rai appeared on such shows as Late Show with David Letterman, and was the first Bollywood personality to appear on Oprah’s “Women Across the Globe” segment. In 2005 Harpers and Queen‘s list of “Most Beautiful Women in The World” ranked her ninth.[202] In May 2006, Rai was featured in People Magazine as one of the “World’s Most Beautiful People”.[203] The UK magazine Eastern Eye ranked her third in the list of “Asia’s Sexiest Women” in 2006,[204] and she was ranked eighth in 2009.[205] In 2008 American television channel E!: Entertainment listed Rai’s eyes as the sexiest on their Sexiest Body Parts list.[206] In 2009 she made appearances on Martha Stewart‘s show Martha and on the The Tyra Banks Show.[207] In the same year Forbes listed Rai at 387th out of 1,411 actors on their list of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. She is the highest-ranked Indian actor on the list.[208][209]

In a poll conducted by the newspaper Daily News and Analysis in 2009, she was voted as one of India’s most popular icons.[210] She attended the 83rd Academy Awards, along with her husband, Abhishek.[211] Rai with her husband Abhishek Bachchan appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on 28 September 2009. She is the first Indian celebrity who appeared in The Oprah Winfrey Show twice.[176] They have been described as a supercouple in the Indian media[212] She ranked 2nd in The Times of Indias 50 most desirable women of 2010,[213] and ranked 9th for 2011.[214] In 2011, she has received a lot of negative publicity for failing to lose her post-pregnancy weight as is apparently “required” of a public figure. However she silenced her critics by walking the red carpet at the “AmfAR Cinema Against Aids” gala in 2012 Cannes Film Festival for the 11th time.[215] Later that year, Rai has made it to the issue of New York Magazine’s list of “Forty Women That Women Find Beautiful”, where she grabbed the 21st position in the list, with New York Magazine saying “She may be the “world’s most beautiful woman,” but what we really love is that she never feels fragile onscreen,”.[216] She was considered by the media one of the most popular Bollywood celebrities in India.[217]

Filmography and awards

Selected filmography

Awards

Rai has received 10 Filmfare Awards nominations, and has won two Best Actress trophies for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Devdas (2002).[49][132][218][219] In 2009 she was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest Indian civilian award, by the Government of India for her contributions to the arts .[220][221] In 2012, she was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, a national order of France.[220]

Marilu Henner

 

Marilu Henner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marilu Henner
MariluHennerSept2011.jpg  Image result for marilu henner

Image result for marilu henner  Image result for marilu henner

Marilu Henner in September 2011
Born Mary Lucy Denise Henner
(1952-04-06) April 6, 1952 (age 64)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Occupation Actress
Producer
Author
Radio Host
Spouse(s) Frederic Forrest (m. 1980–82)
Robert Lieberman (m. 1990–2001)
Michael Brown (m. 2006)
Children 2
Website marilu.com
marilushow.com

Mary Lucy DeniseMariluHenner (born April 6, 1952) is an American actress, producer, radio host, and author. She is best known for her role as Elaine O’Connor Nardo on the sitcom Taxi from 1978 to 1983.

Early life[edit]

Henner was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Loretta Callis (born Nikoleta Kalogeropoulos), who died of arthritis at age 58[1] and Joseph Henner (whose surname was originally Pudlowski), who died of a heart attack at age 52.[2] Her maternal grandparents were Greek and her paternal grandparents were Polish. Henner was raised on the northwest side of Chicago in the Logan Square neighborhood. She is the third of six children. Her mother was president of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts and ran the Henner Dance School for 20 years. Henner took her first dance class at age two then went on to teaching dance at her family’s studio when she was 14 and choreographed shows at local high schools and colleges until leaving the Chicago area during her third year of college.

Career[edit]

While a student at the University of Chicago in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Henner originated the role of “Marty” in the Kingston Mines production of Grease in 1971. When the show was discovered and moved to Broadway, she was asked to reprise the role; however, she chose instead to play “Marty” in the national touring company alongside John Travolta, who played “Doody”. Additional Broadway credits for Henner include Over Here!, with Travolta, revivals of Pal Joey, Chicago, Social Security, and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. Her first film appearance was in the 1977 sleeper-hit Between the Lines, co-starring then-unknowns Jeff Goldblum, Lindsay Crouse, John Heard, and Jill Eikenberry. Her second role was opposite Richard Gere in the 1978 film Bloodbrothers.

Henner came to prominence with the role of Elaine Nardo in the situation comedy Taxi. She was the leading lady in the 1982 film Hammett directed by Wim Wenders, produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring her first husband Frederic Forrest. In 1983, Henner starred opposite Burt Reynolds in The Man Who Loved Women, directed by Blake Edwards. Reynolds then asked Henner to join the cast of Cannonball Run II later that year along with Shirley MacLaine and Dom DeLuise. She was the leading lady in the 1984 film Johnny Dangerously, playing love interest to Michael Keaton. In 1985 she once again appeared alongside John Travolta in Perfect. In 1991 she appeared opposite Steve Martin in L.A. Story as Trudi, a role for which she received a nomination for an American Comedy Award as the Funniest Supporting Female in a Motion Picture. From 1990 through 1994, she appeared opposite Burt Reynolds in the situation comedy Evening Shade, which also starred Ossie Davis and Hal Holbrook. She also appeared in Noises Off (1992) and in Man on the Moon (1999), a film about her Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman. Henner played herself (as well as herself playing her Taxi character).

Henner at the 1991 Emmy Awards

Henner guested on Match Game and Hollywood Squares. She provided the voice for Gotham City socialite Veronica Vreeland in Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1999), reprising the role in the animated films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998). In 1994, she hosted her own daytime talk show, Marilu, for 165 episodes.

Henner starred as the domineering mother of the bride in the Brooks & Dunn video “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl” in 2003.

In 2006 and 2007, Henner was the host of the television series America’s Ballroom Challenge. Henner said on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in early 2008, that she has never actually danced ballroom and would like to go on a season of Dancing with the Stars, which would later come true at during the season 23 of the series. She later hosted FitTV and The Discovery Channel‘s Shape Up Your Life, which is based on her books.

Henner was a contestant on NBC‘s first The Celebrity Apprentice, in 2008. She was fired by Donald Trump in the eighth episode, but was brought back to help fellow contestant Trace Adkins in the final task of the show.

Henner, who has highly superior autobiographical memory, was a consultant for the CBS drama Unforgettable, which starred Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, a woman with the same ability. Henner guest-starred as Carrie’s aunt.[3]

In August 2012, Henner won $25,000 for the charity Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) as a celebrity contestant on Live! with Kelly “Grilling with the Stars” contest for her Healthy/Easy Grilled Mushroom and Heirloom Tomato dish.

Henner has written nine books on diet, health and memory, the most prominent being Total Health Makeover, in which she explains the virtues of a non-dairy diet in conjunction with food combining and exercise. She leads monthly classes on her website, http://www.marilu.com, designed to help people integrate these steps into a healthier, more active lifestyle. Both of her parents died in their 50s, which prompted her to lead a healthier lifestyle. Henner has also been host of television’s The Art of Living, produced by United States Media Television.

Henner rejoined the cast for its 13th season on The All-Star Celebrity Apprentice where she was joined by fellow Apprentice alumni. She played for her charity The Alzheimer’s Association and won over $50,000 for the cause. She returned, after being eliminated, for the final task to assist Trace Adkins.

Henner is now the host of The Marilu Henner Show. It airs every weekday morning on more than a dozen radio stations across America. The show is distributed by Sun Broadcast Group, in conjunction with GCN radio. The Marilu Henner Show can also be heard live at Marilushow.com, where she features guest physicians, health experts, celebrity guests and friends.

On August 30, 2016, Henner was revealed as one of the celebrities who will compete on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. She is partnered with professional dancer Derek Hough.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In her autobiography By All Means, Keep on Moving, Henner discussed her romances with actor John Travolta and Taxi costars Judd Hirsch and Tony Danza. Her first two marriages, to actor Frederic Forrest and director Robert Lieberman, ended in divorce. She married Michael Brown, a former college classmate, on December 21, 2006, before 100 people in her Los Angeles home. It was the second marriage for Brown, who has three children (Cassia Brown, Carine Brown and Michael Brown). Henner has two children, Nicholas Morgan and Joseph Marlon, from her marriage to Lieberman.

Henner has hyperthymesia and can remember the specific details of her everyday life since she was a small child.[5][6] On December 19, 2010, the CBS News program 60 Minutes aired a segment which featured six individuals thought to have this condition. As a longtime friend of 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, Henner was included on the show. Henner also discussed her superior memorization abilities on other programs, such as CBS‘s The Early Show, NBC‘s The Today Show, ABC’s The View and Howard Stern‘s Sirius XM show. Her ninth book, Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future, is a New York Times best-seller and offers instruction on how people might access their own autobiographical memories; it was released on April 24, 2012. To promote Total Memory Makeover, she appeared on Anderson Live (then known as simply Anderson), The View, Piers Morgan Tonight, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Talk, The Dr. Oz Show and numerous other radio and TV media outlets.

Filmography[edit]

Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
1977 Between the Lines Danielle
1978 Bloodbrothers Annette
1982 Hammett Kit Conger / Sue Alabama
1983 Man Who Loved Women, TheThe Man Who Loved Women Agnes Chapman
1984 Cannonball Run II Betty
1984 Johnny Dangerously Lil Sheridan
1985 Rustlers’ Rhapsody Miss Tracy
1985 Perfect Sally
1987 Grand Larceny ‘Freddy’ Grand
1991 L.A. Story Trudi
1991 Chains of Gold Jackie
1992 Noises Off Belinda Blair / Flavia Brent
1994 Chasers Katie
1998 Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero Veronica Vreeland Voice only
Direct-to-video
1999 Man on the Moon Herself Uncredited cameo
1999 Titanic Chronicles, TheThe Titanic Chronicles Mrs. Stuart While Voice only
2000 Enemies of Laughter Dani
2012 Vamps Angela
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
1977 Off Campus Janet Television film
1978–1983 Taxi Elaine O’Connor Nardo 114 episodes
1981 Dream House Laura Griffith Television film
1983 Super Bowl XVII Pre-Game Show Elaine Nardo Television film
1985 Stark Ashley Walters Television film
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Claire Episode: “Method Actor”
1985 Great Performances Louise Episode: “Grown-Ups”
1986 Who’s the Boss? Diane Wilmington Episode: “Angela’s New Best Friend”
1986 Love with the Perfect Stranger Victoria Ducane Television film
1988 Channel 99 Susan McDowell Television film
1988 Ladykillers Samantha Flannery Television film
1990–1994 Evening Shade Ava Evans Newton Main role
98 episodes
1992 Legend of Prince Valiant, TheThe Legend of Prince Valiant Lady Catherine Episode: “The Trap”
1993–1995 Batman: The Animated Series Veronica Vreeland Voice only
Recurring role
4 episodes
1995 Cybill Terry Belmont Episode: “Since I Lost My Baby”
1995 Fight for Justice: The Nancy Conn Story Nancy Conn Television film
1996 My Son Is Innocent Margaret Sutter Television film
1996 For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal Debbie Challender Television film
1996 Titanic Molly Brown Miniseries
1997-1998 New Batman Adventures, TheThe New Batman Adventures Veronica Vreeland Voice only
Episodes: “Holiday Knights”, “Chemistry”
2000 Tale of Two Bunnies, AA Tale of Two Bunnies Miranda Television film
2000 Rocket’s Red Glare Meg Baker Television film
2002 Providence Georgia Episodes: “Great Expectations”, “Things Have Changed”
2002 Greg the Bunny Maggie DeMontague Episode: “Blah Bawls”
2004 Center of the Universe Sharon Singleton Episode: “Alarmed and Dangerous”
2005 Living With Fran Donna Martin Episode: “Riley’s Parents”
2005 Gone But Not Forgotten Nancy Gordon Television film
2005 Comeback, TheThe Comeback Marilu Henner Episode: “Pilot”
2006-2007 America’s Ballroom Challenge Host Reality-competition series
2008 Good Behavior Sydney Lake Unsold television pilot
2008 The Governor’s Wife Ann Danville Television film
2008 My Boys Pamela Newman Episode: “John, Cougar, Newman Camp”
2009 ER Linda Episode: “And in the End…”
2009 Party Down Pepper McMasters Episode: “Pepper McMasters Singles Seminar”
2010 Numb3rs Regina Landers Episode: “And the Winner Is…”
2011 Accidentally in Love Carol Television film
2011 Grey’s Anatomy Mrs. Moser Episode: “Poker Face
2011 Unforgettable Aunt Evie Episode: “Golden Bird”
2012 Hitched for the Holidays Maxine Television film
2013 Two and a Half Men Linda Episode: “Cows, Prepare to Be Tipped”
2013 Glades, TheThe Glades Joan Longworth Episodes: “Fast Ball”, “Tin Cup”
2014 June in January Diana Blackwell Television film
2014 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Vivian Ludley 5 episodes
2014 Signed, Sealed, Delivered[7] Glynis Rucker Guest star; 2 episodes
2014 The Crazy Ones Paige Roberts Episode: “The Lighthouse” – the last TV appearance of Robin Williams
2015 A Bone To Pick: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery Aida Teagarden Television film
2015 Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery Aida Teagarden Television film
2016 Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery Aida Teagarden Television film

Published books[edit]

  • Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future (April 24, 2012)
  • Wear Your Life Well: Use What You Have To Get What You Want (April 8, 2008)
  • Healthy Holidays (Oct 1, 2002)
  • Healthy Kids: Help Them Eat Smart and Stay Active-For Life! (August 7, 2001)
  • Healthy Life Kitchen (July 10, 2000)
  • I Refuse To Raise A Brat (October 12, 1999)
  • The 30-Day Total Health Makeover (March 3, 1999)
  • Marilu Henner’s Total Health Makeover (May 6, 1998)
  • By All Means Keep Moving (September 5, 1994)

YANKEES GET TWO PLAYERS IN NOVA TRADE

 

Yankees receive Tito Polo and Stephen Tarpley from Pirates in Ivan Nova trade –

Polo, 22, is an outfielder who was signed out of Colombia in 2012. He doesn’t have size on his side (he’s just five feet nine inches tall), but he generates decent enough contact from the right side. All of his tools grade as average or a tick below average, so he likely profiles as a fourth outfielder. He cracked Pittsburgh’s top 30 prospects at number 27.

Tarpley, 23, is a left-hander who was drafted by the Orioles in the third round of the 2013 draft and was ranked as the 17th best prospect in the Pirates’ system.

Tito Polo  Polo’s 2016 stats:
In A Ball 12 Hrs 37 RBIs  14 Doubles 3 Triples 20 SB  12 BB 47 Ks  225 ABs

Ashley Benson

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ashley Benson
Ashley Benson 2012.jpg

Image result for ashley benson
Image result for ashley benson
Benson at the 38

ashley benson – Google Search

th People’s Choice Awards red carImage result for ashley bensonpet on January 11, 2012

Born Ashley Victoria Benson
(1989-12-18) December 18, 1989 (age 26)
Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 1999–present
Website ashleybenson.net

Ashley Victoria Benson (born December 18, 1989)[1] is an American actress and model, known for her role as Hanna Marin on the mystery-thriller television series Pretty Little Liars. She has also portrayed Abigail Deveraux on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, Mia Torcoletti on the supernatural television series Eastwick, and Brit in the 2012 crime thriller film Spring Breakers.

Early life[edit]

Ashley Victoria Benson was born and raised in Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, California,[2] the daughter of Shannon (née Harte) and Jeff Benson. She has a sister, Shaylene, who is a year older. She started dancing competitively in ballet, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical at age four. She also enjoys singing, and has appeared in several musicals. At age four, she was asked to audition to sing solo at four Christmas services at her church.[3] At five, she modeled in dance catalogs, and at age eight, she began modeling under The Ford Modeling Agency in print advertisements. She also appeared in a Lil’ Romeo music video as a schoolgirl in 2002. She made a brief appearance in the Zoey 101 episode “Quinn’s Date” in March 2005. She has also appeared in the music videos for NLT‘s “That Girl”, One Call‘s “BlackLight”, and Hot Chelle Rae‘s “Honestly“.

Career[edit]

1999–2008: Career beginnings and Days of our Lives[edit]

In 1999, Benson started pursuing an acting career. She began working and appearing in a number of commercials, but quickly made the transition into film and television acting. In 2004, Benson signed a three-year contract with the NBC daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, and on November 12, 2004 began her role as Abigail “Abby” Deveraux, the oldest child of supercouple Jack Deveraux and Jennifer Horton, until May 2, 2007. She explained that, because of the number of episodes filmed a day, “you can’t really mess up; you have to know all of your lines”, and that she did not get a break from work.[4]

She played a witch disguised as a cheerleader in a 2008 episode of the CW series Supernatural. In films, she was one of the Six Chicks in 13 Going on 30 (2004), and appeared as Carson in Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), the fourth installment of the Bring It On franchise. To land the lead role, she had to end her contract with Days of our Lives:

I got off it, I mean I had talked with the producers about doing this film, and they weren’t going to let me do it… I had just passed up so many opportunities where I could have done a film. So this big thing just came up, and I ended up getting to do this. I’m happier that I got off the soap though. I mean I give all my credit to them, because I have learned so much from being on soap operas and working with amazing actors who’ve been on there for like thirty, forty years. It was an honor to work with them. It’s definitely given me all my background. But getting off the soap opera helped me a lot too, because I can move on to bigger and better things. So I am definitely thankful I got to be on a soap opera though.[4]

She recalled working on a movie set instead of a soap opera set “definitely weird”, because she would spend days working on one or two scenes, whereas on the Days of our Lives set, she filmed two or three episodes a day.[5] For Bring It On: In It to Win It, she had to attend cheerleading practice, which was “hard for [her], because [she is] afraid of heights.”[5] Nonetheless, she was “glad” to do her own stunts, even though she “wasn’t expecting for it to be so hard.”[6]

In 2008, she appeared in the Lifetime original film Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal, where she played head cheerleader Brooke of the Fab Five, which is based on a true story which took place at McKinney North High School in Texas. She “loved” working with her onscreen mother Tatum O’Neal, from whom she learned about acting.[7] Furthermore, she was excited to land a supporting role in Bart Got a Room, which aired mainly on film festivals in 2008 before having a limited release in 2009, because it allowed her to work with William H. Macy.[5]

2009–present: Eastwick and Pretty Little Liars[edit]

Benson at a screening for Spring Breakers in February 2013

Benson starred in ABC‘s 2009 television series Eastwick.[8][9] The show was based on John Updike‘s novel, The Witches of Eastwick, and the 1987 film adaption of the same name. Her character, Mia, was the teen-aged daughter of Roxie Torcoletti (Rebecca Romijn). The series was short-lived and only lasted thirteen episodes before ABC cancelled the series due to low ratings but has since gained a cult following.

In December 2009, Benson was cast as Hanna Marin in the freeform mystery-thriller teen drama series Pretty Little Liars, based on the novel series by Sara Shepard. Benson plays Hanna Marin, she is the “diva” and it-girl of the group, having taken Alison’s place as the most popular girl at Rosewood High in Alison’s absence. Prior to Alison’s death, Hanna was a bulimic girl who Alison frequently mocked due to being overweight. Her parents divorced, Hanna lives with her mother. She is threatened along with her best friends by “A”. The series premiered to 2.47 million viewers with Benson’s performance being praised by critics. In 2010, Benson starred in the television film Christmas Cupid with Christina Milian and Chad Michael Murray, which also aired on ABC Family.[10]

In January 2012, Benson was cast in the film Spring Breakers, after Emma Roberts dropped out due to creative reasons.[11] The film centers on four college students who are arrested and bailed out by a drug and arms dealer, who sends them out to do some dirty work on spring break.[12] The film co-starred Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and James Franco. Filming took place in March and April 2012, and the film was released in March 2013.[13]

Benson became the face of evening-wear designer Faviana in January 2013.[14]

In the January 21, 2013 episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Benson appeared as Carly Whittaker, Barney Stinson‘s half-sister who dated Ted Mosby.

In 2015, she starred in Ratter, Benson played Emma, a girl that’s being stalked through her technology. The film was released in the United States on February 12, 2016 to positive reviews, with Benson’s performance being praised. Also, she appeared in Pixels as Lady Lisa, a fictional game character brought to life. The film was released on July 24, 2016 and received negative reviews from critics.

In 2016, Benson appeared in Elvis & Nixon as Margaret. The film was released in April to positive reviews from critics.

Filmography[edit]

Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2004 13 Going on 30 Six Chick
2005 Neighbors Mindy Short film
2007 Bring It On: In It to Win It Carson Direct-to-video
2008 Bart Got a Room Alice
2012 Spring Breakers Brit
2012 Time Warrior Stephanie
2015 Ratter Emma
2015 Pixels Lady Lisa
2016 Elvis & Nixon Margaret
2016 Chronically Metropolitan Jessie In post-production
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Nikki Dancer Episode: “Working Girl”
2002 District, TheThe District Melissa Howell Episode: “Explicit Activities”
2002 West Wing, TheThe West Wing Girl Episode: “Game On”
2004 Strong Medicine April Episode: “Cape Cancer”
2004–07 Days of Our Lives Abigail Deveraux Role held: November 12, 2004 – May 2, 2007
2005 7th Heaven Margot 2 episodes
2005 Zoey 101 Candice Episode: “Quinn’s Date
2006 O.C., TheThe O.C. Riley Episode: “The Summer Bummer
2008 Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal Brooke Tippit Television film
2008 CSI: Miami Amy Beck Episode: “Bombshell
2008 Supernatural Tracy Davis Episode: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
2009–10 Eastwick Mia Torcoletti Main cast
2010–present Pretty Little Liars Hanna Marin Main cast
2010 Christmas Cupid Caitlin Quinn Television film
2012 Punk’d Herself Episode: “Heather Morris”
2013 How I Met Your Mother Carly Whittaker Episode: “Ring Up!
2013–14 Ravenswood Hanna Marin 2 episodes
2014 Family Guy Dakota (voice) Episode: “Brian’s a Bad Father
2015 Barely Famous Herself Episode: “Bananas Foster”
Music video roles
Year Title Artist Role
2002 “True Love” Lil’ Romeo Schoolgirl
2007 “That Girl” NLT
2008 “We Don’t Have to Look Back Now” Puddle of Mudd
2010 “BlackLight” One Call
2012 Honestly Hot Chelle Rae Ryan Follesé’s love interest

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 Young Hollywood Awards Cast to Watch (with Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale and Shay Mitchell) Pretty Little Liars Won
Youth Rock Awards[15] Rockin’ TV Actress Won
2013 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards Actress Most in Need of a New Agent (with Rachel Korine, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens) Spring Breakers Nominated
Capricho Awards Best Make Out (with James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens) Nominated
Best International Actress Pretty Little Liars Nominated
2014 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss (with James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens) Spring Breakers Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star – Female Pretty Little Liars Won
Candie’s Choice Style Icon Herself Nominated
2015 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress Pretty Little Liars Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star: Female Won
2016 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama Won
Choice TV: Chemistry (with Tyler Blackburn) Won