Actress Lisa Ray, who played the beautiful but tragic widow Kalyani in Deepa Mehta's Oscar nominated film Water, has revealed through her blog that she is suffering from a rare and incurable form of cancer.
The 37-year-old actress who started blogging to give people an insight into her struggle with the disease, first broke the news in a post on 7 September.
"I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma on June 23rd. Started my first cycle of treatment July 2nd. Not long ago," she wrote.
As the actress continues her battle with the deadly disease, we take a look at her journey from the modelling days to acting
Lisa Ray, the journey so far
Lisa Ray was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to a Bengali Indian father and a Polish mother and grew up in the suburb of Etobicoke, Toronto. She excelled academically, doing five years of high school in four, while attending three different high schools: Etobicoke Collegiate Institute, Richview Collegiate Institute and Silverthorn Collegiate Institute.
She spoke Polish to her maternal grandmother and watched movies of Federico Fellini and Satyajit Ray with her cinephile dad. Ray was spotted by an agent in a crowd during a family vacation in India when she was 16, when she began modelling.
The model-turned-actress first shot to fame in India with the racy Bombay Dyeing advertisement which saw her in a black swim suit.
She has been featured in the Canadian edition of Hello magazine as one of the '50 Most Beautiful People' of the country.
Ray then appeared on the cover of Gladrags wearing a red Baywatch-style swimsuit. This led to more magazine covers, spokesperson deals and a job as host of her own show-business programme. A Times of India poll named her the "ninth most beautiful woman of the millennium", the only model in the top 10.
She appeared in the famous song Afreen Afreen by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in 1996 and in fact was recognised everywhere.
Lisa first made her acting debut in 1994 with a Tamil film Nethaji opposite actor Sarath Kumar. After turning down a number of roles, she made her Bollywood debut with Kasoor in 2001 opposite Aftab Shivdasani. Her voice was subsequently dubbed by Divya Dutta as Lisa could not speak Hindi. Her work in that film caught the eye of Deepa Mehta who cast Ray in the romantic Indian-Canadian film, Bollywood/Hollywood in 2002.
In 2005, she worked again with Mehta in the Oscar-nominated film, Water where she did speak her own lines in Hindi; eventually though her voice was dubbed.
She has worked in productions from Canada, Europe and the United states. Her recent roles include a farm girl in All Hat, a school teacher in A Stone's Throw and a Christian-Arab lesbian in the humorously entitled I Can't Think Straight directed by Shamim Sarif. In 2007, she completed filming for Kill Kill Faster Faster, which is a contemporary film noir inspired by the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by Joel Rose.
She was voted Star of the Future at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival, Top 10 most Beautiful Indian Woman of the Millenium by the Times of India and won the Best Actress in a Canadian film for Water by the Vancouver Critics Circle.
She is living with her longtime partner the very successful fashion photographer, Paolo Zambaldi.