20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget

The Indian film industry has given us some legendary Bollywood actors. DESIblitz presents 20 such icons who have amazed and enthralled.

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - f

"The kind of versatility she had, no other artist has shown it."

When one discusses legendary Bollywood actors, lots of names pop up in the heads of people.

These actors have enthralled audiences across generations. They are talented, iconic and evergreen.

Many Bollywood fans love the classic movies of these actors. Some of these artists are also remembered for their beautiful songs.

Some excel in romance while others shine in character roles. However, it is undeniable that every single one of them is unique in their own way.

Delving deeper into these performers, we showcase 20 actors we cannot forget.

Kundan Lal Saigal

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Kundan Lal SaigalKundan Lal Saigal, also known as KL Saigal, has firmly cemented himself as one of Bollywood’s finest singing stars.

Not only did he shine in his onscreen roles, but he also sang the majority of his songs. He is still regarded as one of India’s most revered ghazal singers.

Saigal Sahab’s voice was a unique blend of baritone and softness. He began his film career in the ’30s.

Some of his most famous songs include ‘Jab Dil Hi Toot Hi Gaya‘ and ‘Main Kya Jaanu Kya Jaadu Hai.’

Over the course of the next 15 years, Saigal Sahab inspired and entertained all.

Iconic playback singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar have all said that Saigal Sahab is their biggest influence.

In 1936, Saigal Sahab dazzled in Devdas. It was the first Hindi film adaptation of the classic 1917 novel.

Devdas was remade in 1955 and again in 2002.

Saigal Sahab has a pride of place in Indian cinema’s classic decades. His talent is ingrained for all to see.

Ashok Kumar

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Ashok KumarIn the late ’30s and ’40s, one name shone the brightest in Bollywood. That name belongs to Ashok Kumar.

Ashok Kumar, or ‘Dadamoni,’ as he was fondly called, began his career in 1936. He achieved stardom with the release of Jhoola. 

In Jhoola, Ashok Sahab proved his acting chops as the brash Ramesh. He stood his own ground well against Leela Chitnis, who plays Geeta in the film.

Ashok Sahab was known for his generosity towards newer talent. In 1949, he allowed Madhubala to steal the limelight in Mahal. 

He also helped make Dev Anand a star when he cast the relative newcomer in his production Ziddi (1948).

Bhaichand Patel quotes Ashok Sahab admitting his dislike towards overly dramatic roles:

“I dislike being melodramatic. I behave onscreen the way I would at home.”

Audiences remember Ashok Sahab for his ease on celluloid. He never needed to sob loudly. He was cool, effortless and easy.

That is the greatness of Ashok Kumar.


20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - PranMuch before Ranjeet or Amrish Puri made their marks as villains, Pran excelled as the top onscreen baddie.

Born in 1920 as Pran Krishan Sikand Ahluwalia, the daring actor arrived in the industry in 1940.

However, it was Ziddi (1948) with which he stepped foot into the spotlight.

Throughout the following decades, Pran Sahab made viewers shiver in primarily villainous roles. In his prolific career, he appeared in over 380 films.

In the ’50s and ’60s, he was pitted against stars including Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor in several films.

The ’70s saw him give Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan multiple scares onscreen.

Pran Sahab truly knew how to hold his own with his raspy voice and towering persona.

Writing for ‘IndiaToday,’ Madhu Jain comments on the menace that made Pran Sahab such a successful villain:

“What made him such an enduring villain? I think it was the air of menace radiating from his screen personae. The eyes have it.”

Though Pran Sahab played a handful of positive roles, he will be most remembered for his inimitable antagonism.

Dilip Kumar

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Dilip KumarSince his debut in Jwar Bhata (1944), Dilip Kumar remains one of the most popular performers among legendary Bollywood actors.

Born Muhammad Yusuf Khan, Dilip Sahab is credited with pioneering method acting within Indian cinema.

Fans of Bollywood’s Golden Era consider his intensity and emotion onscreen unmatchable.

Throughout his career, Dilip Sahab won eight Filmfare ‘Best Actor’ awards. These were for classics including Devdas (1955), Kohinoor (1960) and Shakti (1982).

In his autobiography, The Substance and the Shadow (2014), Dilip Sahab voices his opinion on an actor’s social responsibility:

“The actor who is adored by millions of people owes something to society, which has given him an elevated and highly respected position.”

Such mature thoughts add to the respect Dilip Sahab deserves. Actors including Manoj Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan have all been inspired by him.

After Dilip Sahab died on July 7, 2021, his co-star in four films, Waheeda Rehman spoke about his legacy:

“There was only one Dilip Kumar. The name that he has left behind, no one can ever come close to that.

“And it would never get erased from the history of the Hindi film industry.”

Waheeda’s words aptly describe the longevity of Dilip Sahab’s staggering work.

Dev Anand

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Dev AnandDev Anand exemplifies the word ‘evergreen’ in Bollywood.

His debonair image, his trendsetting hairstyle and his suave mannerisms are loved everywhere.

Dev Sahab began his acting journey with Hum Ek Hain (1946). He featured in a variety of romantic films in the ’50s and ’60s.

He won Filmfare ‘Best Actor’ awards for Kala Pani (1958) and Guide (1965). The latter arguably contains his career-best performance.

Guide ranks among Indian cinema’s most revered classics. As the opportunistic tour guide Raju, Dev Sahab shows his acting range. He is much more than just running around trees and singing to women.

In 1970, Dev Sahab turned director with Prem Pujari. He went on to helm lots of classics including Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) and Des Pardes (1978).

The films of Dev Sahab are meticulously known for their outstanding music. In a ‘WildFilms India’ interview, Dev Sahab recounts how he chose the songs for his films:

“All my directors used to insist: ‘Dev, you come and pick your own songs.'”

This describes the knack Dev Sahab had for good music. He was also a tremendously positive person. Late director Yash Chopra said:

“Dev Sahab was the most positive person I have ever come across.”

This rich mind is reflected in the iconic work Dev Sahab has done.

Raj Kapoor

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Raj KapoorDubbed the ‘Showman of Indian Cinema’, Raj Kapoor was a highly illustrious and creative individual.

He started his acting career as a leading man in Neel Kamal (1947). The following year, he became the youngest actor-producer-director in the world at that time with Aag (1948).

Raj Sahab continued to create an indelible mark as a filmmaker with Shree 420 (1955), Sangam (1964) and Bobby (1973).

His muse with actress Nargis remains one of the silver screen’s most popular onscreen pairings.

In 1988, a month before his death, Raj Sahab was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his cinematic contribution.

In a documentary made by Simi Garewal, Raj Sahab realises that his life is nothing without cinema:

“Films is my life. My benediction. They’re the very breath of my soul.

“I realise that my whole existence is nothing but knowing the little that I know through cinema.”

In the same documentary, Raj Sahab’s brother Shashi Kapoor remarks that he has not seen Raj Sahab’s passion in others:

“That passion I have seldom seen in people. That passion beat his competitors in the last 40 years.”

Raj Sahab clearly had an unparalleled love for producing and acting in cinema.

This is obvious via his rich accomplishments that enabled him to reign supreme for nearly four decades.

It is indeed no wonder that lots of newer actors and filmmakers idolise him.

Raaj Kumar

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Raaj KumarIt may be surprising to know that celebrated actor Raaj Kumar was a police officer before joining films.

Known as the ‘Jaani’ of Indian cinema, Raaj Sahab got his breakthrough role in Mother India (1957).

In the film, he plays Shamu, the husband of Radha (Nargis).

Mother India gave audiences a taste of the legend Raaj Sahab would become in subsequent years. His dialogue delivery remains one of the most original ever seen in Bollywood.

His other great films include Yash Chopra’s Waqt (1965). In the movie, Raaj Sahab plays Raja Chinnoy.

Despite being in a star-studded cast which also includes Sunil Dutt and Sadhana, Raaj Sahab stands out.

For Waqt, he won the Filmfare ‘Best Supporting Actor’ award in 1966.

Among his later films is Saudagar (1991). In the film, he develops an infectious chemistry with titan Dilip Kumar (Veer ‘Veeru’ Singh/Dadaveer).

In an interview, Raaj Sahab asserts that his character is not interchangeable:

“Raaj Kumar is not one. He’s many. There’s only one integrated factor and that’s character. That doesn’t alter.”

Raaj Sahab’s confident statement shows that while he may have embodied characters onscreen, he was unapologetically himself away from it.

For that, he should be admired and respected.


20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Nargis Nargis epitomises elegance and grace within Bollywood’s Golden Era. The actress began her career in the early ’40s.

She later became Raj Kapoor’s muse, appearing alongside him in 16 films.

Among them, some of the most successful include Barsaat (1949), Aawaara (1951) and Chori Chori (1956).

However, her most famous film is Mother India (1957). In the movie, she portrays the steely Radha.

Tender, fierce, vulnerable and majestic, Radha is the archetypal Indian woman. Nargis Ji plays her with the right doses of complexity and depth.

Mother India became the first Indian film to be nominated for an Oscar in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category.

It lost the accolade to Nights of Cabiria (1957) by a single vote in 1958.

Dilip Kumar, Nargis Ji’s frequent co-star speaks about how her versatility intertwined with her humility:

“The kind of versatility she had, no other artist has shown it. She was a delightful person, easy to work with.

“There was no pressure while working with her. You didn’t feel like you were working with a star.”

Dilip Sahab’s kind words for Nargis Ji show what an accomplished artist she was.

It was a huge cultural loss when she passed away on May 3, 1981. She left behind a void that nothing can fill again.


20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - SuraiyaFans love Suraiya not only for her impeccable acting skills but also for her mellifluous voice.

In her films, she sang many of her own songs. This was much before Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle made their marks.

Suraiya Ji arrived in filmdom in the ’30s as a child artist. Early in her career, she worked alongside superstar Kundan Lal Saigal.

She went on to appear in classics including Gajre (1948) and Badi Behen (1949). In 1954, she gave a career-defining performance in Mirza Ghalib as Moti Begum/Chaudhvin.

Suraiya Ji’s sterling portrayal was applauded by Jawarha Lal Nehru, who exclaimed:

“You have brought back Ghalib to life!”

Rauf Ahmed says that no one can compare to Suraiya Ji:

“Suraiya was the first female star. No one has been able to emulate her.”

These compliments suggest that Suraiya Ji had no competition. In her time, she was somewhat of a one-woman industry.

After a failed romance with Dev Anand, Suraiya Ji became emotionally bruised. As a result, she ultimately quit her career in 1963.

However, she is unforgettable for her charm and her effervescent onscreen magic.

Shammi Kapoor

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Shammi KapoorEnergetic, flamboyant and exuberant, Shammi Kapoor is one of the greatest legendary Bollywood actors.

Shammi made his first appearance on the big screen in Jeevan Jyoti (1953). Despite being the younger brother of the iconic showman Raj Kapoor, Shammi struggled in the initial years of his career.

All that changed when he did Nasir Husain’s Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957). The film was a raging success and put Shammi up there among the most popular stars.

Tumsa Nahin Dekha also capitalised on an evergreen actor-singer combination Shammi shared with Mohammad Rafi.

In the ’60s, Shammi shimmered in great films, hypnotising viewers with his energy. Long before Hrithik Roshan and Ranveer Singh created impressions as dancers, Shammi lit up the floor in many songs.

Fans across generations love seeing Shammi dance with gusto in ‘Aaja Aaja‘ and ‘Aasmaan Se Aaya Farishta.’

For his film Bramachari (1968), Shammi won the Filmfare ‘Best Actor’ accolade in 1969.

Nasreen Munni Kabir writes about Shammi’s perfect understanding of the camera:

“He understood the camera perfectly and knew how to stay in character.

Nasreen also remarks on Shammi’s untrained dances without a choreographer’s help:

“He had no formal training in dance yet rarely needed a choreographer to guide him.”

Shammi Kapoor is undoubtedly a ball of liveliness on celluloid. His enthusiasm onscreen is contagious for the vast majority of viewers.


20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - MadhubalaMadhubala was a Valentine’s Day gift to the world in 1933. This eternally beautiful actress started her film journey in 1942.

However, it was with Neel Kamal (1947) when she was introduced as a leading lady. Opposite her was debutant Raj Kapoor.

In the ’50s, Madhubala delivered blockbusters including Mr & Mrs 55 (1955) and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).

Madhubala inhabits the world of Anarkali in Mughal-E-Azam (1960). This is her most memorable performance.

As the doomed Anarkali, Madhubala portrays tragedy in all its forms. She is sensitive and compassionate.

Songs from the film, ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya‘ and ‘Mohe Panghat Ke‘ are signature Madhubala numbers. Rendered powerfully by Lata Mangeshkar, these songs are jewels among Indian music aficionados.

Madhubala is known as a trendsetting fashionista. Her films influenced Indian women to wear chequered shirts and off-shoulder dresses.

Raj Kapoor discloses that in his opinion, Madhubala has a marble-like beauty:

“She looks as though her face has been sculpted with marble.”

Madhubala was indeed known as much for her matchless beauty as for her acting.

The star’s life was almost as tragic as that of Anarkali’s saga. Madhubala was unlucky in love and she died a premature death on February 23, 1969. She was only 36.

However, her mesmerising screen presence and her persona of mysticism make her relevant and loved even after her passing. That makes her one of the most legendary Bollywood actors.

Meena Kumari

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Meena KumariMeena Kumari was born Mahjabeen Bano. She began working as a child actor in 1937. She was four years old at the time.

Her first film containing a lead role is Bachchon Ka Khel (1946). Although the movie itself was not particularly successful, Meena was noticed.

That debut kicked off a poetic and loved filmography that spans over 90 films.

In 1952, Meena starred in Baiju Bawra. She delivers an epic performance as Gauri, somewhat overshadowing her co-star Bharat Bhushan (Baiju).

For Baiju Bawra, Meena became the inaugural recipient of the Filmfare ‘Best Actress’ Award in 1954.

Meena was hugely admired by her contemporaries. Madhubala gushes over Meena’s voice in a rare interview:

“[Meena] has the most unique voice. No other heroine has it.”

Meena earned acclaim for helping Dharmendra when he was a newcomer. They performed in several films which have given a boost to his credentials.

One of Meena’s most acclaimed films ironically was one of her final ones. The film is Pakeezah (1972).

Meena’s historic performance as Nargis/Sahibjaan has entered Bollywood folklore as one of the most mesmeric acts.

Sadly, Meena’s turbulent separation from her husband Kamal Amrohi led to her spiral of alcoholism.

This claimed her life on March 31, 1972. After her death, Pakeezah was re-released to an auditorium of sobbing fans.

Meena requested the following phrase to be inscribed on her tombstone, depicting her eventful life and tragic saga:

“She ended life with a broken fiddle, with a broken song, with a broken heart, but not a single regret.”


20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - NutanNutan was christened Nutan Behl. Classic film connoisseurs regard her as a reigning queen of Bollywood.

Like many of the aforementioned actresses, Nutan also began her career as a child artist.

Her mother, Shobhna Samarth was also an influential actress of her time. Nutan found stardom as Gauri in Amiya Chakravarty’s Seema (1955).

In 1957, she won the Filmfare ‘Best Actress’ accolade for the film.

Nutan was one of the biggest and highest-paid Bollywood actresses of the ’50s and ’60s. She starred in hits including Paying Guest (1957), Anari (1959) and Sujata (1959).

She formed a good team with Sujata director Bimal Roy. He cast her again in the immensely successful Bandini (1963).

Writing an ode to Nutan in ‘The Tribune,’ ML Dhawan observes Nutan’s bravery in playing unconventional roles:

“Nutan was perhaps the first heroine to risk playing unconventional roles.

“She sublimated the grey-shaded character of Kalyani—a murderer and convict in Bimal Roy’s Bandini.

“Nutan had no screaming matches or drunken hysterics in the film. Instead, she appears as a quiet woman with passion raging within.”

ML Dhawan adds that Nutan had the dignity to only accept roles that gave her equality in her films:

“Nutan accepted only those roles in which she either played the main part or at least shared equal footing with the male counterpart.”

Nutan is the aunt of blue-chip actress Kajol. The glamorous Baarish (1957) star died in 1991, leaving behind an unshakeable legacy.

Sanjeev Kumar

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Sanjeev KumarIf there is a true bonafide character actor in the history of Bollywood, it is Sanjeev Kumar.

Despite his young age, Sanjeev is popular for playing character roles. He made his film debut in the early ’60s.

Over the next two decades, Sanjeev proved himself to be an extremely versatile performer. He was unafraid to portray characters more than double his age.

One of his most popular roles is that of Thakur Baldev Singh in the classic Sholay (1975). As the armless police officer, Sanjeev creates sympathy and draws compassion from the audience.

In Baldev Singh, Sanjeev cultivates one of Bollywood’s best police characters.

In Trishul (1978), Sanjeev marvellously plays Raj Kumar ‘RK’ Gupta. RK Gupta is the father of Shekhar Kumar Gupta (Shashi Kapoor) and Vijay Kumar (Amitabh Bachchan).

In real life, Sanjeev was only four years older than Amitabh and four months younger than Shashi. Despite this, he carries this older role with powerful grit.

In 2022, Uday Jariwala and Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta published Sanjeev’s biography. It is called Sanjeev Kumar: The Actor We All Loved. In the book, they quote author Ashok Raj.

Ashok credits Sanjeev for introducing improvements in characterisations:

“Sanjeev Kumar was the first to challenge the typical hero-centred basis of Hindi cinema and introduce a definitive qualitative improvement in characterisations.”

Sanjeev also speaks about his ability to fully control his concentration:

“I keep my peace and concentrate on my work. I have always been able to control myself.”

This cool sense of control was what enabled Sanjeev to deliver iconic performances that stand the test of time.


20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - NandaAt the age of nine, Nanda made her screen debut in Mandir (1948). She continued playing young characters until 1956.

Her paternal uncle was the renowned filmmaker V Shantaram, who ultimately cast her in Toofan Aur Diya (1956). Nanda later garnered acclaim for her stunning performance as Lata in Bhabhi (1957).

Bhabhi started a tremendous career for Nanda. She was one of the most sought-after legendary Bollywood actors in the ’60s.

In the ’60s, Nanda featured opposite Dev Anand in the classics Hum Dono (1961) and Teen Devian (1965).

She also helped make a star out of Shashi Kapoor. One of their films together was Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965).

In the film, Nanda adopts a glamorous image for the first time. She shines as Rita Khanna. Rich, elite and yet kind-hearted, Nanda brings a certain warmth to Rita.

Shashi and Nanda appeared in seven more films. They both regarded each other as their favourite co-stars.

Nanda passed away due to a heart attack on March 25, 2014. Antara Nanda Mondal, from ‘Learning & Creativity’ pays homage to her.

Antara divulges into Nanda’s boldness in picking roles:

“Nanda worked with a range of co-stars from rank newcomers to the biggest stars, and boldly chose roles that exploited her histrionic talents, no matter whether the role was small or the lead.”

In Manoj Kumar’s Shor (1972), Nanda has a small role as Geeta. However, her cameo remains one of the highlights of the film.

Bold, brash and beautiful, Nanda personified glamour onscreen with her incandescent talent.

Rajesh Khanna

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Rajesh KhannaRajesh Khanna is the stuff of legend in Bollywood. His heights of fame became so extreme that the term ‘superstar’ was coined for him in the Indian film industry.

In the ’60s, after winning the United Film Producers’ Filmfare contest, Rajesh made his debut with Chetan Anand’s Aakhri Khat (1966).

The film was a box office failure. However, things changed when Rajesh appeared in Shakti Samanta’s Aradhana (1969).

Beginning with Aradhana, Rajesh delivered 15 consecutive solo hits from 1969 to 1971. This record was a first for Bollywood at the time.

These successes include Aan Milo Sajna (1970), Kati Patang (1971) and Anand (1971).

Fans loved his romantic mannerisms, his style and his acting range. His performance in Anand as the happy-go-lucky Anand Seghal/Jaichand is among the greatest ever seen in Indian cinema.

Rajesh was a craze among female fans. Women kissed his car and wrote letters to him in blood. When Rajesh married Dimple Kapadia in 1973, lots of girls sadly took their own lives.

All of this depicts the mass hysteria Rajesh generated in a short span of only a few years.

After 1973, Rajesh’s popularity waned as Amitabh Bachchan started ruling the roost.

However, Rajesh maintained that he still had a kingliness:

“A king dies a king. He might not have a following. He might be dying alone, lost in a desert, but he will still be a king.”

Even though superstars rise and fall, the level of stardom Rajesh Khanna achieved was previously unseen in its time. For that, he shall never be forgotten.

Rishi Kapoor

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Rishi KapoorThe second son of the showman Raj Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor appears onscreen in Mera Naam Joker (1970) in his first-fledged role.

He plays the younger version of his father’s character Raju. Rishi is loveable and memorable in the film.

He went on to make his adult debut in the monster hit Bobby (1973) as Raj ‘Raja’ Nath.

Bobby changed the way actors were perceived within Indian cinema. During an appearance on ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ in 2016, Rishi comments on this change:

“Before Bobby, actors were known as ‘men and women’. After Bobby, they came to be known as ‘boys and girls’.”

Rishi’s recollections show the change he implemented in the industry, under the baton of his father.

Rishi is among the most famous stars when it comes to romance. He showed his skills in movies including Laila Majnu (1976), Karz (1980) and Damini (1993).

He later began his privileged second innings, wowing fans in character roles.

Rishi lit up the screen in these parts, shining in films like Agneepath (2012) and Kapoor & Sons (2016).

After Rishi tragically died on April 30, 2020, his frequent co-star Amitabh Bachchan praised the genuine nature of Rishi’s acting:

“When he spoke his lines, you believed every word of it. There was never an alternative. Its genuineness was beyond question.”

Through his glorious work, Rishi has shown what a capable actor he is. He has also kept alive his family legacy.

Parveen Babi

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Parveen BabiThis bold actress was one of the first of her era to become a pure sex symbol. Parveen Babi eclipsed fame in the ’70s and ’80s.

She appears in many blockbusters opposite Amitabh Bachchan. These include Deewaar (1975), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and Kaalia (1981).

Her brash shots, her willingness to bear more flesh and her elegant charm make her an iconic Bollywood star.

Along with Zeenat Aman, Parveen was a sexy figure on the Indian screen. Zeenat shared an Instagram post about Parveen on April 4, 2023.

Zeenat writes about Parveen’s talent and glamour:

“Parveen was gorgeous, glamorous and talented. Back in the ’70s, we wore our hair in a similar manner and enjoyed Western fashion.

“Though neither of us saw it, we were told we had an uncanny resemblance.”

Parveen and Zeenat shared the screen in Ashanti (1982) and Mahaan (1983).

In an interview with Preity Zinta, Hrithik Roshan classifies Parveen as one of his childhood crushes.

Upon hearing her name, Preity exclaims: “Oh yeah, she was hot!”

Parveen was not only a sex symbol. She was also a very talented actress. Fans remember her for her brilliant performances as well as her dashing figure.


20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - SrideviSridevi is one of the most loved legendary Bollywood actors. She became a household name in the ‘7os and ’80s.

Her vivacity and brightness onscreen have set new standards when it comes to film performances.

The popular films of Sridevi include Mr India (1987), Chandni (1989) and Lamhe (1991).

In Mr India, Sridevi’s dancing in the chartbuster ‘Hawa Hawai‘ remains iconic and loved.

In 2012, she made her acting comeback after a 15-year gap in English Vinglish. 

Sridevi delivers a heart-wrenching performance in her final release, Mom (2017). She plays Devki Sabarwal.

Devki seeks to avenge the rape of her daughter Arya Sabarwal (Sajal Ali). Sridevi wows and shatters hearts with her chilling, strong portrayal.

Fans worldwide were left devastated and heartbroken after Sridevi’s untimely demise on February 24, 2018.

Nandini Ramnath, from ‘Scroll.in,’ shines a light on the merit of Sridevi as an actress:

“She was among the few female stars in Hindi cinema who could steer a movie’s commercial fate on her own merit.”

Sridevi made a posthumous film appearance in Zero (2018). She played herself, appearing alongside a host of other actresses.

Sridevi is a true legend of Bollywood. She set the screen ablaze whenever she was in the frame.

Irrfan Khan

20 Legendary Bollywood Actors We Cannot Forget - Irrfan Khan

5 Unique Facts About Bollywood's Legendary Actors

  • Kundan Lal Saigal was known for his boundless generosity and often donated his salary among the poor.
  • A juice vendor in Amritsar predicted that Dev Anand would become a big star before he joined the industry.
  • Nargis bought Shammi Kapoor a gramophone player, fuelling his passion for music.
  • Nutan once slapped Sanjeev Kumar for allegedly saying they were in love with each other.
  • In Irrfan Khan's debut film 'Salaam Bombay' (1988), his role was cut short because of his height.

Irrfan Khan created a legacy for himself that transcended borders.

Although he delivered several Hollywood performances, he will be most admired for his Indian roots.

Irrfan gained recognition in Bollywood in the ’90s. He also starred in critically acclaimed movies such as Billu (2009) and Paan Singh Tomar (2012).

In 2017, he outdid himself in Hindi Medium as Raj Batra. As the ambitious boutique owner, Irrfan stole hearts and impressed some of his naysayers.

For Hindi Medium, he won the Filmfare ‘Best Actor’ award in 2018.

The star was somewhat infamous for not adopting the typical romantic persona of his contemporaries. Speaking about this difference, Irrfan says:

“I don’t want to do romantic roles where I have to lip-sync to a song.

“A role that explores romance on a new level would suit me.”

This keenness to explore new horizons set Irrfan apart from everyone else.

Irrfan tragically passed away on April 29, 2020. His loss created a vacuum in Bollywood. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan paid tribute to him. He was one of his Billu co-stars.

SRK called him “the greatest actor of our times”.

Going against the mainstream tides allowed Irrfan to become a refined and distinctive actor.

These artists have firmly made a place for themselves in cinematic culture. Their screen personas are iconic and mesmeric.

They inspire and impress fans and other actors alike.

Despite the fact that they are no longer in the world, people remember their evergreen work and tell their stories.

Their tremendous onscreen magic makes them the rulers of their craft. These legendary Bollywood actors have an indefatigable glean.

When one talks about legends of Indian cinema, their names will always shine in glory.

Their work deserves to be preserved and admired forever.

Manav is a creative writing graduate and a die-hard optimist. His passions include reading, writing and helping others. His motto is: “Never hang on to your sorrows. Always be positive."

Images courtesy of ThePrint, Medium, Pinterest, Facebook, IMDB, YouTube, Filmfare and Film Companion.

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