"Truly, they don't make them like this anymore."
In an era where nepotism debates are raging, it is easy to undermine Bollywood families.
However, the fact is that some of them have impressed and excelled with their work.
They have spread their legacies in the vibrant world of filmdom. People admire and respect their names.
Bollywood just would not be the same without them.
Paying tribute to these families, we showcase eight famous Bollywood families who are ingrained in the movie business.
The Kapoors are renowned for being the first film family ever to grace the industry.
This star-studded clan started with the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor. He began acting in front of the camera in the early ’30s.
However, he had pioneered the art of theatre in India before anyone else. He founded Prithvi Theatres in the ’40s.
Prithviraj Ji’s eldest son Raj Kapoor became a celebrated actor-producer-director. He created many classics of Bollywood.
His credentials earned him the prestigious title of the ‘Showman of Indian Cinema.’
The younger brothers of Raj Sahab, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, followed in his footsteps soon after. They became iconic stars in their own right.
Raj Sahab had five children with his wife Krishna Kapoor. His three sons, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor went on to become actors as well.
Out of these, Rishi became the most popular. He starred in hits such as Bobby (1973), Laila Majnu (1976) and Saagar (1985).
When his second innings beckoned, he shone in films such as Agneepath (2012) and 102 Not Out (2018).
Randhir has two daughters, Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan. Both are stunning and immensely successful actresses.
Meanwhile, Rishi’s son, Ranbir Kapoor, is one of the finest actors of his generation.
The Kapoor dynasty has truly spawned incredible talent. For nearly 100 years, they have entertained and enthralled.
The Anand family consists of several gifted filmmakers who remain evergreen.
This saga all began with Dev Anand. With no prior film connections, he hopped onto a train, leaving his native Lahore behind.
A glance in the mirror told him he had the face of a movie star.
Armed with a mind brimming with positivity, Dev Sahab made his way to Mumbai which was then Bombay. It was July 1943. He was soon joined by his brothers Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand.
Dev Sahab made his film debut with Hum Ek Hain (1946).
That debut paved the way for one of the most romantic stars of Indian cinema. Dev Sahab was one of the most bankable stars of the ’50s and ’60s.
Chetan Sahab and Vijay Sahab became acclaimed filmmakers. Chetan Sahab made classics such as Haqeeqat (1964) and Heer Raanjha (1970).
Vijay Sahab made an indelible imprint on films like Guide (1965), Teesri Manzil (1966) and Jewel Thief (1967).
The three Anand brothers appeared in Kala Bazar (1960) together. Anupama Chopra, from ‘Film Companion’ discusses the film and praises the originality of the Anands:
“You see three powerhouses of Indian cinema coming together to create an exceptional film.
“Truly, they don’t make them like this anymore.”
The Husain Khans
Many Bollywood fans adore and admire superstar Aamir Khan. However, not all of them are fully aware of his roots.
Aamir is from one of the most famous Bollywood families ever.
His uncle Nasir Husain started his film journey as a ghostwriter.
He moved on to writing fantastic scripts for Munimji (1955) and Paying Guest (1957).
Nasir Sahab later sat in the director’s chair. His film Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) made Shammi Kapoor the symbol of flamboyant energy many love.
The director also helmed classics such as Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1961) and Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973).
In 1988, Aamir Khan began his hugely influential career with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. This trendsetting movie was produced by Nasir Sahab.
Nasir Sahab also backed Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992) which features Aamir as Sanjaylal ‘Sanju’ Sharma. It was a game-changer for its time.
In 2007, Aamir turned director in Taare Zameen Par. Aamir has often spoken about how he learned the art of filmmaking from Nasir Sahab. He was his assistant for four years.
Aamir regrets the fact that Nasir Sahab could never watch his directorial debut:
“When I made Taare Zameen Par, Nasir Sahab was no longer with us. He had passed away, so he could never watch that film. That’s something I always regret and miss.”
The thoughts of Aamir indicate the respect and love he had for Nasir Sahab.
This memorable family began its journey when a young Sunil Dutt started working at Radio Ceylon in the early ’50s.
In those days, Dutt Sahab met Dev Anand, who was an immensely successful film actor. Dev Sahab encouraged Dutt Sahab to join films.
Dutt Sahab made his debut with Railway Platform (1955). When one talks about Bollywood legends of the ’50s and ’60s, they always mention Dutt Sahab with pride.
In 1958, Dutt Sahab married the legendary yesteryear actress Nargis. They had three children together.
The Milan (1967) star also became a director. In 1981, he launched his son Sanjay Dutt in Rocky.
Sanjay became a popular and respected actor. His name shone with brightness in the ’90s.
In 1993, Sanjay found himself embroiled in the courts when he was arrested for possessing a rifle.
Dutt Sahab admirably never abandoned his son despite the backlash the incident brought upon him. He fought tenaciously to free his son.
Although Sanjay was ultimately granted bail, Dutt Sahab could sadly never see his son as a free man. He passed away on May 25, 2005.
11 years later, in February 2016, Sanjay exited prison having finally completed his sentence.
In June 2018, Rajkumar Hirani released a biopic of Sanjay. The blockbuster film, Sanju documents Sanjay’s turbulent life and career. In the film, Ranbir Kapoor plays Sanjay.
Paresh Rawal brings Dutt Sahab to life.
Championed by Bollywood’s ‘He-Man’ Dharmendra, the Deols are quintessential Punjabis.
Brash, bold and daring, the men are symbols of machismo while the ladies ooze charm and elegance.
Dharmendra grew to prominence in the ’60s and ’70s. Decades later, he earned applause for his debonair role in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (2023).
In Karan Johar’s blockbuster, Dharam Ji plays Kanwal Lund. He shares lovely romantic scenes with Shabana Azmi (Jamini Chatterjee).
Fans loved this turn of events as it displays that age is not a barrier in romance. It proves that love knows no bounds.
Dharam Ji has two sons with his first wife Prakash Kaur. His boys are the supremely talent Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol.
In 2023, when Sunny was in his late sixties, he delivered a monster hit with Gadar 2. The film is one of Bollywood’s highest-grossing pictures.
It is one of Sunny’s biggest successes in his career spanning over four decades.
In 2011, Dharam Ji, Sunny and Bobby created a blast at the box office with Yamla Pagla Deewana.
Dharam Ji’s second wife is the superstar Hema Malini, who reigned supreme in the ’70s and ’80s. One of their daughters Esha Deol is also an effervescent actress.
Grace and charisma lie in every pore of the Deols. Together, they have more than a century of making movies.
It is no surprise that they are one of the most entertaining Bollywood families.
The name ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ makes many salute and rise. However, he is not the first person to start this historic lineage.
Amitabh was born on October 11, 1942. His father was the renowned poet Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan. His text was admired everywhere.
Amitabh made his debut in the film Saat Hindustani (1969). After a series of flops, he found fame with the gritty drama Zanjeer (1973).
More successes like Deewaar (1975) and Sholay (1975) cemented his dominant position in the industry. He even dethroned superstar Rajesh Khanna.
In 1973, Amitabh married the blue-chip actress Jaya Bhaduri. They appeared in several acclaimed movies together. Amitabh and Jaya became the most loved couple, both on and off-screen.
Amitabh and Jaya are proud parents to Shweta Bachchan-Nanda and Abhishek Bachchan.
Also a popular actor, Abhishek married the beautiful actress Aishwarya Rai in 2007. On November 16, 2011, the couple welcomed a daughter Aaradhya Bachchan.
This shimmering family of superstars makes Bollywood a shining place. Aishwarya made an appearance on The David Letterman Show.
David quizzes Aishwarya on her Indian family’s way of living. The former ‘Miss World’ quips:
“We don’t have to take appointments from our parents when we meet for dinner.”
Aishwarya’s sharp and witty reply accurately underlines the joint family life that is so precious for Indians.
It shows that a tree of celebrities does not impact one’s values and traditions.
Within famous Bollywood families, film is normally the bulb that lights the chandeliers.
However, the Roshan family planted their famous seed in the form of music. The legend started with Roshan Lal Nagrath, who was an eminent music composer of the ’50s and ’60s.
He composed outstanding music for classics such as Taj Mahal (1963) and Chitralekha (1964).
Roshan Ji had two sons: Rakesh Roshan and Rajesh Roshan. While Rakesh became an actor in 1970, Rajesh followed in his father’s footsteps and became a renowned music composer in 1974.
Rajesh developed beautiful tracks for many films. His song ‘Mere Paas Aao‘ from Mr Natwarlal (1979) is the first number that Amitabh Bachchan sang himself.
Rakesh later became an ace director with Khudgarz (1987). In 2000, he introduced his son Hrithik Roshan in Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai. The film swept all awards in 2001.
Hrithik has become one of Bollywood’s most cherished and loved stars. The Roshans are responsible for giving Indian cinema their first superhero franchise in the form of the Krrish series.
The popular series started with Koi…Mil Gaya (2003). When Krrish (2006) was released, audiences were given a superhero to idolise and hold close to their hearts.
The third film in the franchise was Krrish 3 (2013). It was also a mega blockbuster.
With Krrish 4 also in the pipeline, it is undeniable that the confident Roshans are unstoppable.
The Bhatt family has created a remarkable impact behind and in front of the camera.
The patriarch of the brood is Mahesh Bhatt. His legacy as a filmmaker is unparalleled. He made his directorial debut with Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain (1974).
Bhatt Sahab later made tentpole films including Arth (1982) and Saraansh (1984). The latter gave Bollywood a fantastic actor in the form of Anupam Kher.
However, it was Naam (1986) that marked a turning point in Bhatt Sahab’s career.
The film is also regarded as a milestone in the filmographies of Sanjay Dutt and Paresh Rawal.
Bhatt Sahab’s older daughter Pooja Bhatt was a prolific actress in the 90s. Her father got the best out of her in films including Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991) and Zakhm (1998).
His youngest Alia Bhatt is one of the most loved actresses of her time. She is the headliner of super hits such as Raazi (2018) and Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (2023).
For Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022), Alia won a National Award in 2023.
During a 2018 appearance in Aap Ki Adalat, Alia got emotional after watching a video of her father. She credits Bhatt Sahab for her ability to be a versatile actress:
“The only reason is my upbringing. Because of him and my mother.
“If it weren’t for them, I would never be able to make them proud. So, thank you.”
Alia’s thoughtfulness shows how important familial bonds can be in a famous industry like Bollywood.
Bollywood families often receive negativity for promoting their own. It is alleged that they often disregard people who do not have industry connections.
However, these Bollywood families prove that talent is existent and imperative within people who share blood and DNA.
They have given fans extremely talented cohorts of actors and have masterminded some of the most enduring classics.
If not for them, the industry would not be as successful. For that, they deserve to be respected and admired.