We all know Previous Hollywood — now it is time to discuss Previous Bollywood.


Madhubala’s identify is just about synonymous with Bollywood. Born in 1933, she is thought to be one of the vital lovely, gifted, and influential personalities of Indian cinema. She’s referred to as the “Marilyn Monroe of Bollywood” (as a result of we at all times want a Western comparability to know the magnitude of the success of South Asians 😩).

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In most movies, her identify would come earlier than the movie’s lead male actor, which was uncommon for that point however a testomony to her recognition! She is related most along with her magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam (1960) because the ill-fated courtesan Anarkali.

Heartbreakingly, her life was lower brief on the peak of her stardom; she died in 1969 at age 36 from a protracted sickness as a consequence of a coronary heart defect. An icon of the Golden Age of Bollywood (1940s-1960s), she is well-loved and revered even at the moment. In 2018, The New York Instances revealed a belated obituary and in 2019, Google commemorated her with a Doodle.


Considered the “Meryl Streep of India” and the primary true feminine celebrity of Indian cinema, Sridevi’s profession spanned 5 a long time. Born in 1963, she was recognized for her portrayals of sturdy full of life girls and her massive expressive eyes, and she or he was extremely regarded for her appearing vary.

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She was the recipient of a Nationwide Movie Award and 5(!) Filmfare Awards.

Her premature demise in 2018 from unintended drowning shocked the nation and made worldwide headlines. She was one of many solely two Indian stars honored in memoriam on the 90th Academy Awards. Her final movie was Mother (2017), a thriller. It goes with out saying that she’s missed enormously 😞.


Amitabh Bachchan is called one of many best and most influential Bollywood actors — no listing like that is full with out him. Born in 1942 and affectionately referred to as “Massive B,” Bachchan is a reigning icon of Traditional Bollywood (the 1970s-1980s). He’s significantly well-known for his “indignant younger man” persona due to his portrayals of the wronged hero towards a corrupt system within the ’70s.

Trimurti Movies, @amitabhbachchan / Through instagram.com

This was seen as a pointy departure from the “romantic hero” and romance movies dominant in Bollywood on the time. In different phrases, he dared to be totally different.

He has earned 4 Nationwide Movie Awards and 16 Filmfare Awards for his work. At this time, his son, Abhishek Bachchan, is a outstanding Bollywood actor.


Raj Kapoor was fairly a heartthrob throughout his time 😍. Born in1924, he is referred to as the best showman within the historical past of Bollywood and the “Charlie Chaplin” of India as a consequence of his quirky appearing type. He was nominated twice for the Palme d’Or grand prize on the Cannes Movie Pageant within the ’50s, obtained three Nationwide Movie Awards, and gained India’s highest award in cinema in 1987! Phew!

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Kapoor’s movies — which he acted in, directed, and produced — are well-liked all through Asia and Europe. He is one of the vital outstanding members of the Kapoor household, aka “the primary household of Indian cinema” (with 5 generations and virtually 100 years within the movie trade!).

His son Rishi Kapoor was well-known all through the ’70s, and his grandson Ranbir Kapoor and granddaughter Kareena Kapoor are two of the most important superstars in Bollywood at the moment. One other one in every of his grandsons married Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter! The connections are everywhere 😂.


Vyjayanthimala is without doubt one of the most iconic actresses within the golden period. Born in 1936, she is well known for being the primary South Indian to turn into a Bollywood star. She broke limitations and was a key determine in introducing classical dance to the trade. She was additionally the primary individual to ever refuse a Filmfare Award. Plenty of firsts right here so kudos to her!

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Her poise and doe eyes had been usually identified by media. One in every of her most iconic movies is Sangam (1964), which additionally starred our very personal Raj Kapoor!

On the time, Sangam was the primary Indian movie shot in Europe, the longest-running movie in India, the first-ever movie to have two intervals, and thought-about Bollywood’s best love triangle. We stan an actress with so many firsts!


Identified for her grace and heat display presence, Nargis, born in 1929, was one of many largest names within the trade. Lots of her iconic movies noticed her paired with Raj Kapoor (over 16 movies; their chemistry was unbelievable!). Plus, songs from these movies are among the hottest basic songs in Bollywood at the moment.

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Fascinating reality: Nargis was associates with Madhubala and helped put together Madhubala’s physique for her funeral 😔. She herself died of pancreatic most cancers simply three days earlier than her son Sanjay Dutt made his appearing debut.

At this time, Sanjay Dutt can be a well known identify within the trade!


Rekha, born in 1954, is lauded for breaking away from conventional roles and enjoying sturdy, impartial, and tempestuous feminine characters — ones that may maintain their very own towards the male lead.

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She can be recognized for her work ethic. Early in her profession, she was criticized closely for her appears to be like. Decided to show the trade incorrect, Rekha underwent a surprising transformation, honing her appearing method and her look, to then emerge within the ’80s as one of the vital coveted display personalities of the period.

This capability of hers to efficiently reinvent herself at totally different factors in her profession is well-noted!


Sharmila Tagore is acclaimed as a key affect through the Bengali Renaissance and has labored in each Hindi and Bengali cinema. Oh yeah, she’s up there. Born in 1944, her ’60s aesthetic is iconic — as is her trademark eyeliner and dimple.

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She has gained two Nationwide Movie Awards. Her son is Saif Ali Khan, one of the vital outstanding Bollywood actors at the moment, and her granddaughter (Saif Ali Khan’s daughter) is Sara Ali Khan, who made her movie debut in 2018.

She’s additionally associated to Rabindranath Tagore, the author who closely reformed Bengali literature and music!


Like Sridevi, Rajesh Khanna is known as the primary true male celebrity of Indian cinema and the primary romantic hero in Bollywood! Born in 1942, his movies had been recognized for his or her superhit songs, a lot of which are actually classics. (This tune is the place the above screenshot of Sharmila Tagore comes from!) The terribly massive fan following he amassed has been famous by his fellow actors for being uncommon and the primary of its variety within the trade.


Up to date actors have mentioned this type of craze stays unmatched by even the most important stars at the moment. His co-stars, together with Sharmila Tagore, have spoken about how followers would kiss his automobile and the way he wanted police safety in public!

He starred in 15 consecutive hits from 1969 to 1971, a file that is still unbroken. After his demise in 2012, he was honored with a statue. His son-in-law is Bollywood celebrity Akshay Kumar.


A legend at this level, Dilip Kumar is called “The Tragedy King” and “the final word methodology actor.” Born in 1922, he has been credited for pioneering a way appearing method that predated Hollywood methodology actors. He holds the Guinness World Report for many awards gained by an Indian actor 😱! And at virtually 100 years outdated(!!!) as of 2021, Kumar is without doubt one of the final surviving stars of the Golden Age 🥺.

Filmfare, @thedilipkumar / Through Twitter: @TheDilipKumar

Kumar’s profession spanned 5 a long time. He has been referred to as an affect by virtually each Bollywood actor, from Amitabh Bachchan within the basic period to Shah Rukh Khan within the current.

All through his profession, he was most frequently paired with Vyjayanthimala as a result of the 2 had nice chemistry! He additionally starred because the prince reverse Madhubala in milestone movie Mughal-e-Azam (1960).


Identified for her unconventional roles — which had been thought-about pathbreaking — and her understated but impactful appearing type, Nutan was one of many few mentioned to share equal footing along with her male counterpart onscreen. Born in 1936, she’s famous for not becoming the traditional concepts of magnificence. She was skinny and gangly at a time when the trade most popular plump and petite (however um, have you ever seen her? She was lovely).

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Her efficiency in 1963 movie Bandini is thought to be one of many most interesting performances within the historical past of Indian cinema, and her character is taken into account one in every of Bollywood’s strongest feminine characters!

She held the file of 5 wins of the Finest Actress Filmfare Award for over 30 years(!). Her file was damaged by her personal niece, Kajol, one of many largest Bollywood stars at the moment.

Nutan additionally holds the title for oldest recipient of the Finest Actress Filmfare Award (she was 42) and is the one actress of her era who took on main roles in her 40s with success. Google commemorated her in 2018 with a Doodle. At this time, her son, Mohnish Bahl, is an actor as effectively.


Hema Malini, born in 1948, is called “Dream Lady” in Bollywood (becoming too — simply have a look at her!). Her “Dream Lady” persona turned so well-known that she even starred in a movie of the identical identify in 1977! She additionally performed the feminine lead in iconic movie Sholay (1975), referred to as one in every of India’s high 10 finest movies of all time, through which she starred alongside her future husband, Dharmendra!

Trimurti Movies, @dreamgirlhemamalini / Through instagram.com

She’s additionally a educated Bharatanatyam dancer. At this time, she helps many social causes, equivalent to animal rights.


Often called Bollywood’s first “He-Man” and motion king, Dharmendra’s rugged look made him voted among the many high 10 most good-looking males in Bollywood within the ’70s. Born in 1935, he’s finest recognized for iconic movie Sholay (1975), really a defining movie of the period, through which he starred alongside Amitabh Bachchan, and as talked about above, his future spouse, Hema Malini!

@aapkadharam / Through instagram.com, Hema Malini / Twitter / Through Twitter: @dreamgirlhema

Yep, he is the fortunate man married to Bollywood’s Dream Lady! His most profitable pairing was along with her, and so they starred in numerous movies collectively till they lastly obtained married.

At this time, his sons Sunny and Bobby Deol (from a earlier marriage earlier than Malini), are well-known Bollywood actors.


Coined the Tragedy Queen, Meena Kumari has been referred to as “a traditionally incomparable” actress in Indian cinema. Born in 1933, she was additionally a poet and vogue trendsetter within the ’50s. In different phrases, she was a BOSS. In an trade dominated by males, Kumari was famous to be highly effective.

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She was closely admired by her contemporaries. Apparently, even Dilip Kumar would get nervous in entrance of her! She made historical past on the 10th Filmfare Awards (1963) the place she obtained all three Finest Actress nominations (and gained, too!).

In a flip eerily much like Madhubala, Kumari died on the peak of her stardom at age 38 from liver cirrhosis after struggling for 4 years. Her tragic life usually attracts comparisons to Marilyn Monroe. Lots of at the moment’s stars have said that whereas there could also be nice actresses, there’ll by no means be one other Meena Kumari.


The oldest star on this put up, Prithviraj Kapoor, born in 1906, is particular as a result of he started his profession through the silent period of Hindi cinema! He starred in India’s very first sound movie in 1931 (Alam Ara)! Thus, he is referred to as a pioneer of Indian theater and movie. And he actually is one in each sense of the phrase as a result of guess what? He is Raj Kapoor’s father and the patriarch of the cinematic Kapoor household!


Yep, he is the one who gave the trade 4 generations of wonderful, influential actors (two generations of that are nonetheless lively at the moment). He is the place it began!

Later in life, he performed the domineering emperor in Mughal-e-Azam (1960), alongside Dilip Kumar and Madhubala. Although he is not the most well-liked member of the Kapoor fam, he is actually crucial for laying down the roots!


Born in 1947, Mumtaz is legendary for her type and flexibility all through the late ’60s to ’70s. She was additionally a outstanding intercourse image, and lots of of her appears to be like within the ’70s turned iconic. Simply have a look at that hair!


Why, say hey to the “Elvis Presley” of India! That is proper, Shammi Kapoor was dubbed that as a consequence of his capability to entertain the lots and his “playboy” and “dancing hero” picture in his movies. Born in 1931, he’s a part of the Kapoor fam and is Raj Kapoor’s second youngest brother!


Enjoyable reality: he had proposed marriage to Mumtaz after they turned shut whereas filming a film collectively, however she politely refused as a result of he needed her to surrender her movie profession.


Devika Rani, born in 1908, is taken into account the very first girl of Indian cinema! She was socially unconventional, extremely educated, and — uncommon for the time — concerned in each side of filmmaking, from appearing to directing. Her movie Karma (1933) was the earliest Indian movie to characteristic a kissing scene (scandalous!). It lasted 4 minutes, a file during a kissing scene that is still unbroken in Indian cinema even at the moment! LOL.


She ran a manufacturing studio along with her husband, with which she launched then-newcomers (and future legends) Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, and Madhubala!

Rani can be referred to as the “Dragon Girl” as a result of she was spunky, and, typically, a rulebreaker — as in, her apparel was thought-about “risque,” she had a scorching mood, she eloped with another person whereas married, after which after her husband’s demise, she retired and randomly married a Russian painter. Are you able to think about all that in a hyper-conservative Indian society? Like, she actually didn’t give a rattling. Find it irresistible!

There are a lot extra golden-age Bollywood stars I do know I missed! Let me know your fave within the feedback 🙂