Bollywood tends to forget many people with due course of time. There are many names that have been associated with Indian cinema for a long time now, but often they do not get the appreciation they deserve. Here’s a list of 10 veteran Bollywood actresses who deserve all the respect in the world for giving so much to Indian cinema-
1. Farida Jalal
Farida Jalal has acted in over two-hundred Bollywood films. She worked as a child artist in movies and made her debut with Taqdeer in 1967. She is best remembered for her roles in Raja Hindustani, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. She is also active on TV shows.
One of the most versatile and acknowledged actresses in the history of Hindi cinema, Rekha or Rekha Ganesan started her career in 1966 as a child actress in a Telugu film. Her Hindi film debut as the lead happened four years later with Sawan Bhadon. She has acted in over 180 films in a career of over 40 years. For the movie Umrao Jaan, she won her the National Film Award for Best Actress and has even been honored with the Padma Shri.
3. Shabana Azmi
Regarded as one of the finest actresses in India, Shabana Azmi has a record of five wins of the National Film Award for Best Actress and this says enough about her talent. She made her film debut in 1974 with Ankur and won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her first movie itself! She has acted in more than one hundred Hindi films and several foreign projects as well.
Born as Nargis Rabadi, she used the name Shammi in Bollywood as there was another Nargis at that time. Mostly known for goofy and comic roles, she appeared in over two hundred Hindi films. Making her debut at the age of 18, she used to play the main lead or second lead. She also did some vamp roles over the years. She also appeared in many popular television serials like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Zabaan Sambhal Ke, Shriman Shrimati, Kabhi Yeh Kabhi Woh.
5. Sharmila Tagore
Sharmila made her film debut when she was just a 13-year-old schoolgirl. She became the first Indian actress to appear in a bikini in the movie An Evening in Paris, establishing her as a sex symbol. She was the highest paid Bollywood actress from 1970 to 1976 along with Mumtaz. She has received two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards for her performances.
Often called as the first female superstar of Hindi cinema, Sridevi started her career as a child artist in South Indian films at the age of four. She made her Bollywood debut as a child artist in 1975 with Julie. Her first lead role was in Solva Sawan and soon she gained wide public attention with movies like Himmatwala, Mawaali, Tohfa, Sadma, Nagina, ChaalBaaz, Laadla. In 2012, she became the only Indian actress to make a highly successful comeback with English Vinglish. She was awarded Padma Shri in 2013 and also voted ‘India’s Greatest Actress in 100 Years’ in a CNN-IBN national poll.
7. Sulabha Deshpande
Sulabha Deshpande not only acted in over 73 mainstream Bollywood films but also did Marathi theatre and Hindi theatre. She was a leading figure in the experimental theatre movement of the 1960s. In 1971, she co-founded the theatre group Awishkar with her husband Arvind Deshpande and also started its children’s wing Chandrashala. Nana Patekar and Urmila Matondkar have been students of Chandrashala. In her later years, she acted in serials such as Jee Ley Zara, Ek Packet Umeed and Asmita. Her last film being English Vinglish. She died on 4 June 2016 in Mumbai after a prolonged illness.
8. Supriya Pathak
Being the daughter of veteran actress Dina Pathak, Supriya got involved in theatre at a young age. She made her debut with Kalyug and won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also has been prolific on the small screen with Hansa Parekh being one of her best-remembered roles from the serial Khichdi. After a gap of 11 years, she made a comeback with Sarkar, followed by Sarkar Raj, Wake Up Sid, Ram-Leela.
9. Waheeda Rehman
Waheeda Rehman has been cited as Bollywood’s ‘most beautiful’ actress and we could bow agree more. She has received a Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality, a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, a National Film Award for Best Actress and two Filmfare Awards for Best Actress throughout her career. She worked in many Telugu, Tamil films before making her Bollywood debut with CID in 1956. Her most recent films include Rang De Basanti, Delhi 6.
10. Zohra Sehgal
Zohra started her career as a dancer in Uday Shankar‘s troupe, performing in various countries. She went on to appear in numerous Bollywood films as a character actress with a career span of over 60 years. Her most famous films are Bhaji on the Beach, The Mystic Masseur, Bend It Like Beckham, Dil Se, Saawariya and Cheeni Kum. At the age of 90, she played the central character in the film Chalo Ishq Ladaaye. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 1998, Kalidas Samman in 2001 and in 2004 the Sangeet Natak Akademi. She received the Padma Vibhushan in 2010. She died on 10 July 2014 due to cardiac arrest in New Delhi.
These ladies have left a huge impression in our hearts with their wonderful performances over the years.