India is the largest producer of movies and the second oldest film industry in the world which originated about 103 years back. In a country which produces so many movies annually and where cinema is next to religion, there is bound to be a bevy of actors who showcase their talent.
Some are gorgeous to look at but don’t possess acting skills, while there are some who are supremely talented but not really celebrated. Who are the ones who actually make the cut to the list of best actors ever? Check it out for yourself!
15. Anil Kapoor
Apart from his ability to look like he’s in his 30s when he’s at a surprising 60, Anil Kapoor is a perfect mixture of comedy, action, drama and romance. Kapoor slowly moved into being a threat to the Khans in the 80s with super hits like Mr. India, Ram Lakhan and Tezaab.
His dramatic performance in 1942: A Love Story and Virasat was appreciated by audience and critics alive. What makes this member of Kapoor clan so special is his ability to perform his act so effortlessly. Nayak and Pukar are the feathers in his hat apart from international project, Slumdog Millionaire.
14. Ranbir Kapoor
When this lad debuted in the industry with Saawariya, he garnered a fair amount of fan following due to his chocolate boy looks if not his acting. He shot to fame with Bachna Ae Haseeno with his playboy attitude yet lover boy avatar.
While everyone thought that he could only play romantic characters well, there was a newfound Ranbir with his mature and polished skills in Wake Up Sid and Rajneeti. And then came Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar, which changed the perception of audience and critics’ alike.
Its not just his star kid tag that worked for him, it’s that Bollywood runs in his blood that he pulled off such intense acts one after the other. Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil are recent movies that showcase Ranbir’s talent like never before. Surprisingly, he’s also one of the youngest actors to be on the list.
13. Ajay Devgn
Another actor to break the conventional norm of the good-looking hero, Ajay Devgn debuted with his famous stunts in Phool Aur Kaante. Being the son of famous stunt choreographer Veeru Devgn, Ajay was thought to be the action-hero of Bollywood.
But boy, who knew that those eyes could make for the most passionate romantic lover in Bollywood! Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is the greatest example of his lover boy attitude.
Bhagat Singh and The Legend of Bhagat Singh are also part of his noteworthy performances. He moved on to delve into the genre of comedy delivering hits like the Golmaal series.
12. Shah Rukh Khan
“King Khan”, “Badshah” or “King of Romance” are a few titles that Shah Rukh Khan is known by all over the world. Millions of fans swarm by catch a sight of the actor. A charismatic persona coupled with supreme talent is what makes Shah Rukh Khan the King Khan of Bollywood.
He has moved audience with his role of the romantic lover in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and shocked everyone with his portrayal of the anti-hero in Baazigar. There is nothing that this Badshah can’t do!
11. Hrithik Roshan
Yes, he is a star kid but would it be any different if he weren’t? Tagged as the Greek God of Bollywood, Hrithik Roshan swept everyone off their feet with his looks, acting, action and of course dancing skills in Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai. After appealing the masses, he also became a favourite among children with his roles in Koi… Mil Gaya and Krrish.
He won several hearts by portraying the character of the powerful yet just Mughal emperor in Jodhaa Akbar. Agneepath became a turning point in his career and everyone knew that Duggu deserves to play much more intense characters. The latest blockbuster of the actor where he stunned the audience was Kaabil.
10. Nawazuddin Siddiqui
This actor started off with playing supporting roles in movies but it was films like Paan Singh Tomar, Gangs of Wasseypur and The Lunchbox which became a breakthrough for the actor. His acting skills- romantic, dramatic, comedy or action are talked about in every movie he is part of. The finesse with which Siddiqui pulls off any character is absolutely awe-inspiring.
This paved way for the actor to step into mainstream Bollywood and he got an opportunity to work with superstars like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. Next up will be Manto, a biographical historical drama where the actor will be seen playing the role of Saddat Hasan Manto.
9. Aamir Khan
Known as Mr. Perfectionist of Bollywood, Aamir Khan takes up very selective projects and works around it to make wonders. Starting with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, the actor left everyone charmed with his boy-next-door looks. In the subsequent years, Andaz Apna Apna grew on to become a classic cult. Other successes include Ishq and Mela.
Apart from the commercial success, Khan’s movies also garnered a lot of critical appreciation. Lagaan in 2001 was just the beginning of his journey to perfection. Post that, he rolled out some of the biggest hits back to back including Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Ghajini and of course 3 Idiots. Most recently PK and Dangal broke all records at the box office.
8. Nana Patekar
From an underworld don to a man fighting against corruption, the actor is known for the distinctive roles that he plays in movies. The winner of three National Awards and four Filmfare Awards, the actor has broken all stereotypical norms in the industry with his path-breaking roles.
His characters in Parinda and Krantiveer are the most noteworthy ones he’s ever played. His persona of a sombre, calm yet intense character is something that is very unique. Ab Tak Chappan and Natsamrat are part of his recent commendable works.
7. Anupam Kher
His compelling act of playing the role of an old man when he was only 28 years young in Saraansh simply bowled over everyone. One of the most loved actors of Hindi cinema, Kher has given notable performances in both the genre of comedy and drama.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Special 26 are some of his classic movies. He has also received two National Awards and five Filmfare Awards.
6. Manoj Bajpayee
Talk of superlative performances and this is one name that appears in every list. Bajpayee has worked towards paving a way for art performances in the industry. Even though he does not fit the bill of the conventional good-looking hero of Bollywood, Bajpayee broke all barriers to become one of the most sought after actors.
His intense acting in Satya, Shool, Bhiku Matre was just the beginning of his edgy performances. He moved on to garner the limelight in the B-Town with Gangs of Wasseypur I, Aligarh and Naam Shabana.
5. Amrish Puri
The industry mourned the loss of a great actor in the winters of 2005- Amrish Puri. Fondly remembered with the dialogue “Mogambo Khush Hua”, the late actor’s voice alone was capable of sending chills down the spine. A celebrated villain of the time, Puri was intense, epic and loving at the same time. While his acts as a villain in Mr. India, Meri Jung, Nagin, Damini, Ghayal and Karan Arjun are iconic, his positives role in Hindi cinema are equally remembered.
No one can forget the “Ja Simran ja, jee le apni zindagi” dialogue from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge or the protective dad in Pardes.
4. Irrfan Khan
Considered as one of the finest actors in the industry, it is no surprise that his talent got him into British and Hollywood flicks too. The Padma Shree awardee adds his Midas touch to every project he works on. Maqbool, Life in a Metro, Madaari, Paan Singh Tomar and Hindi Medium are few of his notable Bollywood projects.
The international films that he showcased his talent are Slumdog Millionaire, The Amazing Spider-Man and Inferno.
3. Om Puri
Late actor Om Puri needs no introduction. A prolific theatre actor with a voice ever so commanding made his debut with Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal. Critically appreciated for his performances in unconventional roles like a victimized tribal in Aakrosh, a police inspector in Ardh Satya and a tough cop in Gupt, the actor has also done several international projects.
He played comic roles in Hindi films like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro which reached a cult status, followed by Chachi 420 , Hera Pheri, Chor Machaye Shor, Malamaal Weekly and Oh My God. Other notable movies are Rang De Basanti, Yuva and Singh is Kinng. The veteran actor passed away at 66 on 6 January, 2017. He was last seen in Salman Khan starrer Tubelight.
2. Naseeruddin Shah
A prominent figure in the Indian Parallel cinema, Shah is an alumnus of The National School of Drama and Film and Television Institute of India. The actor has worked on a number of art projects like Sparsh, Paar and Masoom. While he’s always lauded for his moving performances in Parallel cinema, the actor is known for his remarkable acting in commercial flicks as well.
A Wednesday, The Dirty Picture and Sarfarosh are a few noteworthy commercial films he has worked in. His amazing personality and intense performances are renowned all over the world.
1. Amitabh Bachchan
The baritone voice, the commanding stature and the incredible acting skills make Senior Bachchan the number one contender on the list. Tagged as the “Angry Young Man” of Bollywood, the legend chiseled out his image of the action hero in Zanjeer and Deewar.
Kabhie Kabhie and Silsila proved that Big B can do it all, including romance. Next, he challenged all industry norms with Namak Halal, Chupke Chupke and Amar Amar Anthony. At 74, the legend is still a competition to the actors of this generation with movies like Aks, Paa, Piku and Pink.
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