Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now

Updated: November 27, 2010 15:10 IST

As Bollywood took it's baby steps in the 1930s it was helped along by these pioneering actresses, heroines in every sense of the word.

Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
1930s: As Bollywood took it's baby steps in the 1930s it was helped along by these pioneering actresses, heroines in every sense of the word.

Seeta Devi was the first actress to have an onscreen liplock in the movie A Throw of Dice in 1929. Shobhana Samarth was among the most beautiful actresses of her time. She started out in Marathi movies and then moved to Hindi cinema. She's best remembered as Sita in Ram Rajya.

Devika Rani was Bollywood's first dream girl and was modern and accomplished despite living in more conservative times. She holds the record for the longest filmi kiss, clocking 4 minutes, with her husband Himanshu Rai in Karma (1933).

Superstar Fearless Nadia's career spanned four decades. She set the standard as an action heroine and did all her own stunts. She also led a colourful life with affairs galore and two marriages.

Before Lalita Pawar switched to villainous roles, she had a promising career as a leading lady. An accident on set put an end to that but she did play the heroine in movies like Himmat-e-Marda.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
1940s: It was the era of black and white but these ladies brought every shade of colour to their screen roles. Kanan Devi was among the early singing stars of Indian cinema. Hospital, Banphool and Rajlakshmi were some of her well-known films.

Renowned singer and actress Noorjehan's career spanned over seven decades. She debuted as the lead opposite Pran in Khandaan.

Legendary singer-actress Suraiya, who ruled the screen in the 1940s and 1950s with hits like Pyar Ki Jeet and Dillagi, chose Garbo-esque seclusion after years in the limelight. Rumour has it, she never got over her failed relationship with heartthrob Dev Anand.

Kamini Kaushal started out on stage and then made movies like Neecha Nagar and Biraj Bahu. She worked with the top heroes of her time including Ashok Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. She has also appeared on television, making her one of the most versatile actresses ever

The svelte and the sexy Begum Para was the most glamorous actress of her time. She came to Mumbai in 1945 from Jalandhar and starred in movies like Sohini Mahiwal, Mehendi, Shama, Pedro, Dada and Dara.

Durga Khote was the other bright star of the black and white generation. She worked in Hindi and Marathi cinema and also remained actively involved in theatre. She is famous for playing Jodhabai in K Asif's Mughal-e-Azam (1960) and as Kaikeyi in Bharat Milap (1942). She received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1983.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
1950s

The 50s were the golden age of cinema's leading ladies. Bollywood's most vivacious face was Geeta Bali who made many male hearts skip a beat as she danced to Shola Jo Bhadke.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Eternal beauty Nargis is regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Indian cinema. One of her most memorable performances has been the classic Mother India. She was hugely popular not just on home ground but also in Russia, as a screen couple with Raj Kapoor
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Madhubala's enigmatic screen presence and beauty spread her fame far and wide - Hollywood came calling, but she remained true to Indian shores. She was regal in Mughal-e-Azam, seductive in Howrah Bridge and bubbly in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Tragedy Queen Meena Kumari continues to live in the hearts of people even today. Her beauty, her acting skills, her voice – she had it all.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Vyjayanthimala was the first South Indian actress to crossover to Bollywood, setting the stage for Rekha and Hema Malini after her. She starred opposite the best Bollywood men of the time like Dilip Kumar in Madhumati.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Shobhana Samarth's elder daughter Nutan was recognized as very accomplished dramatic actress. She holds the record for Filmfare Best Actress Awards, winning 5 times.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Few remember Waheeda Rehman as the gangster's moll in C.I.D but nobody can forget her mesmerizing turn in Pyaasa. Waheeda continues to make movies today, in a career that is one of the longest in Bollywood.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Nepali Mala Sinha made her screen debut in Bengali movies but Bollywood soon beckoned. Among her better known films are Aankhen and Mere Huzoor
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Bollywood's sweetheart Nalini Jaywant shot to fame with her performances opposite Ashok Kumar in Samadhi and Sangram. Thespian Dilip Kumar considered her the finest actress he ever worked with.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Bina Rai is known for her roles in classics such as Anarkali, Taj Mahal and she bagged the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance in Ghunghat.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
1960s: The swinging 60s saw Bollywood's leading ladies go places. Sadhana was equally famous for her trendsetting hairstyle as for her movies. In her shortlived career she set the natio's hearts beating faster. She retired, all too soon, in the next decade.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Saira Banu was all of 17 when she debuted opposite Shammi Kapoor in Junglee. She starred in the comedy classic Padosan and then married top hero Dilip Kumar
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Child artist Asha Parekh turned actress in Dekho Dekho and there was no looking back for her. She brought her dancing skills to Teesri Manzil and her acting chops to Kati Patang. Rumour has it she fell in love with director Nasir Hussain – true or not, she never married anyone else.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Shashi Kapoor declared actress Nanda his favourite heroine, a compliment she returned as well. Together, they made movies like Jab Jab Phool Khile. Nanda's engagement to director Manmohan Desai ended when a he committed suicide. She never married after that.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Mumtaz was known as a spunky actress and was also acknowledged as having considerable dramatic talent. She was a great dancer and set fashion trends with her screen style.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Before she became Mrs Randhir Kapoor, Babita made 19 films including Dus Lakh, Raaz, Farz, Aulad, Haseena Maan Jayegi and Kismat. She starred with her husband Randhir Kapoor in the hit film Kal Aaj Aur Kal.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
1970s: The Seventies were a decade like none other. Southern sensation Hema Malini set pulses racing, among them Jeetendra's and Sanjeev Kumar's. But Cupid struck on the sets of Sholay and the Dream Girl married Punjab da puttar Dharmendra.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Jaya Bhaduri was a legitimate star with movies like Guddi to her credit when a certain Angry Young Man appeared on the scene. She appeared with husband-to-be Amitabh Bachchan in Zanjeer, Chupke Chupke, Abhimaan, Sholay and Silsila. She won 3 Filmfare Awards for Best Actress and 3 for Best Supporting Actress.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Sex symbol Zeenat Aman was uncomfortable in her skin as a teenager and kept her sensational figure under wraps. Luckily for Bollywood, she decided to show it off later in movies like Satyam Shivam Sundaram and Manoranjan.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Rekha continued where Vyjanthimala left off bringing her Southern sizzle to movies like Umrao Jaan and Utsav. She remains the original Bollywood diva
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Neetu Singh's sizzling dance number in Yaadon Ki Baarat brought her so much attention that she was immediately offered lead roles. In most films, Neetu was cast as the fun-loving daughter or the bubbly girlfriend. She acted with the top stars of her day, especially her future husband Rishi Kapoor with whom she appeared in 11 films.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Classic beauty Smita Patil was deeply committed to social issues and picked roles that explored the place of women in society, their sexuality and the changing face of middle-class women. She was synonymous with parallel cinema and is remembered for her earthy and luminous beauty.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Parveen Babi's Westernized sensibility and seductive screen presence put her on the cover of Time magazine. We loved her in Amar Akbar Anthony and Namak Halal. She was the heartthrob of India's male millions.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Dimple Kapadia created waves with her bold and beautiful act in Bobby and then returned with Sagar a decade later. She continues to make good movies today.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
The light-eyed Raakhee showcased her talent in Sharmilee, Kabhi Kabhie, Trishul, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and Jeevan Mrithyu. She's the only actress to have played Amitabh Bachchan's love interest and his mother on screen. She's won 2 Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actress as well as a National Award for Bengali film Shubho Mahurat.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Reena Roy is best remembered for her role in Kalicharan and her dance numbers in many films. She married Pakistani cricketer Mohsin Khan but divorced later.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
1980s: The Eighties were a time of big hair and bad fashion, but that didn't dim the beauty of Bollywood's babes. Southern beauty Jaya Prada is known as Jeetendra's heroine. The actress turned politician has starred in many South Indian films as well and won acclaim for her role as a mute dancer in Sargam
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Sridevi made her Bollywood debut as the sister in Julie but quickly scored lead roles. She showed off her acting chops with a double role in Chaalbaaz and made men go weak in the knees with her sensual saree act in Mr India.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Ice Maiden Meenakshi Seshadri shot to fame with Subhash Ghai's Hero. She was nominated for a National Award for her stunning performance in Damini.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Dhak dhak girl Madhuri Dixit took Ek Do Teen steps to stardom and there was no looking back from her Numero Uno position. She ruled the nation with her million dollar smile and her dance numbers.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Former Miss India Juhi made it to Bollywood big league opposite Aamir Khan in Qayamat Se Qayamat Takand went on to become one of the top leading actresses of the decade.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Former model Tina Munim won Miss Photogenic and Miss Bikini at the International Teen Contest in 1978. She was discovered by Dev Anand who cast her as his leading lady in Des Pardes. She went on to become Bollywood hot property before finally marrying businessman Anil Ambani.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Former model Rati Agnihotri hit big time with superhit Ek Duje Ke Liye opposite Kamal Haasan. She returned to the silver screen recently and made an impression playing Saif Ali Khan's mother in Hum Tum.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Marathi mulgi Padmini Kolhapure is best remembered for her role in Woh Saat Din. She was a popular screen couple with Rishi Kapoor and also claims a family connection to the Mangeshkars
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Amrita Singh found filmi fame with her debut film Betaab and later in Sunny, Mard and Saaheb. Her marriage to Saif Ali Khan ended in divorce which means we might see more of her on screen again.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
1990s: The 90s saw second generation Bollywood make an appearance. Mahesh Bhatt's daughter Pooja Bhatt was known for her attitude and spunk. She starred opposite fellow gen-nexters Aamir Khan in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin and Sanjay Dutt in Sadak
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Divya Bharti has the distinction of being SRK's first heroine in Deewana. Her career was cut cruelly short by her death in 1993. She had just turned 19.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Manisha Koirala made headlines with her bold and uninhibited performances in movies like Dil Se and Agnisakshi but we loved her best in 1942: A Love Story
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Raveena Tandon made a less than fabulous start in Bollywood but her career later picked up steam. The Mast Mast girl starred opposite Govinda in many movies and opposite Aamir Khan in Andaz Apna Apna
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Child artist Urmila Matondkar turned Ram Gopal Varma's muse with movies like Rangeela. She enjoyed her sex symbol status for almost a decade in Bollywood
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Second generation star Kajol made it big with her debut movie Baazigar opposite SRK and then went on to set the screen on fire with him in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
The very talented and versatile Tabu seems to be the best fit for the place left vacant by Smita Patil. She has enjoyed both commercial and critical success in Bollywood and made inroads into Hollywood in Mira Nair's The Namesake.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Her perfect 10 figure, hot dance moves and of course her passionate kiss with Aamir Khan in the movie Raja Hindustani made Karisma a hot property in Bollywood.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Rani Mukherjee began her career with low budget films until she was offered a small role in blockbuster Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Bollywood was never the same again
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Eternal beauty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's popularity has grown ever since she tied the knot with Abhishek Bachchan. With a handful of endorsements and an international project with Sir Ben Kingsley, the actress is certainly a hot property in Bollywood as well as Hollywood. Ash has represented India at the Cannes Film Festival for many years now. She has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show twice.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
2000: The Noughties proved to be just that. Pretty Preity Zinta has been known mostly for her bubbly and vivacious performances in the films like Salaam Namaste.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Shilpa ‘The Body' Shetty has been around for a while but made it truly big after winning Big Brother in the UK. We don't have a lot to say about her acting talent but who can forget her sexy moves in the song UP Bihar lootne from the movie Shool. Recently, she was seducing the likes of John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan in the 2008 hit Dostana. The actress who recently got married to her long-time beau Raj Kundra has also launched a Spa and Yoga CDs.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Amisha Patel made her acting debut with blockbuster Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, then won critical praise for her performance in Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001).Currently she is more in news for her social appearances than her movies. (Image Courtesy: The Man)
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
With her size-zero figure and beautiful looks, Kareena is the most sought after actresses in Bollywood. The actress has never gone wrong with her style sense be it Indian or western wear.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Bollywood's current favourite Priyanka Chopra is the first Indian actress to have beaten the Khans in endorsements. The actress, who has her kitty full with big banners, has worked hard on her figure and now is seen as a fashion icon in Bollywood. The former Miss World is these days experimenting a lot with her hairstyles.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Former model Bipasha Basu brought sexy back to Bollywood. She can also take credit for reviving micro-minis and for setting the bikini body trend.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Flavour of the month Katrina Kaif grabbed eyeballs when she appeared on the Kingfisher Calendar in 2006. With five hits in a row in 2008, she became the most bankable actress in Bollywood. The beautiful lady has been voted as the Sexiest Women not once but twice by FHM magazine. She is also the most searched Bollywood star on Google, leaving behind the likes of Shah Rukh and Aishwarya Rai. Recently, Katrina sizzled in a hot rain sequence with Akshay Kumar in De Dana Dan.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Classic beauty Vidya Balan might have received bad press for her style on screen and off, but none can disagree that she is among the most sensuous actress in Bollywood these days.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Model-turned-actress Deepika Padukone was Model of the Year at the Kingfisher Fashion Awards in 2006. This leggy beauty made a dream debut opposite SRK in Om Shanti Om and has continued to work her way up the filmi hierarchy.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Sonam Kapoor made a less than spectacular debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya but has since gone from strength to strength. She's also made a niche for herself in the world of fashion as a style icon.
Bollywood Beauties, Then And Now
Amrita Rao made it big in Bollywood entirely on her own steam. She starred opposite Shahid Kapoor in Vivaah and Zayed Khan in Main Hoon Na

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