The 10 best Indian film actors definitely deliver more than a little bit of mirch (spice) and masala (pungency) to their on screen performances. Top Indian actors obtain a god-like presence in India. The arrival of an actor at a restaurant attracts mobs of people, and Bollywood star-spotting is a favorite pastime at some of Mumbai’s upscale restaurants. 

  1. Shahrukh Khan. Known as King Khan in the Indian film industry, he was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution towards Indian Cinema in 2005. Some of his recent films such as “Om Shant Om” and “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” remain some of Bollywood’s biggest hits, while movies like “My Name is Khan” have been top-grossing productions in the overseas markets. Newsweek named him one of the 50 most powerful people in the world in 2008. 

  2. Aamir Khan. Khan recently directed "Taare Zameen Par" and won the Filmfare Best Director Award. The Government of India awarded Khan with the Padma Shri in 2003 and the Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his contributions towards Indian cinema. Khan is one of the highest paid Indian actors. 

  3. Hrithik Roshan. After making a few movies and then taking a few years off, he made comeback with successful science fiction film "Koi Mil Gaya". The film was highest grosser of the year and also won many Filmfare Awards including the Filmfare Best Actor Award. He received critical acclaim for his role in “Jodhaa Akbar,” for which he then received his first international award at the Golden Minbar International Film Festival, in 2008. 

  4. Anil Kapoor. Kapoor is a prominent National Award winning film actor and producer of Bollywood. His first international film role was in the critical acclaimed Slumdog Millionaires, for which he received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Perfomance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Internationally, Anil Kapoor is one the most recognized Indian actors.

  5. Salman Khan. Khan won a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his extended appearance in “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” in 1998, and since then has starred in several critical and commercial successes,“Dabangg” (2010), which has become the second highest-grossing Bollywood film of all-time. Khan has thus established himself as one of the most prominent and successful actors of Hindi cinema.

  6. Kamal Hassan. Hassan has wide critical acclaim as an actor and is well known for his versatility in acting. Haasan has won four National Film Awards and numerous Southern Filmfare Awards. He is also known for having starred in the largest number of films submitted by India in the contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2009, he achieved the rare dignity of working 50 years in Indian cinema.

  7. Akshay Kumar. Kumar has appeared in over 100 Hindi films. During the 1990s, Kumar primarily acted in action films, but he obtained more success in 2007, when he starred in four consecutive commercial hits. In 2008, the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Law on Kumar in recognition of his contribution to Indian cinema. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.

  8. Mohanlal Vishwanathan Nair. Mohanlal works mainly in Malayalam cinema. He has won six Best Actor Kerala state awards, the most times the award has been given to any actor. In 2001, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri for his contributions to Indian cinema, and in 2010, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit awarded him an honorary doctorate.

  9. Muhammad Kutty a.k.a. Mammootty. Mammootty works mainly in Malayalam cinema.  The Indian Government honored him in 1998 with the Padma Shri for his outstanding contributions in Indian cinema.  His career has spanned over three decades, and he has acted in more than 300 films.

  10. Amitabh Bachhan. Bachan first gained popularity in Indian cinema the early 1970s as the "angry young man" of Bollywood. He has since become one the most prominent figures in the history of Indian cinema. Bachchan has won many awards in his career, and holds the record for most number of Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards. Bachan elected member of Indian Parliament from 1984 to 1987. 

-Ellen Wilson