Hindi Movie Heroes

Thursday, August 11 by Elizabeth Stewart

Hindi movie heroes in India are defined as Bollywood actors. Mumbai is the center of Indian cinema and thousands flock each year hoping to get break. The few who make it through achieve recognition for their ability to do multiple genres and some even earn international recognition.

  1. Amitabh Bachchan. He rose as a new Hindi movie hero in the 1973 film "Zanjeer." He played the role of the “angry young man,” fearless and ready to take justice into his own hands by extracting revenge on his oppressors. He is also the first Asian to have a wax figure displayed at Madame Tussauds in London.
  2. Abhishek Bachchan. The only son of Indian cinema legend Amitabh, Abhishek Bachchan began his Bollywood career in the 2000 film “Refugee,” only to be followed by a string of box office bombs. It was not until “Yuva” did he attain critical success, the story of three men whose lives intersect in Calcutta.
  3. Hrithik Roshan. Born in Mumbai, Hrithik Roshan rose to become an acclaimed Hindi movie hero in the film “Kaho Naa….Pyaar Hal.” He is known for his chiseled body and penetrating green eyes. In the epic “Jodhaa Akbar,” the slow motion pan of his muscled biceps and washboard abs while holding a sword was exploited to full advantage for the female audience.
  4. Shah Rukh Khan. He is a Hindi movie icon with multiple Bollywood box office hits to his credit and has been nicknamed “King Khan” among others. He began his career in the TV series “Fauji,” about commandos undergoing training. Shah Rukh has won at least seven Best Actor awards from Filmfare, a prominent awards ceremony sponsored by The Times Group.
  5. Salman Khan. He is the quintessential Bollywood bad boy with a history of violence including being jailed in 2007 for shooting an endangered animal and physically hurting his now ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai.
  6. Amir Khan. Star of “Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India,” a critical and box office success and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Khan began his acting career as a child actor in the 1973 film “Yaadon Ki Baaraat” only to leave the Hindi movie industry to become the tennis champion of Maharashtra. It was not until the released of “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak” in 1988 did he become a recognized name in Bollywood and from then on became known for appearing in various genres, from comedy to drama.
  7. Saif Ali Khan. Saif Ali Khan became a commercial success in the film “Main Khiladi Tu Anari,” a Hindi movie released in 1994 where he played a frustrated actor. He is married to famous Bollywod actress Amrita Singh.
  8. Irrfan Khan. “Slumdog Millionaire” and the Hindi-language film “The Warrior” are probably two of Irrfan Khan’s most famous films, bringing him international recognition. Prior to that, he played the role of a Gujarati diamond seller opposite Natalie Portman in “New York I Love You.”
  9. Vivek Oberoi. Vivek Oberoi began his acting career in a gangster film called “Company.” Before entering Bollywood, he completed a masters degree in acting for film at New York University and for the next few years earned a living as a scriptwriter in India. He was also rumored to have had an affair with Aishwarya Rai while she was still dating Salman Khan.
  10. Ashok Kumar. Born in 1911, Kumar became one of Hindi film’s highly respected actor. His breakthrough was the Hindi-language movie “Kismet” in 1943, which was screened for three years in Calcutta and Bombay.

-Elizabeth Stewart

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