Apart from its rich diversity and culture, the Indian subcontinent is famous for its film industry, particularly Bollywood. From the 1930s till today, B-town has become a c/o address for many actresses who redefined beauty in their own way. Women like Nargis, Madhu Bala, Hema Malini, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit etc., have set high standards with their glamorous looks and emotionally expressive performances. Irrespective of how the film fares, fans flock to the theatres to watch their favourite Bollywood actresses sizzle on the big screen!
In this article, we have done a roundup of the Top 50 Actresses of Bollywood – Old and New with pictures.
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Scroll down to explore the images of the 50 Most popular heroines of the Indian Bollywood film industry
Nargis Dutt is an award-winning Bollywood actress renowned for her stellar performance in ‘Mother India’ (1957). She was born in 1929 as Fatima Rashid and later changed her screen name to ‘Nargis’. Her super hit films include “Barsaat”, “Aag” and “Awaara” in which she acted along-side the legendary Raj Kapoor.
Madhubala is one of the most beautiful Bollywood heroines of all times. She is renowned for her role as “Anarkali” in the magnum opus “Mughal-e-Azam”. With her captivating looks and impressive performances, Madhubala became one of the highest-paid stars of Bollywood during her times.
3. Waheeda Rahman:
Waheeda Rahman is one of the most influential Bollywood actresses who won three Filmfare and one National Award for her performances. She made her debut in the Telugu film “Rojuluy Marayi” in an item song. Later, she rose to fame with many superhit Hindi films like “C.I.D”, “Guide”, “Kaagaz Ke Phool” etc.
Vyjayanthimala is a famous dancer-cum-actress of Bollywood. Born in 1936 in British India, Vyjayanthimala entered the Hindi film industry in 1951 after acting in Tamil and Telugu movies. She worn many awards and accolades for her performances in films like “Ganga Jumna”, “Devdas” (as Chandramukhi), “New Delhi”, “Jewel Thief” etc.
5. Sharmila Tagore:
Sharmila Tagore is often called “Kashmir ki Kali” (Bud of Kashmir) after her the name of her debut movie. She is a well-known Bollywood actress who won several awards for her contributions to Indian cinema. Sharmila’s top movies include “An Evening in Paris”, “Aamne Saamne”, “Waqt” etc.
Suraiya Jamal Sheikh, popularly known as Suraiya, is one of the highest-paid Bollywood actresses on the 1950s and 60’s. Apart from her acting prowess, Suraiya also proved her mettle as a playback singer. She acted in over 67 films, of which the best ones are “Taj Mahal”, “Mirza Ghalib”, “Pyar Ki Jeet” etc.
7. Aasha Parekh:
Asha Parekh is one of the most Bollywood actresses of the 1960s and 70’s who earned a lot of fandom for her glamorous looks and mesmerizing acting skills. Asha made her debut in “Maa” as a child artist. In 1959, she made a re-entry with the film “Dil Dekhe Dekho” which made her a star overnight. Asha won several awards throughout her career.
8. Farida Jalal:
Farida Jalal is best known for her supporting roles in many superhit films like “Paras”, “Henna”, “Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” etc. She made her debut in 1967 with the movie “Taqdeer” and acted in over 200 films and many hindi serials.
9. Meena Kumari:
Meena Kumari is fondly known as the ‘tragedy queen’ of Bollywood for her sorrow-filled roles. She ruled the industry between 1940’s- 70’s and acted in close to 92 films in a lead role. Her famous films include “Chandi Chowk”, “Ek Hi Raastha”, “Sharada” etc.
10. Saira Bano:
Saira Bano is a famous yesteryear Bollywood actress renowned for her exceptional physical beauty. She made her debut in 1961 opposite Shammi Kapoor in “Junglee”, which became one of the biggest hits in the Hindi film industry. Saira also acted in many successful projects like “Bluff Master”, “Padosan”, “Hera Pheri”, “Bairaag” etc.
Sadhna Shivadasani takes the credit of being the highest paid actress of Bollywood from mid 1960’s to early 1970’s. She is called “Mystery Girl” for playing lead roles in many mystery pictures like “Wo Kaun Thi”, “Anita”, “Mera Saaya” etc. Her fringed hairstyle became famous as the “Sadhana haircut” which many girls and women loved to try during those days.
Mumtaz Askari Madhvani’s Bollywood journey is nothing short of rags to riches. Born in slums, Mumtaz began her acting career by taking up insignificant roles before becoming one of the highest paid actresses. She was once known as the “Stunt Film Heroine” for acting in too many action films. However, with movies like “Mela”, “Nagin”, she changed her image to a beauty queen and a sex symbol of her times.
Helen, born as Helen Ann Richardson is unarguably one of the most sensuous Bollywood actresses of alltimes. She is best known for her erotic dance moves and appeared in over 700 films. Her songs are more noteworthy than the films she acted. Some of her famous numbers are “Yamma Yamma” (China Town), “Suku Suku” (Junglee), “O Haseena Julfowali” (Teesri Manzil) etc.
14. Zeenat Aman:
Jeenat Khan, aka Jeenat Aman, is a former beauty queen and popular Bollywood actress. She made her debut in 1970 and acted in over 70 films during her active years. Zeenat is best known for portraying a hippie character in “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”.
15. Babita Kapoor:
Babita Kapoor is the celebrity mom of the two most popular B-town heroines – Karishma and Kareena. She made her debut in 1966 and acted in about 19 films. Babita earned huge craze and fan following for the song “Aao Huzur Tumko” in Kismat.
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16. Parveen Babi:
Parveen Babi is one of the most good-looking heroines of Bollywood. She was renowned for her glitz and glamour which she maintained throughout her career. Parveen was a part of several superhit films like “Majboor”, “Deewar”, “Amar Akbar Anthony” etc.
17. Reena Roy:
Reena Roy is an award-winning actress of Bollywood best known for her glamorous looks and female-oriented characters. She debuted in 1972 and 1980’s became a fierce competitor for heroines like Hema Malini and Rekha. Some of her best films are “Apnapan”, “ Aasha”, “Sanam Teri Kasam” etc.
18. Padmini Kolhapure:
Padmini Kolhapure entered Bollywood when she was just 7 years old. She became a celebrity child artist with her role in “Satyam Shivam Sundaram”. By mid-1980’s, Padmini rose to the position of top Hindi heroines with many superhit films like “Vidhaata”, “Souten” etc.
19. Neetu Singh:
Neetu Singh is one of the most successful actresses of Bollywood between 1970s-80s. She started her journey as a child artist and later worked in many notable films like “Deewar”, “Amar Akbar Anthony” etc. Neetu is often called the “Golden Beauty of Bollywood” for her dusky skintone and mesmerising beauty.
Bhanurekha Ganesan, shortly known as Rekha is one of the finest actresses of not just Bollywood, but the Indian cinema. Her acting career began in 1958 as a child artist. Rekha worked in close to 180 films and won several awards and accolades. Some of the noteworthy films include “Silsila”, “Umrao Jaan”, “Utsav” etc. This ageless B-town beauty is best known for her confidence and superb comic timing!
21. Hema Malini:
Hema Malini is the “Dream Girl” of Bollywood! She made her acting debut in 1963 with a Tamil film and later worked in many Hindi movies like “Sapno Ka Saudagar”, “Johnny Mera Naam”, “Sanyasi”, “Seeta Aur Geeta” etc. Until late 1980’s Hema was as a mainstream heroine with many successes in her kitty!
22. Jaya Bachchan:
Jaya Bachchan made her into Bollywood when she was just a teenager. The 1971 film
“Guddi” earned her huge fame and recognition following which she received a number of offers. She worked alongside her husband Amitabh Bachchan in many super hit films like “Sholay”,
Mili”, “Chupke Chupke”, “Zanjeer” etc.
23. Poonam Dhillon:
Poonam Dhillon rose to fame after winning Miss Young India in 1978. The then 16 year-old beauty queen bagged a meaty role in Yash Chopra’s “Trishul” movie. She later appeared in many successful movies like “Noorie”, “Red Rose”, “Dard” etc.
Sridevi is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after actresses in Bollywood and Indian Cinema in general. She is the “Queen’s of Hearts” and the “Nation’s pride” for her contribution to the film industry. A true diva in every sense, Sridevi made her debut in 1964 as a child artist. This “First Female Superstar” of India played many cherishable roles in films like “Khuda Gawah”, “Chandni”, “Mr. India”, “English Vinglish” etc.
Jayaprada is one of the most iconic actresses of Bollywood who wooed millions of fans with her stunning looks and charismatic personality. She was hailed as the “beautiful face on Indian screen” by none other than the legendary director Satyajit Ray. Jayaprada made her Bollywood debut in 1979 with “Sargam”, the Hindi remake of “Siri Siri Muvva”.
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26. Deepika Padukone:
Deepika Padukone is currently one of the most highest-paid actresses in Bollywood. She was once a national-level Badminton player who left spots to pursue her interest in modelling and acting. Deepika made her Bollywood entry in 2007 with “Om Shanti Om” which made an instant national fame. In the last 15+ years of her career in the industry, Deepika made quite a mark for herself with her acting prowess and ravishing looks. Some of her best films are “Padmaavat”, “Baji Rao Mastani”, “Piku”, “Chennai Express” etc.
27. Priyanka Chopra:
Priyanka Chopra might have started her career in Bollywood, but now rose to fame in Hollywood as well. She is one of the most influential Indian actresses who carved a niche for herself in the global film industry. The Former Miss World made her entry in 2003 and went on to win many awards and accolades for her acting skills in “Fashion”, “Dostana”, “Barfi” etc.
28. Kareena Kapoor:
Kareena Kapoor is the Queen bee of Bollywood and belongs to a separate league of heroines who transcend beyond the number game. She is a versatile actress who reinvents herself effortlessly with every movie. Kareena made her debut in 2000 with the movie “Refugee” and became popular for playing the role of “Poo” in “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham”. Some of her best pictures include “Jab We Met”, “3 Idiots”, “Good Newwz”, “Chameli” etc.
29. Katrina Kaif:
Katrina Kaif is a British-born actress who is currently one of the highest-paid heroines of Bollywood. This model-turned-actress made her entry into the film industry in 2003 with the flop movie “Boom”. However, she quickly transformed her image with many hit pictures like “Namaste London”, “New York”, “Rajneeti”, “Dhoom 3” etc. Katrina is also labelled as one of the most attractive Indian celebs and one of the “Bollywood’s best dancers”.
30. Kangana Ranaut:
Kangana Ranaut is a multiple-time award-winning Bollywood actress known for her strong acting prowess. Despite having humble beginnings, Kangana rose to success with hardwork and determination. She made her debut in 2008 with “Gangstar” which earned her a Filmfare award along with huge popularity. Her performances in “Fashion”, “Queen”, “Krissh 3” etc. earned her a lot of praise from fans and critics.
31. Sonam Kapoor:
Sonam Kapoor is one of the best-dressed actresses of Bollywood. She has established herself as a successful commercial heroine with her performances in films like “Black”, “Saawariya”, “Aisha”, “Bhaag Milka Bhaag”, “Neerja” etc. Critics often her as a “Style Icon” and “Most Stylish Star” of the Indian film industry.
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32. Alia Bhatt:
Alia Bhatt comes from the famous ‘Bhatt’ family of Bollywood and is the daughter of the star director, Mahesh Bhatt. She made her debut as a child artist in 1999 but played the first lead role in 2012 movie “Student of the Year”. Alia’s innocent, girl-next-door looks combined with her effortless performances, made her a next-gen sensation of the Hindi film industry.
33. Jacqueline Fernandes:
Jacqueline Fernandez is a Srilanka-born model-turned-actress. She is one of the “Bollywood’s Best Dresses Actresses” and “Most Desirable Women,” according to TOI’s listing. Jacqueline made her entry into the Hindi film industry in 2002 and tasted her first commercial success in 2011 with “Murder 2”. She is renowned for her exceptional dancing skills and gorgeous physique.
34. Anushka Sharma:
Anushka Sharma is one of the most respected actresses of Bollywood who made her entry in 2008 with “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”. She has an attractive screen presence and carries herself with a lot of confidence and oomph. Anushka delivered power-packed performances in many super hit films like “Jab Tak He Jaan”, “PK”, “NH10” etc.
35. Parineeti Chopra:
Parineeti Chopra made her entry into Bollywood in 2011 with the film “Ladies Vs Ricky Behl”. She received the ‘Best Female Debut’ award and a lot of fame for her looks and performance. Despite being fat-shamed, Parineeti never gave up on her acting dreams and underwent a huge body transformation. She soon became one of the hottest Bollywood heroines who acted in many hit films like “Ishaqzaade”, “Shuddh Desi Romance”, “Hasee Toh Phasee” etc.
36. Sonakshi Sinha:
Sonakshi Sinha is the doting daughter of yesteryear’s superstar Shatrugan Sinha. Her bold screen presence and natural acting talent made her one of the most sought-after heroines in the Hindi film industry. She made her debut in 2010 with the action film “Dabaang” and later acted in many films like “Rowdy Rathore”, “Son of Sardaar” etc.
37. Yami Gautam:
Yami Gautam is more popular as the “Fair and Lovely Girl” than as a Bollywood actress. She rose to fame after being featured in the commercials of Fair&Lovely, followed by Hindi TV serials. Yami made her filmy debut in 2012 with the successful movie “Vicky Donor”. She also appeared in many films like “Action Jackson”, “Uri: The Surgical Strike”, “Ginny Weds Sunny” etc.
38. Sara Ali Khan:
Sara Ali Khan is the next-gen Pataudi who followed the footsteps of her parents, Amrita Singh and Saif Ali Khan. She made her debut in 2018 with the movie “Kedarnath” alongside Sushanth Singh Rajput. Although the movie failed at the box office, Sara got noticed for her ability to emote well. The same year she appeared in “Simmba” with Ranveer Singh which was commercially very successful.
39. Jhanvi Kapoor:
Jhanvi Kapoor is Bollywood’s latest sensation and the elder daughter of the yesteryear’s Diva, Sridevi. She made her debut in 2018 with “Dhadak” alongside Isshan Khatter. Barely 2 old in the industry, Jhanvi is turning out to one of the most popular Bollywood actresses for her resemblance to Sridevi and impressive acting skills.
40. Tara Sutaria:
Tara Sutaria is one of the budding Bollywood actresses who started her career way back in 2010. Tara worked as a child artist in Disney India’s “Big Bada Boom”. She made her entry in the mainstream Hindi cinema with “Student Of The Year 2”. Tara’s potrayal as “Zoya” a mute girl in “Marjavaan” was well-received by critics and fans.
41. Disha Patani:
Disha Patani is one of the most famous new-gen stars of Bollywood. She is well-known for her dancing skills and scultped physique including her famous six-pack abs. Disha made her debut in the industry in 2015 by appearing in a music video in “Befikra” movie. She also masters several forms of martial arts like Kung Fu which earned her a role in Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu Yoga.
42. Shraddha Kapoor:
Shraddha Kapoor is one of the highest-paid contemporary Bollywood actresses. She is the daughter of Shakti Kapoor and the niece of Padmini Kolhapure. Shraddha made her debut in 2010 with “Teen Patti” and got her first break with 2013 film “Aashiqui 2”. She also bagged a lead role in the trilingual film “Sahoo” starring Prabhas, which is India’s one of the most expensive films.
43. Kriti Sanon:
Kriti Sanon is another popular Bollywood heroine who made her debut in 2014 with “Hero Panti”. She appeared in commercially successful films like “Bareilly Ki Barfi”, “Luka Chuppi”, “Dilwale”, “Housefull 4” etc. Her tall figure and sharp looks made her an instant crowd-favorite.
44. Ananya Pandey:
Ananya Pandey might be less than 2 year old in the industry, but her popularity outweighs that of senior actresses of Bollywood. She is the daughter of Chunkey Pandey and made her debut in 2019 with the films “STOY-2” and “Pati Patni Aur Woh” launched in the same year. She also appeared in a special song in “Angrezi Medium”.
45. Bhumi Padnekar:
Bhumi Padnekar is renowned for non-stereotypical roles which earned her a special place in the industry. She is a rare mix of looks and acting talent making her a contast favorite with film critics. Bhumi appeared in many successful films like “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, “Subh Mangal Saavdhaan”, “Durgamati” etc. She debuted in 2015 with “Dum Laga Tho Aisha”.
46. Taapsee Pannu:
Taapsee Pannu started her acting career in the South film industry and made her Bollywood debut with “Chashme Baddoor”. She is known for her fierce portrayal of woman characters in movies like “Pink”, “Badla” etc. Apart from her acting prowess, Taapsee is also known for her charming looks and confident attitude.
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47. Vaani Kapoor:
Vaani Kapoor is a model-turned-actress who appeared in many commercials like TBZ Jewellery. She made her Bollywood debut in 2013 with “Shuddh Desi Romance”. Vaani is known for her seductive looks and strong screen presence which earned her many positive reviews irrespective of how the film fares at the box office.
48. Kiara Advani:
Although Kiara Advani made her debut in 2014, she got her first breakthrough role in 2016 with the film “M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story”. Her performances in “Kabir Singh” and “Good Newwz” was well-appreciated by fans and film critics. Her evolution from “just-an-eye-candy” to one of the best actresses in Bollywood is praiseworthy.
49. Pooja Hegde:
Pooja Hegde comes from a Mangalorean family but was born and brought in Mumbai. She started her career as a model and made her Hindi film debut in 2014 with “Mohenjo Daro”. Pooja’s goddess-like looks and natural acting opened up many exciting opportunities in the South Film industry.
50. Rakulpreet Singh:
Rakul Preet Singh made her Bollywood debut in 2014 with the film “Yaariyan”. She earned instant recognition for her performances and fresh looks. Rakul also earned many positive reviews for her roles in Hindi films like “Marjavaan”, “Sardar Ka Grandson” “De De Pyar De”.
Did you like our collection of 50 Top Hindi heroines of all time? We know many other actresses are missing in this list, but don’t worry! We promise to add more details about other beautiful faces of Bollywood who made the industry super-proud!s