6 Superwomen of Bollywood

There are hundreds of women who work for Bollywood as actresses, directors, writers, choreographers etc. In the world of Bollywood, many fall and many rise to success. It is glamorous, nevertheless. Here, we have a few of these ladies who have worked against all odds and have created a genre for themselves. Let’s take some time to applaud these ladies!

Superwomen of bollywood

1. Shabana Azmi:

Superwomen of bollywood

Shabana Azmi was among the first actresses of parallel cinema, which is famous for its realistic content and serious approach. One of the finest actresses of the industry, she has been a part of many foreign films and projects as well. She, along with Smitha Patil has hugely contributed to the parallel cinema and has given a boost to this genre.

She is the only actress to win National Film Awards for five times. She has also won many Filmfare awards and has been honoured in many International film festivals. Some of her noteworthy movies are: Ankur, Arth, Masoom, Godmother, Fire etc. Fire was the 1st movie in which homosexuality was portrayed on screen.

2. Mira Nair:

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Superwomen of bollywood

Mira Nair is a skilled director/writer/producer of Indian films and is known internationally for her movies. All her movies revolve around Indian society where she focusses on ground level issues in India with an interesting take. She has made the critically acclaimed movies like Salaam Bombay, Indian Cabaret, Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake etc. In fact, she is said to have featured actual prostitutes and street children in the movie Salaam Bombay, which has fetched her many awards at an international level.

She has a degree of Sociology from Delhi University and a degree in Films from Harvard University. When she started her career with films, she was asked to take it up as a hobby and not as a career. But, she had other plans and her efforts are praiseworthy!

3. Sharmila Tagore:

Superwomen of bollywood

Sharmila Tagore started her career in a Satyajeet Ray’s Bengali movie. She starred in hndi movies thereafter and was the first Indian actress to appear in a bikini in the movie “An evening in Paris”, in 1967. She also posed in a bikini in the Filmfare magazine cover in 1968. Wearing a bikini is a common sight in the movies nowadays, but it would have been a big deal then.

She is a distant relative of Rabindranath Tagore and was married to Mansoor Ali Khan. She has given innumerable hit movies especially with superstar Rajesh Khanna, Shashi Kapoor and Dharmendra.

4. Vidya Balan:

Superwomen of bollywood

Vidya Balan has been an inspiration with her acting skills and saree appearances. She was once a victim of all mockery due to her figure and dressing sense. She was even presented a “na-real” award in Filmfare for the movie Heyy Baby and KismatKonnection. But, in spite of all these controversies, she has come a long way and has won the audience’ heart with the amazing roles she has played. She has won national awards for movies like Parineeta, The Dirty Picture, Kahaani etc. She has stopped bothering about all the haters and is comfortable in her skin; proving to everyone that you do not need zero figure to succeed as an actress!

5. Helen:

Superwomen of bollywood

She is said to be the first real item girl of Bollywood. She started her career in Bollywood when she was 15 all the way in 1953. She was introduced to Bollywood by a family friend Cuckoo who herself was a famous dancer in the 1940’s. She had got a job of chorus dancer at first, but with her talent and a great dancing aptitude, she made her way to solo dancing. Her first break was “Meranaam chin chinchu” from the movie Howrah Bridge. She has danced in more than 700 movies up to the age of 42. Even though she was known for her sensuous dance steps, she would take care to wear skin-coloured body stockings in most of her cabarets, even when she donned daring outfits.

Three books were written on her dance career along with a documentary called ‘Helen Queen of the Nautch girls’, which was released in 1973 by Merchant Ivory Productions. Even though we find an item song in so many movies nowadays, it was a daring thing to do in 1950’s and she did it for more than 20 years!

6. Rekha:

Superwomen of bollywood

Rekha was born to a Tamil father and a Telegu mother, both of whom were actors in their respective movie industries. They were not married when Rekha was born and she suffered a lot of negligence from her father as a child. She quit her school to work in movies because the financial condition of her family was not good. At the age of 13, she came to Bombay to work in Hindi movies. It was a very tough time for her as she did not know Hindi well and was criticized for her plumpness and wheatish complexion. She was called the “ugly duckling” of Hindi films after she rose to success after her hit debut movie ‘SawanBhadon”.

After few of her movies, she decided to transform herself, so she learnt Hindi, lost weight with yoga and strict diet, changed her dressing sense and makeup and started choosing her role with more care. Public welcomed the change and we all know how amazing she looks even at the age of 60. She has come a long way in Bollywood and still continues to work in movies.

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9 thoughts on “6 Superwomen of Bollywood

  1. Great compilation! I think farah khan deserves a place in this list. Although i am not a fan of her movies, but she has fought against all odds. Coming from a humble background, being a background dancer, assistant choreographer, choreographer and then director. I think she is the first woman director in the industry to make mainstream successful movies like main hu na and om shanti om. Then getting married to some one few years younger and openly talking about ivf treatments and triplets.

    1. Actually, when I was writing the post her name never came to my mind. May be because personally I do not like her or her movies! But now that you mention all the above points, may be she deserves applaude too!

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