Bollywood has undoubtedly become one of India’s greatest identities today. Performances of actresses like Madhubala and Meena Kumari in the movies during the 1950’s and 60’s, set the bar real high for actresses in this growing industry and since then, India’s silver screen has witnessed dozens of glam queens like Madhuri Dixit, Hema Malini and Sridevi, who mesmerized film buffs through their appearances in various flicks. However, not every actress who entered the big bad world of Bollywood was fortunate enough to survive the rat race and create a lasting impression on the audiences. While a few of these glam dolls opted out of the glam world voluntarily, others ran out of luck and work quite soon. Here are 11 such beauties of Bollywood, who reached the peak of stardom during one point of their career, but soon fizzled out to lead a life of normalcy. The return of some of these divas to the silver screen is something to wait and watch out for…… if it will ever happen.
1. Mamta Kulkarni
This sultry siren ruled the silver screen during the 90’s through her work in flicks such as ‘Sabse Bada Khiladi’, ‘Karan Arjun’, ‘Baazi’ and others. Just when Mamta reached the peak of her career, a controversial topless photo shoot for a magazine cover brought her stardom spiraling downwards. In a country where sex is regarded a taboo, the negative publicity brought by this picture, as well as her nexus with the mafia, made Bollywood filmmakers hesitant to cast this actress in their flicks and eventually Kulkarni faded away with the criticism.
2. Ayesha Jhulka
Ayesha Jhulka, who rose to fame through her portrayal of the tomboy named ‘Anjali’ in the Aamir Khan starrer ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander,’ didn’t last too long either. Though she starred in dozens of other movies, including Kamal Hassan’s ‘Chachi 420,’ none of these roles managed to create a lasting impression on the audience. Jhulka now runs rejuvenation centers named ‘Anantaa’ and ‘Nest’ respectively.
She turned into an overnight national heartthrob through her role in the blockbuster ‘Maine Pyar Kiya,’ which was also the debut of superstar Salman Khan. She acted in a few other flicks, but all of them tanked at the box office. Bhagyashree, who also belongs to a royal family, is married to a man named Himalaya Dasani, who is also an actor. The couple is now blessed with two kids named Abhimanyu and Avantika respectively.
Her bold avatar in the famous song ‘Sun Sahiba Sun’ from the yesteryear super-hit ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ set the cash registers ringing and made the youth flock cinema halls across the country. The diva also got the attention of underworld fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, and it was rumored that the actress was dating the dreaded gangster. Although she starred in a dozen flicks apart from ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili,’ none of them managed to create the same magic as the latter. She then married a man named Kagyur T Rinpoche Thakur and now owns a place which sells Tibetan medicine.
5. Meenakshi Seshadri
This gorgeous South Indian beauty had stolen the hearts of cinema lovers through her role in the Subhash Ghai’s directorial venture, ‘Hero.’ Her stellar performance in the 1993 flick ‘Damini’ made the movie one of the most iconic women-oriented films in India. Meenakshi also starred in the legendary South Indian director K. Balachander’s Tamil blockbuster ‘Duet’ and the Sunny Deol starrer ‘Ghatak,’ after which she went into a mode of hibernation. Reports later surfaced that Seshadri got married to a US-based investment banker named Harish Mysore. She is now settled in Texas, United States, and helps dance aspirants learn dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi.
6. Anu Agarwal
The dusky actress, who became one of the most desired women in the country after the release of the romantic flick ‘Aashiqui,’ vanished from the glamour world in a matter of a few years. Her musical debut was followed by ‘King Uncle’ and renowned filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s Tamil flick ‘Thiruda Thiruda,’ which collapsed at the box office. One of her notable, acclaimed works is her bold role in the crossover movie ‘The Cloud Door,’ after which Anu didn’t bag any significant movie offers. She later went into depression and fell into a 29-day coma caused by a life-threatening accident. The actress is now located in Bihar, where she keeps herself occupied with Yoga.
7. Lisa Ray
This blue-eyed stunning beauty made her debut in Bollywood through the 2001 flick ‘Kasoor,’ in which she starred opposite actor Aftab Shivdasani. She was then noticed by world famous filmmaker Deepa Mehta, who cast her in the flicks ‘Bollywood/Hollywood’ and the highly acclaimed ‘Water’. However, destiny was not too kind to Lisa, who wasn’t picked by many Bollywood filmmakers. The actress even suffered from breast cancer, but luckily survived the killer disease. It is believed that she now resides in the United States, along with husband Jason Dehni. The actress is now a regular face of Canadian television and keeps herself involved in philanthropic activities during her spare time.
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8. Kimi Katkar
Remember that gorgeous bombshell from the Hindi flick ‘Tarzan?’ Yes, that’s right! We are talking of Kimi Katkar, the leggy lass who stole the heart of the jungle boy in the 1985 flick. Kimi then starred opposite Bollywood stalwart Amitabh Bachchan in the flick ‘Hum,’ known for its famous song ‘Jhuma Chuma De Dey.’ The song went on to become an anthem across India and made Kimi a national sensation. She is now married to a photographer named Shantanu Shorey and is settled in Melbourne, Australia.
9. Parveen Babi
One of the few iconic actresses of Bollywood who ruled the movie industry during the 1970’s and 80’s, Parveen Babi was soon forgotten by the Indian movie lovers and filmmakers. Parveen starred in memorable Hindi flicks like ‘Deewaar,’ ‘Zanjeer’, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ and ‘Namak Halal’ along with the undisputed Bollywood superstar of all time, Amitabh Bachchan. However, Parveen’s last appearance was in 1985, after which she led a reclusive life in Mumbai. Babi then suffered from depression and psychological problems and died under mysterious circumstances in her flat in Mumbai.
10. Zeenat Aman
This former model turned into a celebrity through her role in the movie ‘Hare Rama Her Krishna,’ for which she even won a ‘Filmfare Award’ in the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ category. She then went through a rough patch, after being married to actor Sanjay Khan, who allegedly tortured her. Her scarred personal life even took a toll on her career. Though she made a comeback during the 2000’s through flicks like ‘Boom’ and ‘Dunno y..Na Jaane Kyun,’ these movies sank without a trace and failed to bring back her lost glory. The actress now lives in Mumbai and is often seen at social gatherings.
11. Divya Bharati
The actress entered Bollywood during her early teens and took the film industry by storm with her performances in films like ‘Deewana,’ ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’ and ‘Kshatriya’. ‘Deewana’ was also the debut of the icon Shah Rukh Khan which turned out to be a box-office success. However, Divya mysteriously died at the age of 19, after succumbing to a fall from her apartment building, a case which remains unsolved till date. It is believed that she was married to famous Bollywood producer Sajid Nadiadwala.