Film celeb birthdays in May

Madhuri Dixit-Nene, a total package of superstardom, is now a producer as well. Photo: Madhuri Dixit-Nene

Continuing our monthly series, May is the month when several Hindi film celebrities—past and present—were born. Here is a look at some illustrious entities.

Anushka Sharma / May 1

The enterprising actress, who began with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi almost 15 years ago, has since turned producer of mid-stream cinema like Bbulbul and the web series Paatal Lok and featured in mega-hits like PK and Sultan. An ex-model, she is married to cricketer Virat Kohli.

Balraj Sahni / May 1

Many rank him with some justification as one of the finest actors of Indian cinema. A born natural, Balraj, also father to actor Parikshat Sahni and brother of actor-writer Bhisham Sahni, was best known for Dharti Ke Lal, Do Bigha Zamin, Kabuliwala, Garm Coat, Do Raaste and Garam Hawa. His film acting style was made even more impressive because he was a stage actor and never followed that pattern in cinema. He passed away in 1973.

Manna Dey / May 1

An all-time singing legend, Dadasaheb Phalke laureate Manna Dey, who also was composer on occasion, was the nephew of the illustrious old-time composer K.C. Dey. After a low-key debut in the 1940s, he struck success with the 1950 hit, Oopar gagan vishal (Mashal) and went on to be one of the greatest male singers in Hindi cinema, singing hits like Ae bhai zaraa dekhke chalo (Mera Naam Joker), Yaari hai imaan (Zanjeer), Aao twist Karen (Bhoot Bangla), Tum gagan ke chandrama ho (Sati Savitri) et al. More famous for his songs for character artistes, including Mehmood and Pran, he sang for almost every big hero, notably Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor as well. He died in 2013.

Aruna Irani / May 3

Aruna Irani remains one of the foremost character artistes who has done it all—a few lead roles, comedy, drama and more, and has also produced films and TV serials. For long Mehmood’s favorite co-star, she has done memorable roles galore, such as Caravan, Bobby, Khel Khel Mein, Charas and Beta in a career of over 60 years, after beginning work at the age of 12 in the 1958 Shikwa.

Gulshan Kumar / May 5

He revolutionized the Hindi film music industry’s economics by making it an affordable household product available also at small roadside stalls and not just music shops. Gulshan Kumar then began to produce small-budget films and soon expanded his label (T-Series) to become a huge name in devotional music as well. Today, 26 years after his death, T-Series, spearheaded by his son Bhushan Kumar, is the biggest music label in the world and the highest-viewed channel on YouTube. In his lifetime, the label’s biggest hits included Pyar Jhukta Nahin, Tezaab, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Tridev and Aashiqui.

Sunny Leone has metamorphosed from an adult star to an actress and much more. Photo: Publicity Photo

Sunny Leone / May 13

How many ‘adult stars’ change fields and become noticed in the film profession?  In India, this was unheard of before she came in. Sunny Leone is in that rare category. Starting out with Jism 2, for which she was approached after being a participant in Bigg Boss, the TV reality show, the actress has made a distinct identity and name for herself in films, television and web series. Ragini MMS and Ek Paheli—Leela and Mastizaade, two films in which she even played dual roles, are among her films. Also author and activist, she is now mother to twin boys following marriage to Daniel Weber.

Waheeda Rehman / May 14

A trained danseuse besides being an actress, Waheeda Rehman was the first-ever heroine who become big though she started her career with a negative role in the then all-time blockbuster, CID (1956). Pyaasa, Kagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam, Guide and many more established her as a top star and a consummate actress. With hit combinations with Dev Anand and Amitabh Bachchan in particular, Waheeda stayed the course till Vishwaroopam 2 and the recent delayed 2017 release, The Song of Scorpions.

Madhuri Dixit-Nene / May 15

The complete and readymade superstar package, Madhuri Dixit-Nene needed just one film (Tezaab in 1988) and its chartbuster Ek do teen char to slalom into the top league after a low-key start with Abodh, four years earlier. A powerhouse actress and dancer, she was also lucky in her films and music all through, and it is said that Choli ke peeche (Khal-Nayak), along with the Tezaab song, ranks among the five biggest chartbusters of all time in Hindi cinema. Formidable performances in films like Dil, Hum Aapke Hain Koun!…, Beta, Anjaam, Dil To Pagal Hai, Devdas and many others are in her armoury. She is also a producer and philanthropist.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui / May 19

He has acquired a Naseeruddin Shah-like reputation for being one of our finest actors in the varied roles he has played. After bit roles in films like Sarfarosh and Shool in the 1990s, he has done largely non-mainstream cinema. Gangs of Wasseypur, the Lunchbox, Manto, Badlapur, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and teh web series Sacred Games are among the noted work of this much-awarded actor.

Aditya Chopra / May 21

After making his debut as writer-director with the record-smashing Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Aditya has gone from strength to strength as a producer extraordinaire, who developed Yash Raj Studios and now helms what is considered the biggest banner in the country—his father Yash Chopra’s Yash Raj Films. Among his movies as a producer are Ek Tha Tiger and Dhoom and their follow-up franchise films, apart from War, Pathaan and many others. He has also ventured into television, web and regional cinema.

Rajesh Roshan / May 24

The son of the late composer genius Roshan, Rajesh Roshan is Rakesh Roshan’s brother and Hrithik Roshan’s uncle. Groomed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and introduced by Mehmood in Kunwara Baap, the musical ace is considered a trendsetter and has given hit scores from Julie (1975) to Kaabil (2017), as of now his last film. Since 2006, he is composing exclusively for his brother.

Karan Johar is a multi-faceted talent—producer, writer, director, anchor, TV host, writer, actor and more. Photo: Publicity Photo

Karan Johar / May 25

The whizkid writer-director of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, his 1998 debut, Karan Johar is a man of many hats. He acts, anchors shows, hosts TV programs, is an author and more. Most importantly, however, he is a very prolific and successful producer, with a diverse portfolio in that field on big-screen and web.

Paresh Rawal is among the most versatile actors of our times. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

Paresh Rawal / May 30

The chameleon who does comedy, villainy and drama with equal ease and straddles diverse media, Paresh Rawal is easily among the most accomplished and versatile actors of our times with a range from Sardar to Mohra to Hera Pheri to Sanju. He is married to former beauty queen, actress and social worker Swaroop Sampat Rawal.





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