Film Celebs Birthdays in December

Salman Khan was born on December 27 and is a mega-star whose disasters also make big money. Photo: Publicity Photo 

Concluding the series that began in January, here’s looking at the prominent Hindi film celebs born in the last month of the year.

Udit Narayan / Dec. 1

The man who belted out Papa kehte hain bada naam karega 35 years ago in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak has never forgotten his Bihar-Nepal border village roots. Trained musically on a scholarship at Mumbai’s Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Padma Bhushan Udit Narayan is devoted to the Mohammed Rafi school of singing (the late Rafi was also incidentally born this month on December 24) and cannot forget that his debut song in 1980, Mil gaya mil gaya from Unnees Bees, was with his idol as co-singer. Now a winner of four National awards, he continues in high fettle with his re-created hits this year from Gadar 2.

Boman Irani / Dec. 2

Boman Irani is among the great talents in Hindi cinema that entered the field well past what is considered the ideal age for debuts. With a background in acting as well as music, the Parsi thespian has done it all on screen—he’s been hero, a comic, a character artiste also with negative shades, and more. Munna Bhai MBBS  and 3 Idiots remain his breakthrough and most famous films respectively, but they are just two tips of the huge histrionic iceberg of his talent.

Shekhar Kapur / Dec. 6

He may have completed one film in every two or three announced, but this nephew of Dev Anand also began as an actor, but made a name globally as a filmmaker who can make assorted movies like Masoom, Mr. India, Bandit Queen, Elizabeth and the recent What’s Love Got to do with it. What’s more, Shekhar Kapur has also been conferred the Padma Shri.

Dharmendra debuted in 1960 and has had a hoit in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani this year. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

Dharmendra / Dec. 8

He’s not just a He-Man but arguably Hindi cinema’s most underrated actor ever. His career began in 1960, and if talent is about range and versatility, he deserves much more than the Padma Bhushan that was awarded to him in 2012, and nothing less than the Dadasaheb Phalke honor. Hindi cinema’s first and still biggest action star has had a great 2023 with Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani, with both his sons, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol, getting major grossers too.

Shatrughan Sinha / December 9

He journeyed from acclaimed villainy (getting claps when he was clobbering the hero!) to leading man with rare stylish aplomb. Known for his flamboyant mannerisms and persona, he entered politics successfully, though he made multiple gaffes later. A forthright, blunt-spoken yet grounded star, he also went through many controversies professionally but remained a major force for almost two decades in cinema.

Rajinikanth / Dec. 12

He creates a frenzy every time he appears on- or off-screen and is a craze in Japan as well. Born Shivaji Rao Gaikwad, Rajinikanth is of Maharashtrian roots but settled in the South for generations. A Dadasaheb Phalke laureate as well as a Padma Vibhushan, he has done 169 films in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, and Malayalam, but strangely no Marathi film! Beginning his career in 1975 with the Tamil Apoorva Raagangal, his Hindi debut was with the blockbuster, Andhaa Kaanoon in 1983. His first officially bi-lingual film was Endhiran / Robot (2010), which was also a huge hit.

Biswajeet / Dec. 14

The Bengali actor took off after a stint in Bengali films with the Hindi Bees Saal Baad (1962), spawning hits that also included April Fool, Shehnai, Mere Sanam, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi, Aasra, Do Kaliyan, Kismat, Pyar Ka Sapna, Paisa Ya Pyar and Main Sundar Hoon. Considered one of our most musical heroes from the 1960s, he is also himself an astute singer who has performed concerts well past the age of 75!

Shyam Benegal / Dec. 14

Another Dadasaheb Phalke laureate, Shyam Benegal is film director, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker and is rightly regarded as the pioneer of parallel Hindi cinema, a term coined in the 1970s for art films. This was largely due to the commercial and critical success of his 1974 film, Ankur. Apart from other acclaimed triumphs like Nishant, Bhumika, Manthan, Junoon, Mandi and others, he also made the TV serial, Bharat Ek Khoj and a documentary on Satyajit Ray. And Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah were all introduced by him.

Neeraj pandey is among the brightest filmmaking talents of the millennium. Photo: Friday FilmWorks

Neeraj Pandey / Dec. 17

Among the brightest and most versatile filmmakers of the millennium, Neeraj Pandey has excelled in patriotic films of varied hues like A Wednesday!, Baby and Aiyaary and as producer of Rustom, Toilet—Ek Prem Katha and Naam Shabana. He has also helmed Special 26 and M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and is currently filming Auron Mein Kahan Dam Tha!, a love story of classic dimensions. What’s more, he has excelled in web series, the Special Ops franchise and co-produced the multiple awards-winning Marathi film, Taryanche Bait.

John Abraham / Dec. 17

The model-turned-actor was referred to as teakwood, but proved his acting chops as a comic in Garam Masala and Housefull 2 and was also loved for his rakish or intense turns in films like Dhoom, New York and Satyameva Jayate. What’s more, he has been a producer of movies as significant as Vicky Donor and Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran. This year, he has got his career-biggest hit in Pathaan, coming full circle as a baddie as which he began with his debut films, Jism and Dhoom.

Govinda / Dec. 21

Now considered a kind of enfant terrible among once-very successful actors, thanks to his penchant for superstition, weird conducts and controversial remarks, Govinda still remains the most versatile actor of his generation. He even excelled at villainy, as shown by Kill/Dil and Raavan, and is a past master at comedy and enacting songs. Ace choreographer Shiamka Davar considered him the best dancers among the actors who “danced with his whole emotional being and not just his body”. His highs are led by Hatya, Aankhen, Coolie No. 1 and Partner.

Anil Kapoor / Dec. 24

A rare star who was always considered a great actor as well, Anil Kapoor has done it all—from mainstream to offbeat as well as regional and international cinema. And film production and television too! He has collected awards as a matter of habit and remains a viable force at 66, enacting the series The Night Manager and the films Jug Jugg Jeeyo and Animal with equal aplomb. The highs are too many—Woh 7 Din, Tezaab, Ram Lakhan, Beta, No Entry, Welcome and more, not to mention the Indian version of the TV series, 24, South Indian films and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

Salman Khan / Dec. 27

Arguably the biggest mega-star since Amitabh Bachchan and just before Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, now almost 58, commands a phenomenal draw beyond any other star’s imagination, so that even his disasters enter the 100-crore club! His most successful phase was between 2009 and 2017, when he simply had no flop. Even otherwise, he has given more topmost hits of any year than anyone else—Maine Pyar Kiya, Saajan, Hum Aapke Hain Koun!…, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (in a significant cameo), Biwi No. 1, No Entry, Dabangg, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Tiger Zinda Hai! And he has been a major success even as TV host with 10 Ka Dum and now Bigg Boss.



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