The August Company: Film Celeb Birthdays this month

Powerhouse performer Kajol was born in August. photo: Aatish Jaisinghani

August is luminous for many film celebs as their birth month. Here are some prominent names in the ‘August’ company.

Taapsee / August 1

Taapsee Pannu made her debut a decade back with Chashme Baddoor, a romantic comedy, but has long since become synonymous with strong female characters—positive, gray and negative. The phase began with the ensemble cast Pink in 2015, followed by Naam Shabana, Soorma, Mulk, Badla, Saand Ki Aankh, Thappad, Rashmi Rocket and Shabhash Mithu. Alongside came regular hits like Baby and Judwaa 2. She is now Shah Rukh Khan’s heroine in Dunki. And to think this Sikh actor acted in the South for all of three years before coming to Hindi cinema—she made her debut in the 2010 Jhummandi Naadam in Telugu.

Siddharth Roy Kapur / August 2

A big name in the production world, Siddharth Roy Kapur, also Vidya Balan’s husband, is the founder of Roy Kapur Films and former managing director of Disney India. Beginning his career at Star TV and UTV Motion Pictures, he then went on to be an independent producer. All in all, over the last two decades, the cream of his work includes A Wednesday!, Delhi Belly, Paan Singh Tomar, Barfi!, Dangal and the web series Rocket Boys.

Kajol / August 5

Arguably the last female superstar of Hindi cinema (a heroine who commands audience draw on her own, irrespective of the hero), Kajol, actress Tanuja’s daughter, has been a powerhouse performer from the beginning of her 32-year career. Her mega-hits and best performances include winners like Baazigar, Yeh Dillagi, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Gupt, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dushman (1999), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… and more, with digital releases (Salaam Venky) and even a web series (The Trial) as protagonist to add to her cap’s feathers.

Suniel Shetty / August 11

Among the fitness icons of the acting world, Suniel Shetty, who is also a mega-successful businessman, believes that life extends much beyond mere stardom. Among the most grounded human beings in showbiz, Suniel Shetty has excelled in numerous kinds of roles, including comedy (the Hera Pheri franchise, Awara Pagal Deewana) to villainy (Main Hoon Na). His big hits include Mohra, Dilwale (1994), Border and Qayamat. He will be seen now in Welcome to the Jungle.

Sara Ali Khan / August 12

Among the brighter names in GenZ’s new faces, Sara Ali Khan proved a winner in her debut film, Kedarnath as well as Simmba. She was appreciated also for her role in Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. Her forthcoming films include Murder Mubarak and Metro…In Dino. The daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh has inherited her parents’ remarkable acting genes.

Vyjayanthimala / August 13

The only heroine to work in home productions of all the Big Three of her times—Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor, Vyjayanthimala has organically been a prototype for Hema Malini—an incomparable dancer, a frontrunner star who came into Hindi films from the South, a globally-renowned performing danseuse in Bharatanatyam, a Padma Shri recepient and a politician to boot. Her innings in cinema ended in 1970, but she remains a respected and much-honored figure even today in retirement. Ganga Jumna, Madhumati, Naya Daur, Sangam, Jewel Thief, Suraj, Ganwaar, Amrapali—the list of her classics can go on and on.

Anita Raaj / August 13

Sharing this birthday is character artiste Jagdish Raj (the most famous reel-lie cop after Iftekhar!)’s daughter Anita Raaj, who was introduced by Hrishikesh Mukherjee in Accha Bura. Her first release, however, was Shatrughan Sinha’s home production, Prem Geet. Especially in multi-heroine films, Anita Raaj had a dream run in the 1980s and early 1990s, and did occasional movies and serials later. Shatrughan Sinha, Raj Babbar and Dharmendra were her most frequent co-stars.

The versatile Sunidhi Chauhan. Photo: Instagram / Sunidhi Chauhan

Sunidhi Chauhan / August 14

Easily the most versatile female singing discovery of the 1990s, both as a child singer (Shastra) and adult (Mast), Sunidhi is a master at every kind of song and was the star performer of Kalyanji-Anandji’s concert troupes, Little Stars and Little Angels. In the millennium, she has sung for almost top star in the business, and every composer worth his salt. Mehboob mere (Fiza), Dhoom machaa le (Dhoom) and Ishq samandar (Kaante) are just three drops in her ocean of hits.

Johny Lever / August 14

The master comic and humorist, also mentored by Kalyanji-Anandji as a stage performer, began his career working as a machine operator in the top Indian company, Hindustan Lever, from where he acquired his second name. A pioneer in stand-up comedy in India, Johny has done stage and TV anchoring, besides over 350 films, beginning with the 1987 Jalwa. Raja Hindustani, Judaai, Deewana Mastana, Koi…Mil Gaya, All The Best, Golmaal 3 and Golmaal Again are among his best works on screen.

Saif Ali Khan / August 16

Sharmila Tagore’s son and Sara Ali Khan’s dad, Saif Ali Khan adapts to roles like a chameleon. Come blackguard (Ek Hasina Thi, Being Cyrus, Omkara) or a soft lover boy (Hum Tum, Parineeta), this talented actor takes every role in his stride, including comedy (Dil Chahta Hai). Among the best-read heroes of showbiz, the actor, who also produced movies like Go Goa Gone and Cocktail, has always shone also in multi-hero films.

Manisha Korala / August 16

Technically the first foreigner to become a top heroine (12 years before Katrina Kaif!), Manisha Koirala belongs to the royal family of Nepal. A big star, who had a dream start with Subhash Ghai’s Saudagar, Manisha faced both a career lull and cancer with brave courage and fortitude and fought back. Ever ready for good roles, she showed her mettle in the last few years in Sanju and the web series Lust Stories.

David Dhawan / August 16

Known once as the director with the Midas touch, this expert scissorhands (Saaransh, Insaaf, Naam) remains among our most prolific names as captain of celluloid ships. His biggest hits are Aankhen (1993) and Coolie No. 1 (1995), and he is unapologetic about the kind of entertainers he makes (Bol Radha Bol, Saajan Chale Sasural, Judwaa, Biwi No. 1, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Main Tera Hero). Today, he may be better known as Varun Dhawan’s dad, but this man has stayed the busy course for over 30 years.

Gulzar / August 18

Considered an auteur, writer-filmmaker Gulzar made his debut as a lyricist (with the 1960 Shreeman Satyawadi) and has since donned multiple hats, in films and outside, as author, poet and columnist among others. Though his last film as director was over two decades ago, he continues to be idol and icon for so many. Even today, 63 years after he started out, Gulzar is an unavoidable songwriter for filmmakers as varied as Vishal Bhardwaj, Shaad Ali and his own daughter, Meghna Gulzar.

Saira Banu with late husband Dilip Kumar. Photo: Instagram / Saira Banu

Saira Banu / August 23

Considered a beauty queen in her heyday, Saira Banu, who made a sensation by marrying Dilip Kumar, who was then twice her age, was a dazzler in glamorous Hindi cinema since her debut in the 1961 Junglee. An array of co-stars in a cavalcade of hits marked her film career: Aayi Milan Ki Bela, Shagird, Gopi, Purab Aur Pacchim and Victoria No. 203, besides many more.

Rajkummar Rao / August 30                                                        

The chosen one today for realistic cinema and the classic guy-next-door, Rajkummar Rao has made a distinct niche for himself in cinema as variegated as Bareily Ki Barfi, Aligarh, Shahid, Queen, Newton and others and has now entered the web zone with Guns & Gulaabs. On the way is Stree 2¸sequel to his most successful commercial enterprise, Stree.



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