most famous indian actors
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20 Most Famous Indian Actors of All Time

Amitabh Bachchan is considered as one as the all-time biggest superstar of Bollywood and is one of the most famous Indian actors. But who else among the group of actors has one of the best acting performances of all time in the Bollywood? Who is the number 1 actor in India? Who is the most famous Indian actor in the world? These have been the question for a lot of people and answering it has been the toughest job to do. Although our entertainment industry is not as old as Hollywood, however in such a short period Indians have been fortunate enough to witness some of the great performances on screen.

Naming someone to be number one is doing injustice to others. India has produced great actors in such a short span of time. And many of the Indian superstars have been able to make a mark for themselves around the globe. Hindi Indian actors such as Irfaan Khan has made a name for themselves in Hollywood as well.  So there must be something unique about them and their performances.

Also on the occasion of 100 years of Bollywood CNN-IBN conducted a poll on the most famous Indian actors of all time, in which South Indian film star NTR gathered the highest percentage of votes.

So we decided to name some of the most famous Indian actors of all time. Though some of you might disagree with us and that’s the beauty of the world, no two different people having the same thought the process.

So let’s roll on with the list of 25 most famous Indian actors of all time.

Note: The list does not rank the most famous Indian actors from 1 to 25 or vice versa.

Most Famous Indian actors-Bollywood

Ranganathan Madhavan

Madhavan is considered as one of the most versatile actors of Indian Cinema. Madhavan is multi-talented and is active in acting, writing, and film production. He has been appearing in Hindi and Tamil movies regularly however he has appeared in movies of 7 different languages.

The greatest performances include:

  • 3 Idiots
  • Guru
  • Mumbai Meri Jaan

Madhavan was born in Jamshedpur in the Tamil brahmin family. His father used to work at TATA steel as a management executive and his mother was a manager at State Bank of India.

Madhavan also spent a year in Stettler, Alberta, Canada as a part of a student exchange program. He was quite active in extracurricular military activities and was amongst the leading NCC cadets of Maharashtra and went to England with 7 other NCC cadets.  He did his post-graduation in public speaking.

He first worked in a soap advertisement (sandalwood). Later he went on to work for 2 serials on Zee Tv.  During that period he also worked in an English film named  Inferno which was shot in India.

Madhavan got married in 1999 to one of his workshop attendees Sarita, who came to attend his workshop when he used to give public speaking lectures at workshops around India. They had a son Vedaant in 2005.

Madhavan has 4 Filmfare awards to his name.

Naseeruddin Shah

Naseeruddin Shah is a proclaimed Hindi actor who has been active in Indian cinema for almost 50 years. He made his acting debut in 1967. He is a graduate of arts from Aligarh Muslim University and has also attended the National School of Drama New Delhi.

He is one of the very few actors who have made it big even after being from a small town. He has 3 National Awards, 3 Filmfare Awards to his name. Shah has also been honored with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the government of India.

Shah has also taken direction seriously earlier he used to direct plays and later he made his direction debut in movies in 2006.

Shah has been quite vocal and has also spoken about the government and situation in the country and has to face a lot of criticism for the same.

Amrish Puri

Amrish Puri has been the man who has always been know for his voice and his serious roles. The actor died in 2005. He has acted in over 450 films in a career spanning over 38 years. He has been the most iconic villain of the Bollywood Industry. He dialogue “Mogambo khush Hua” is still one that is mentioned many times by people while conversing.

Mr. Puir has also worked in the western film industry and is vastly known for his role as Mola Ram in the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Mr. Puri has also worked in Punjabi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, and Tamil Films. Earlier he used to act at theatres and got to work on a big screen at the age of 40. He has also won 3 Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actor.

Salman Khan

The being human guy of Bollywood had more fan following than any of the actors mentioned above. He is known as Bhai by his fans. However is definitely not at par with their acting skills. Salman Khan is the eldest son of screenwriter Salim Khan. He made his acting debut in 1988 with the film named Biwi Ho to Aisi. He is one of the richest celebrities in India.  He has been named in the Forbes list of Top 100 paid celebrities in the world.

Salman Khan at the age of 54 is still unmarried and that still is a mystery to many of his fans. He has been active both on big and small screens. The reality shows Big Boss has been an active reality show which is hosted by Salman Khan.  He has also hosted the reality show name Dus Ka Dum.

There are several cases that he had in his name. The famous hit and run case and the blackbuck case are one of those cases. His name is now being dragged in the drug case as the case fo Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has taken a different turn.

His charity program being human has gardened millions of followers around the globe about many think it as a program to gain sympathy and take tax exemptions.

Shahrukh Khan

Generally known as King Khan is one of the most famous Indian actors in the modern era and has done 80 movies in his acting career and is par with the best actors in the world when it comes to fan following and earning. He made his debut in the movies named Deewana and earned several accolades for his role as a villain in the movie Baazigar.

SRK grew up in the streets of Delhi and rose to heights of Bollywood from scratch. After the death of his parents, Shah Rukh took the responsibility of his elder sister Shahnaz who fell in depression.

Shah Rukh is quite famous and in 2008 was named as one of the most powerful of 50 people by Newsweek. He has been awarded 14 Filmfare awards and Padma Shri by the Government of India.

Mr. Khan is an active businessman and sports lover. He owns a team Kolkata Knight Riders in the very famous Indian Premier League and Trinbago Knight Riders in Caribbean Premier League.

Hritik Roshan

The Hritik Roshan comes from the family of celebrities, his father Rakesh Roshan is a director in the Bollywood industry. He is one of the Most Handsome Men In Asia. 

He is highly known for his dancing skills and has been part of the entertainment industry since his childhood days. He appeared in several movies as a child actor in the 1980s and also acted as Assistant Director of the four films directed by his father.

The 46-year-old actor made his Television debut in 2011 with Dance reality show Dance Deewane and is the highest-paid film star in Television Industry.

Hritik is one of the few celebrities who had their wax statue at the very famous Madame Tussauds Museum.

Dharmendra Singh Deol

Dharmendra is generally known as the He-Man of Bollywood and is widely known for his powerful roles in the Indian Cinema. The 85-year-old actor was also voted as one among the top 10 most handsome man in the world in the mid-’70s. He has been awarded by Padma Bushan by the Government of India for his contribution to the Indian Cinema.

He is still remembered for his very famous dialogue “Basanti in Kutto Ke Samne mat Nachna” in the film Sholay.

In 2019 Dharmendra made his Television Debut with the reality show India’s Got Talent as one of the Judges on the show.

He hs also been active in film production and has also launched both his sons Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol.

Anil Kapoor

The 63-year-old actor belongs to the family of actors. His father Surinder Kapoor was a film director. Anil Kapoor is popularly known for his young looks at the age of 63. He seems to get getting younger day by day. His hairy body has been a meme material for a long time.

The actor has an acting career spanning over 4 decades and made a production debut in 2005. The actor has done over 100 movies. He made his international debut with the movie Slumdog Millionaire. He had done movies in Telugu and Kannada language as well. He is well known for his role in Mr. India in which Amrish Puri acted as a Villian.

Akshay Kumar

The Khiladi of Bollywood is one of the most famous Indian Actors in the country. His contribution to the Indian cinema is no less. His original name is Rajiv Om Bhatia but goes by the name of Akshay Kumar professionally. In a career spanning around 29 years, the actor has done over 100 movies.

He started his acting career in 1991 with a lead role in the film Saugandh. Mr. Khiladi is a martial arts expert and performs the most dangerous stunts himself. He has done quite many action movies and then went on to do comic movies and nowadays he is into patriotic movies.

He has made it to the small screen Television where he used to host Khatron Ke Khiladi a reality TV shows where the participants used to perform certain stunts to be in contention of price money. In the show as well, Mr. Khiladi used to perform the stunts.

He has won 2 Filmfare awards and has been awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India.

Ajay Devgn

The 51-year-old actor has done over 100 films in his acting career till now. He is also a producer and a film director. Mr. Devgn is married to famous actress Kajol and has 2 kids. He has had a successful career to date.

His father was a stunt choreographer and film director while his mother was a film producer. These factors laid the foundation for choosing acting his career.

He made his acting debut with the movie Phool Aur Kaante and won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor Debut and never looked back after that.

He has won 2 National Awards and 4 Filmfare awards. He was honored with Padma Shri by the Government of India.

Sanjeev Kumar

The veteran actor made his acting debut at the age of 23. He also won 2 National Awards for Best Actros.  His role in the movie Angoor was listed as the 25 best performances in Indian cinema by Forbes.

He made his acting debut with the movie Hum Hindustani in 1960. The actor never got married and remained single in his life.

The actor had his first heart attack in 1976 at the age of 39 and went under bypass in the US  and finally died due to a major heart attack in 1985 at the age of 48.

Anupam Kher

The 65-year-old is a former chairman of the Film and Television Institue of India and has done over 500 films in different languages.  The actor is quite famous for his comic roles and has won the Filmfare award for best comedian five times and that is a record till now. He has won several international films including Bend it Like Beckham.

Anupam Kher lost his hair at a very early age and has to play the role of 65-year-old at the age of 29. He is married to actress Kiran whos is also a member of Parliament. Nowadays Anupma Kher is involved more in political views than the movies and has been quite vocal to speak up for the current Indian Government.

The Government of India has honored him with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan for his contributions to the arts.

Soumitra Chatterjee

The 85-year-old Indian actor is widely known for his collaborations with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray. He made his acting debut in 1959 with a film name Ampur Sansar. He is also regarded as the man who changed the face of Indian Cinema.

He has been awarded several awards some of which include the Dadasahab Phalke Award which is the highest award in Indian Cinema. He has been honored with France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. For his contributions to arts, he was awarded Padma Bhushan by the government of India.

Dev Anand

Dev Anand is regarded as the most versatile actor in Indian cinema. He had a career spanning over six decades. He also worked as a writer, director, and producer in Indian cinema.

He is proclaimed to be the greatest actor in Bollywood history. He started his acting career with small movies in the late 1940s. He got his first break when he was spotted by Ashok Kumar and was offered a role in the Ziddi that was being produced by Bombay Talkies.

He was awarded by Padma Bhushan and Dada Sahab Phalke Award for his contributions to Indian cinema.

The actor died in 2011 due to cardiac arrest in London where he went for a medical check-up.

Dilip Kumar

Mohammed Yusuf Khan goes by the name Dilip Kumar in Bollywood. He had a career spanning over 5 decades and did over 65 movies in his career.  The 97-year-old actor made his acting debut at the age of 22 with the movie Jwar Bhata produced by Bombay Talkies.

The actor has won 8 Filmfare awards. He also holds the Guinness World Record of most awards by an Indian Actor. He has also been awarded by Padma Vibhushan by the government of India.

Raj Kapoor

Raj Kapoor is regarded as the greatest and most famous Indian actor of all time. He also produced and directed films in his career. He was quite famous in Asia and parts of Europe. Raj Kapoor has  The Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award named after him.

He appeared in the films at the age of 10. His first lead role and breakthrough was in 1947 against one of the most famous actresses Madhubala. He produced a movie named Mera Nam Joker which was a flop at the box office but is considered a cult classic nowadays.

He has been awarded with Padma Bhushan by the government of India. He is also a recipient of the Dada Sahab Phalke Award. He has 3 National Film Awards and 11 Filmfare Awards to his name.

The actor dies at the age of 63 due to complications that arose through Asthma. The events arose ina ceremony where he was to receive his Dada Sahab Phalke Award. He was then admitted to All India Institue of Medical Science, where he died after 1 month of admission due to Asthmatic Complications.

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan is one of the greatest actors of Indian Cinema and is referred to as Big B or the Shenshah. The actor has acted in around 200 films in his acting career that is around 5 decades old and continues to do so. The actor is also an active film producer, television host, and playback singer.

He was also regarded as the angry young man in the film industry due to his roles in Sholay and Zanjeer.

He made his acting debut in Saat Hindustani and then went on to do a film with Rajesh Khanna for which he won Best Supporting Actor Award.

He has been conferred with several awards in his acting career including the Dada Sahab Phalke Award, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan.

On July 11 2020 the actor along with several family members and staffers was diagnosed with Corona Virus.

Most Famous Indian actors-Tollywood

Mohanlal

The 60-year-old actor had an amazing career spanning about 40 years thought which he has worked in over 340 films. He has been an active part of the Malayalam film industry. He is quite active in other fields as well. He is an active producer, playback singer, distributor, and philanthropist.

He made his acting debut at the age of 18 with a Malayalam film named Thiranottam in 1978 however the release of the film was delayed for 25 years due to the censorship issue.  He worked in a Hindi film Company in 2002. He has won five national awards, two best actor awards for his acting skills.

He has also been honored with Padam Shri and Padma Bushan by the government of India.

Mammootty

The 69-year-old actor has been active in the film industry for about 4 decades now. He has been quite active in the Malayalam film industry and has also done few films in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and English.

He made his acting debut in 1971 at the age of 20.  He also acted in the English film Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. He appeared in a Hindi film name Sau Jooth Ek Sach. He has won 3 National Film Awards and 7 Kerala State film awards and 13 Filmfare Awards South for his skills. He was also awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contributions to the art.

Rajnikanth

He is the most famous Indian actor who a fan of all over the country. He mostly works in South-Indian movies but has also acted in some Bollywood movies as well. He is worshipped in many parts of south India.

He has been honored with several awards throughout his acting career.  He was awarded by Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year in 2014 and was awarded the Global Jubilee award in 2019.

Rajnikanth is widely known for his style that he portrays in his movies. His dialogues in a style that he possesses are not imitable and that is what makes him different from other actors.

He has been honored with Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.

So there you go with the list os most famous Indian actors, however, there can never be a list that can justify all the greats of the Indian cinema. So if you think if we did miss someone just mention the name in the comment section. And if you like you can also read  25 Greatest Actors of All Time.

Dev

Dev is an engineer by education, semi banker by profession and a writer at heart.

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