“It takes a lot more to be a South Indian than being called a Madrasi’ goes the saying. Despite the continued ridicule on the Bollywood marquee on the South Indians, there are some shining examples of beautiful women who took the Indian Cinema screen by storm. These women may have has queer Hindi accents and debatable prospects at the beginning but they managed to scorch the tinsel town with glamour and power packed talent.
Let us take a look at the South Indian girls who ruled and still ruling Bollywood.
Perhaps the first diva from the roots of South India in Thiruvananthapuram, Padmini was a popular actress in Hindi films in the 50’s and the 60’s. She had acted in over 250 films and has two sisters Lalitha and Ragini, who were popularly altogether known as Travancore sisters. Padmini was a well noted Bharatnatyam dancer. Her popular films include Kaajal, where she starred along with Meena Kumari Raj Kumar and Dharmendra, Pardesi, Amar Deep, Payal and Qaidi. Padmini was known for her effortless performances both in Tamil and Hindi.
One of the most popular Bollywood actress known to have lived on screen in the golden era, Vyjayanthimala is a veteran with roots from Tamil Nadu. An expert Bharatnatyam dancer and actress, she gave some commendable performances with the likes of Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand in films like Devdas, Naya Daur, Gunga Jamuna, Sangam and Jewel Thief. She is also the original ‘Chandramukhi’ who acted head to head with Dilip Kumar in Devdas.
3. Waheeda Rehman
Not many know that veteran Waheeda Rehman was born in Tamil Nadu and raised partly in Hyderabad. One of the most talented actresses of Bollywood in the Golden Era, Waheeda won many awards like Filmfare for Best Actress, National Award for Best Actress and Lifetime Achievement Awards throughout her tenure. Her pairing with Guru Dutt and Dev Anand was considered the best of those times. She gave some mind blowing performances in films like Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Kohra, Guide and Neel Kamal.
She is the original sensation known for sex appeal and limitless talent. Rekha is a proper Iyer by birth born to a popular Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan. Her remarkable roles include the ones in films like Umrao Jaan, Silsila, Hum Dono and Khoon Bhari Maang.
5. Hema Malini
The Basanti of the iconic film Sholay is known for her tremendous potential as an actress and her seemingly prominent Tamil influenced Hindi. This Iyengar beauty from Tamil Nadu practically ruled the Bollywood marquee for over three decades co starring with the creme of the cinema. Known for her beautiful face and personality, Hema also got the niche of being called the Dream Girl of Indian Cinema. Her pairing with Dharmendra was the most sensational leading the pair to enter into a wedlock. Her popular films include Sholay, Seeta Aur Geeta, Johny Mera Naam, Amir Garib, Prem Nagar, Dream Girl and Satte Pe Satta.
Sridevi is an evergreen Diva of Bollywood, swaying the Nation for over four decades. Hailing from a simple Iyer family in Tamil Nadu, Sridevi made an entry into Hindi in the 80’s and eversince cast her magic. Her accent is well known for a typical Tamil touch to it and her acting skills, topnotch. Sridevi appeared in some remarkable films where she left a lasting impression with her acting. These include Bollywood blockbusters like Mr India, Chandni, Shahenshah, Naagin, Chaal Baaz, Khuda Gawah, Lamhe etc.
7. Jaya Prada
She may have had a short stint in Bollywood but Jayaprada got it right. Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Jaya starred mostly with Jitendra in films like Tohfa, after which she acted with Big B in films like Sharaabi and Aaj Ka Arjun. She starred in multiple Hindi films in the 80 s and the early 90s.
8. Aishwarya Rai
Well, she is the beauty queen of India. Who knew that the blue eyed girl hailing from a Bunt community in Mangalore will go on to create a rage globally. Ex Miss India and Bollywood Box Office lady Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is well known for her ethereal beauty and acting prowesses. She practically ruled the Box Office in the 90s and the entire of 2010 before she became a mommy to take a domestic break. Ash rocked with her performances in films like Taal, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Dhoom, Guru and Guzaarish.
9. Deepika Padukone
The 100 crore Box Office queen of Bollywood has her roots from Bangalore, South India. Deepika is now one of the top actresses, delivering hits after hits. Her latest box office blockbusters include Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express and Ram Leela
10. Vidya Balan
The toast of Bollywood for her killer performances, Vidya Balan is an out and out Palakkad Iyer from South India. After making a commendable entry with Parinneeta as a leading lady, Vidya took over the Box office with storm with her terrific performances in films like The Dirty Picture, Paa and Kahaani. She walked away with a National Award, two Filmfares and a Padma Shri from the Government of India. Need we say more?