Wouldn't you like to watch a film that gives you a peek into the struggles and triumphs of actors from the yore? Biopics on yesteryear actors are bound to enlighten as well as entertain Bollywood buffs
Life is not a bed of roses, even for Bollywood stars, whose on-screen stories always — well, mostly — end on a happily-ever-after note. But the glitz and glamour surrounding them often tends to overshadow their lows. Given their celebrity status, most of them remain tight-lipped about their personal life, which could be dotted with stories of struggle, failure and tragedies. Perhaps, only voluntary confessions or a biography can bring the truth out. While Shah Rukh Khan is part of intense speculations surrounding a movie on hockey legend Dhyan Chand and says he is all for biopics, he wouldn’t like to be portrayed on screen.
But, with film stars commanding a huge fan following in the country, wouldn’t it be just great to see the lives of some veteran, legendary actors being translated on celluloid? Here goes our list:
Life story: Originally Yusuf Khan, the actor owned a canteen before plunging into the film industry in 1944. He was romantically involved with Kamini Kaushal but could not marry her as she was already married. His engagement was broken with Madhubala due her family’s opposition. He then married Saira Banu, younger to him by 22 years. He married a second time in 1980 to Asma but the marriage did not last long. He has received numerable honours in India as well as from his homeland, Pakistan.
Role play: Shah Rukh Khan, for his striking resemblance to the veteran actor.
Life story: He used to work as a clerk in Mumbai but was inspired to become an actor after watching Ashok Kumar on screen. He then fell in love with his co-star, Suraiya, and gifted her a diamond ring. However, the actress’ grandmother was against the match and asked the couple to part ways. Dev Anand then married Kalpana Kartik and the duo worked together in several films. Kalpana, however, gave up her career post marriage.
Role play: Varun Dhawan, since he is flamboyant, mischievous and romantic — just like Dev Anand.
Life story: He hailed from a family of actors. Though he wasn’t keen on toeing this line, he started doing a few roles on screen. He used to teach table tennis to Meena Kumari and married her sister, Madhu. He then started acting for money and is best remembered for his comic roles. He also directed films and married again — his second wife was Tracy Ali.
Role play: With a wacky and eccentric image, Ranveer Singh sure fits the bill.
Life story: Rekha, born to actor Gemini Ganesan and his rumoured partner Pushpavalli, dropped out of school to supplement her mother’s paltry income and started working as a child artiste. At beginning of her career, she was slammed for her looks. Though she was linked to Amitabh Bachchan, she married Delhi-based industrialist Mukesh Aggarwal. However, he ended his life within a year of their marriage. There were also rumours about her marriage with actor Vinod Mehra, which she vehemently denied.
Role play: Priyanka Chopra, for when she paid tribute to the actress by performing on her songs at an awards function in 2012, she really brought Rekha’s magic alive.
Life story: At the age of nine, she stepped into the film industry to support her family’s income. Disarmingly beautiful and a successful actress with her career lasting over two decades, Madhubala developed an emotional connect with Dilip Kumar and they got engaged. However, her father was allegedly not in favour of the marriage. Finally, she got married to Kishore Kumar, which apparently was not a happy union. The actress, who was battling a prolonged illness, passed away at the age of 36.
Role play: Madhuri Dixit has always been compared to the actress but Alia Bhatt could also make for a good Madhubala on screen.
Life story: Guru Dutt started his career in the film industry as a choreographer and that is how he met his alleged ladylove, Waheeda Rehman. They went on to do many films together. Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt were in a relationship for nearly three years and had to face objection from their respective families. However, they got married and had three children. Their marriage hit a rocky patch due to his alleged closeness to Rehman. The actor-director then started drinking heavily and apparently attempted suicide thrice. The actor was found dead in his apartment after he overdosed on alcohol and sleeping pills.
Role play: Ranbir Kapoor, because of his acting chops and personality type, of course! Or even Aditya Roy Kapur, for his ‘drunk guy’ image.
Life story: She was a news reader at Doordarshan and after completing a film course, she made her acting debut in 1975. Her father was a politician and mother a social worker. Smita, too, was actively involved in women empowerment campaigns. She was billed as one of the finest Indian actresses, who got recognition with some commercial and art cinema. She was romantically involved with actor Raj Babbar. Later, he left his wife, Nadira to marry Patil, who was labelled a home-breaker. She died after delivering a boy. Their son, Pratiek Babbar, is now an actor.
Role play: Chitrangada Singh for her obvious facial resemblance with the actress.
Life story: Known as the Tragedy Queen, thanks to her portrayal of a grief-stricken characters on screen, Meena Kumari’s life was rife with many ups and downs. She worked as a child artiste and became a sole bread winner of her family. Eventually, she fell for director Kamal Amrohi but what seemingly started out as a blissful love story became replete with conflicts. The couple separated and then remarried but by then the actress had surrendered herself to alcohol. Her most memorable films, Pakeezah (with Amrohi), took 15 years and even though she was unwell and going through financial crisis, she completed the dream project.
Role play: Meena Kumari’s stepson has announced a biopic which is likely to star Manisha Koirala.
Anurag Basu has already sought permission from Kishore Kumar’s wife Leena and son Amit to make a biopic on the legendary actor-musician. He has announced that Ranbir Kapoor will act and co-produce this venture, which is likely to go on the floors next year.
The film, Ek Tha Albela, based on the actor’s life was recently announced by director Niranjan Patwardhan. But, it is said that he had a fallout with producer Mohnish Babre and the project has now been shelved.