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90s Reinvented I Shilpa Shetty: From actress to judge to fitness icon, 30 years of staying relevant with every role

Updated on: 01 October,2023 12:04 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

From making her debut in Baazigar to staying constantly relevant for three decades, Shilpa Shetty has broken the stereotype surrounding the fate of married women in the industry

90s Reinvented I Shilpa Shetty: From actress to judge to fitness icon, 30 years of staying relevant with every role

Shilpa Shetty

Shilpa Shetty made her movie comeback in 2021 with the film 'Hungama 2'. She was to be seen in movies after a gap of 14 years. However, it never felt like a comeback as the content produced by the actress through her social media or her presence at events or on television made her a familiar face even among the latest generation. While 'Hungama 2' did not get good reviews, the actress was lauded for her youthful looks and being as charming as ever onscreen. 

The 90s Beginning:

Shilpa Shetty made her acting debut in the Hindi film industry in the year 1993 with the superhit film ‘Baazigar’ co-starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. A dream debut for an actress! Well, if you do not count her character getting murdered by the superstar himself. Apart from that, Baazigar is one of the most memorable films of the 90s with it being praised for its storyline, performances and above all the music. 

However, did you know, Baazigar was not the first film signed by Shetty? She was supposed to make her debut in a film titled Gaata Rahe Mera Dil starring the Roy brothers, Ronit and Rohit. However, the film was never released and Shetty had a sparkly debut with the Abbas-Mustaan thriller. 

In the following year, that is 1994, Shetty was seen in three films. She started the year with the film ‘Aag’. The role was initially supposed to be played by Divya Bharti. But due to the sudden demise of the actress, the role went to Shetty. She was then seen in ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ and Aao Pyaar Karein. While the former was a box office hit and her breakthrough, the latter underperformed at the box office. 

Going Southward:

In the latter half of the 90s, Shetty set foot in the South film industry. She made her Tamil debut in 1996 with the film Mr Romeo which was a hit. In 1997, her busiest year, she made her Telugu debut with Veedevadandi Babu. In 2005, she debuted in the Kannada film industry with the film Auto Shankar. The film was a massive hit and earned her the title of The Gabbar of South Cinema’ for her portrayal of a negative role. 

A new century:

Shilpa Shetty started the 2000s with the widely appreciated film 'Dhadkan' for which she was nominated for Best Actress at several award functions. In the following years, Shetty got the opportunity to show her range as an actress in films like 'Rishtey', 'Garv', and 'Phir Milenge'. The year 2007 was very successful for the actress at the box office with the success of Life…in a Metro’ and 'Apne'. Post that she took a break from the movies only to return in 2021. 

Staying relevant outside of movies:

In 2006, Shilpa got the taste of the small screen as she turned judge alongside Farah Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali on 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa', a dance reality show. In January 2007, Shetty was a contestant and the subsequent winner of the British reality television series Celebrity Big Brother 5. In August 2008, Shetty began hosting the second season of the reality television series Bigg Boss, the Indian version of the international reality television series Big Brother. In February 2009, Shetty and Raj Kundra became part owners of the Indian Premier League franchise cricket team Rajasthan Royals. Shetty then went on to judge reality talent shows like Nach Baliye, Super Dancer and India's Got Talent. All of these shows further introduced her to a larger audience.


Shilpa also stays relevant through her fitness. The actress who strongly advocates yoga launched her fitness Yoga DVD in 2015. In 2019 the actress, who has long been the poster girl for fitness, launched a holistic wellness app, The Shilpa Shetty app,[113] which features yoga routines, functional training, special regimes (for women who are pregnant, struggling with menstrual cramps and so on), and daily nutrition charts for each program. Apart from that, Shetty regularly drops videos on Instagram of her workout routine in a fun and interesting manner. 

30 Years and counting: 

Shilpa Shetty will soon be completing 30 years in the industry. She was most recently seen on the big screen in the film 'Sukhee'. She will next be seen embracing her cop avatar in 'Indian Police Force' directed by Rohit Shetty. The series, which marks her debut, also stars Siddharth Malhotra and Vivek Oberoi. 

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