It takes a village to raise a child and it takes many many actors to make a film successful. Surely the lead actors steal away the limelight but it would be impossible to make a film successful without the contribution of the supporting actors.
There have been umpteen instances where the supporting starcast has carried the entire movie on their shoulders. As recent as few months ago, Nawazuddin Siddique did so in Raees and Priyanka Chopra in Bajirao Mastani! If for a moment, we keep aside the bigger names even then none of us can forget the famous “Kauva Biryani” scene enacted by Vijay Raaz in the movie Run or Deepak Dobriyal in Tanu Weds Manu.
The contribution of support cast is surely under rated but not completed ignored. Yes these group of actors need much much more appreciation & recognition therefore here’s a list of some extremely talented supporting actors of Bollywood:
1. Naseeruddin Shah
This man needs no introduction. He began in the theatre and still continues to be a very active part of the same. Some of his plays which have broken all records are “A Walk In the Woods” and “Waiting for Godot”.
His work in films like Mohra, Sarfarosh, A Wednesday, Iqbaal, Krish, Ishqiya series and more can make anyone forget who else was there in the movie! The gravity which he brings along with him on screen can be matched by none.
Naseeruddin Shah has worked in several lead roles too during his younger days. Movies like Hero Hiralal, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro or Manthan can never cease to be a part of our living memory.
Apart from the Indian Film industry, Naseeruddin Shah has worked in Hollywood and Pakistani Film industry too. He played the role of Captain Nemo in the film “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” directed by Stephen Norrington and was also highly appreciated as a maulana named Wali in the acclaimed Pakistani movie “Khuda Kay Liye”.
2. Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher has played diverse roles in his almost 4 decade old journey in the film industry. He was the miser father from Dil & Waqt Humara Hai and also the progressive father in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
Other memorable roles of Anupam Kher also include his performance in Hum Aapke Hai Kaun has the adorable Samdhi or the comic relief which he brought into films like KKHH & Mohabbatein.
His acting has so much of finesse in it that everybody else blurs out when Anupam Kher is on screen. He was felicitated with several awards for movies like Daddy, Saaransh, Salaakhen and so on. He was also awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contribution to Indian cinema in 2004 and awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for his contribution to the arts in 2016.
3. Paresh Rawal
Paresh Rawal, known for his great comic timing, is one of the most evolving supporting actors of the industry. Right from “Teza main hoon mark edhar hai” in Andaz Apna Apna to playing the lead role of atheist in Oh My God, Paresh Rawal has swayed the audience with his acting skills.
As a student of Narsee Monjee College, Paresh Rawal used to act in plays in many languages. Some of the more famous ones are Khelaiya, Dear Father and Krishanvs Kanhaiya. He was a regular at the Prithvi Theatre.
His role in Hera Phera series as Baburao is unforgettable. Over a period of time Paresh Rawal has emerged to be one such actor because of whom audience is drawn to the theatres. His roles in Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge as the unwanted guest or as a cook in Garam Masala cannot be played by anybody else ever. He is surely a treasure to the industry and a blessing to everyone who enjoys good acting in good films.
Not many people know but Paresh Rawal too lost of oodles of weight by going on a healthy fitness regime a few years ago.
4. Boman Irani
A late starter, Irani is definitely an inspiration for many actors. His role as Dr. Asthana in Munnabhai MBBS made everyone sit up and take notice. For the longest time after that movie, I had a hard time digesting the fact that he isn’t naturally bald!
He worked as a waiter and service staff in the Taj hotels as a youngster. After a point, he decided to help out in his family business, which was a bakery. In what would bring him closer to movies, he started his photography career and then went on to do theatre. He has given a memorable performance as Viru Sahastrabudhi in 3 Idiots and Lage Raho Munnabhai.
5. Rajat Kapoor
Rajat Kapoor is yet another good actor of our film industry. He is one of the underrated supporting actors and needs more recognition. His most recent appearance was in Kapoor and Sons and we all wished for a handsome husband/father/boyfriend like him. Rajat Kapoor started out as a theatre person when he was studying in Delhi University. His first noticable role was as Preity Zinta’s uncle in Dil Chahta Hai. He went on to do important roles in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Corporate and Bheja Fry.
6. Johnny Lever
The undisputed king of comedy, presenting Mr. Johnny Lever. In fact, there is a very interesting story to his name. His actual name is Johnrao Janumala and he is from Andhra Pradesh. While growing up, he was a fan of comedians and mimicry artists and so he learnt mimicry. He got a job in Hindustan Unilever where he would entertain his colleagues by impersonating Elvis Presley. This is why he started getting called “Johnny Lever”.
Johnny Lever is the president of Cine And T.V. Artist Association (CINTAA) and MAAM (Mimicry Artist Association Mumbai). His well know roles are from the movies Baazigar, Judaai, Tezaab, Kasam, Khatarnak Golmaal series and more.
7. Farida Jalal
Signifying the mother figure of our generation, Farida Jalal is definitely one of our industry’s good supporting actors. She started her career with the film Taqdeer and then went on to star in Aradhana and Bobby, among other films. Farida Jalal had also participated as a child actress in the movie Chaudvi ka Chand. During her prime, she would often play the sister or girlfriend of many of the male leads.
Later she did roles of the mother, aunt or grandmother in films like Raja Hindustani, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and more.
She also played some really good roles in TV serials like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Shararat and Ammaji Ki Galli.
8. Shakti Kapoor
Aaau Lalita or Crime Master Gogo? How do you remember Shakti Kapoor? Our chota sa nanha sa pyaar sa munna of Bollywood! I feel there is not even 1 movie of 90s which does not have Shakti Kapoor in some role or the other. Shakti Kapoor has played roles of a villain, comedian, father, servant, friend, brother, relative and more. He is the epitome of versatility surely the most natural actor ever known to us.
He has not won a single award till date but then neither has many big stars. So we will keep the awards burden light and continue to cherish the wonderful acting done by our Crime Master Gogo!
Other important supporting actors include Saurabh Shukla, Anu Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Archana Puran Singh, Satish Shah, Himani Shivpuri, Reema Lagoo, Rajpal Yadav, Vinay Pathak and many many more without which our films would be incomplete.
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