S. S. Rajamouli is an Indian film director best known for his work in the Telugu film industry. Rajamouli is credited with directing one of the most successful and popular Indian films of all time, Baahubali. In 2016, S. S. Rajamouli was honored with the prestigious Padma Shri Award for his contribution to Indian cinema.
Raj Kapoor was an Indian film actor, producer, and director best remembered for his contribution to the Hindi film industry. The recipient of 11 Filmfare Awards and three National Film Awards, Raj Kapoor is regarded as one of the greatest Indian actors of all time. In 1987, he was honored with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest honor in cinema.
Satyajit Ray was an Indian film director, music composer, and writer. Considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Ray became the first Indian to be honored with an Academy Honorary Award in 1992. Apart from Indian filmmakers, international directors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, Wes Anderson, and Christopher Nolan have been influenced by Satyajit Ray.
M Night Shyamalan is a filmmaker who is known for making original films with twist endings and supernatural plots. Born in India to a doctor couple, he moved to USA with his parents when he was a baby. He was expected to pursue medicine like his parents, but he chose a different path and became a filmmaker, finding success in his chosen profession.
Kader Khan was an Indian actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film director. After starting his career as a professor of civil engineering, Kader Khan went on to become a prolific screenwriter for Hindi movies and ended up writing dialogues for 200 movies as well. In 2019, he was honored posthumously with the Padma Shri.
Known for epic romantic and historic drama films such as Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, and Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an Indian director recognized for his signature opulent sets and star-studded cast. The five-time National Film Award winner also has a Padma Shri in his kitty.
Though he initially aspired to be a cricketer, Priyadarshan quit cricket to focus on films after an eye injury. The Padma Shri- and National Award-winning filmmaker has delivered countless hits such as Virasat, Kanchivaram, Marakkar, and Hera Pheri. Many of his Malayalam films featured superstar Mohanlal. He has also penned cricket columns.
Six-time National Award-winning Indian director Mani Ratnam was born to a film distributor father and left his consulting job to enter films in his younger days. Known for iconic films such as Roja, Bombay, and Guru, he specializes in topics related to socio-political issues and terrorism. He has also won a Padma Shri.
Known for his cult films such as Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., 3 Idiots, and PK, Rajkumar Hirani showed a keen interest in theater and film editing in his early days. He also tried his luck in directing ad films and appeared in an iconic Fevicol ad. He has also won 11 Filmfare Awards.
10 Yash Chopra
The man who revolutionized the Bollywood romantic film genre, Yash Chopra was a legendary filmmaker who gave Hindi cinema some of its most cult films, such as Kabhi Kabhie, Deewar, Darr, and Lamhe. The Padma Bhushan winner was also honored by the Swiss government for popularizing the country through his films.
The elder son of legendary Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra is a talented filmmaker in his own right. Starting his career assisting his father in films such as Lamhe and Chandni, he soared to fame with the blockbuster hit Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at 23 and later even won the National Award.
Anurag Kashyap is an Indian filmmaker, writer, editor, and actor. Best known for his contribution to the Hindi film industry, Kashyap has been credited with directing critically acclaimed films like Raman Raghav 2.0 and Gangs of Wasseypur. He is also credited with co-founding Good Bad Films. Over the years, Anurag Kashyap has received several prestigious awards like Filmfare Awards.
13 Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn, a two-time National Award winner, has also been honored with the Padma Shri. The son of stuntman Veeru Devgan, he began his career with the blockbuster hit Phool Aur Kaante. He later delivered stellar performances in films such as Dilwale and Zakhm, and now owns a production company.
14 Mahesh Bhatt
Mahesh Bhatt is an Indian filmmaker and screenwriter best known for his contribution to the Hindi film industry. Widely regarded as one of the most popular film directors in India, Bhatt has received critical acclaim for many of his films like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and Tamanna. Mahesh Bhatt is also credited with mentoring many actors like Anupam Kher.
Born into a family of film producers and theater owners in Bombay, Bollywood producer and director Sajid Nadiadwala is the man behind films such as Judwaa, Housefull, and the National Award-winning Chhichhore. He made headlines in 1993, when his then-wife, actor Divya Bharti, fell from their fifth-floor apartment and died.
One of the greatest actors in Telugu and Tamil cinema, Savitri earned the titled of the "First Female Superstar of South Indian cinema" from her fans. The Rashtrapati Award- and Nandi Award-winning actor had also secretly married Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan, who was already married and involved in another affair.
18 Ekta Kapoor
The daughter of yesteryear actor Jeetendra, Ekta Kapoor has revolutionized the Hindi tele-serial scene with her daily soaps. Known for her fascination with the letter “K”, the Padma Shri-winning Balaji Telefilms founder has produced iconic soaps such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and films such as Ragini MMS.
N. T. Rama Rao was an Indian actor, director, editor, producer, and politician. One of the most celebrated and popular Telugu actors of all time, Rao is best remembered for playing Hindu deities like Krishna. He was also an influential politician; he served as Andhra Pradesh's chief minister for seven years.
The daughter of legendary actor-director Aparna Sen, Konkona Sen Sharma is a two-time National Award-winning actor. She has impressed audiences with her performances in films such as Mr. and Mrs. Iyer and Wake Up Sid and has also delivered an award-winning directorial venture, A Death in the Gunj.
Born to legendary screenwriter and poet Javed Akhtar and actor and screenwriter Honey Irani, Farhan Akhtar was destined to be part of the film industry. His debut directorial venture Dil Chahta Hai won him a National Award, following which he delivered stunning performances in films such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Born to Goan Christians in Bombay, Dinesh D'Souza later moved to the U.S. for higher studies. The Indian-American right-wing filmmaker and writer is known for his anti-Obama documentary 2016: Obama's America. Convicted of illegal campaign contribution, he was later pardoned by Trump. He was also associated with an adultery scandal.
24 S. Shankar
27 Karan Johar
Born to Dharma Productions founder and legendary filmmaker Yash Johar, Karan Johar initially worked as an assistant for Yash Raj Films. He soared to fame as a director with the film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and later also gained both popularity and criticism for his talk show Koffee with Karan.
29 Aamir Khan
Considered one of India’s most influential and best actors of all time, Aamir Khan is known for his interesting choice of films, which are well-crafted, entertaining and commercially successful. They mostly have a social message and are appreciated both by critics and the people. Sarfarosh, Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, 3 Idiots, PK and Dangal are some of his acclaimed films.
30 Guru Dutt
Famed Indian lyricist, poet, author, screenwriter, and film director Gulzar has been a major figure in Bollywood for over six decades. He started doing odd jobs as a teenager and eventually entered films, where he made a name for himself as a lyricist and screenwriter. He soon started directing films as well. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.
32 Asha Parekh
Asha Parekh is an Indian actress best known for her work in the Hindi film industry. Parekh was one of the most successful and highest-paid actresses of the 1960s and 1970s. She is also regarded as one of the most influential Bollywood actresses of all time. In 1992, she was honored with India's fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri.
33 Manoj Kumar
34 Neena Gupta
National Award- and Filmfare-winning actor Neena Gupta is best known for films such as Badhaai Ho and Woh Chokri. She had played Priya Kapoor in Saans, a serial directed by her. She has also been in the news for her affair with West Indian cricketer Viv Richards, with whom she had a daughter.
35 Rohit Shetty
36 Mira Nair
37 Dev Anand
Padma Bhushan- and Dadasaheb Phalke Award-winning actor Dev Anand was known both for his blockbuster films and his Evergreen Hero persona. Apart from performing in successful films such as Guide and Jewel Thief, he also directed the hit Hare Rama Hare Krishna. He also co-established Navketan Films with his brother, Chetan Anand.
Legendary actor Gemini Ganesan was also known as the King of Romance in Tamil cinema. The Padma Shri-winning artiste achieved star status with Manam Pola Mangalyam. He was also known for his multiple affairs and marriages. He had eight children, of whom Rekha, later became a star actor.
39 Pankaj Kapur
40 Prakash Jha
42 Amjad Khan
43 Farah Khan
Farah Khan was not a stranger to films, being the daughter of a stuntman/filmmaker and a first cousin of actor/director Farhan Akhtar. Initially wanting to be a director, she focused on choreography later. The National Award- and Filmfare-winning choreographer is known for her work in films such as Dabangg and Koi... Mil Gaya.
45 Jim Sarbh
Revathi was discovered by director Bharathi Raja when he chanced upon a photo of hers, clicked at a school fashion show and later featured on a magazine cover. The three-time National Award-winning actor is known for movies such as Mitr, My Friend and Thevar Magan. She is also a talented Bharatanatyam dancer.