Hema Malini is an Indian actress, writer, director, dancer, producer, and politician. She was one of the leadings actresses of Hilndi films during 1970s and 1980s. Hema Malini is also known for her association with social causes; she is a supporter of organizations like PETA India. Her life and career have inspired three biographical books so far.
Popular Indian dancer and actor Sudha Chandran was a phenomenal dancer since her early years. She was 16 when she lost her right leg after developing gangrene, following an accident. Sudha continued to perform, wearing a prosthetic leg, and went on win a National Award for the film Mayuri.
Shobana is an Indian Bharatanatyam dancer and film actress. Widely regarded as one of the best Bharatanatyam dancers, Shobana was honored with the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award, in 2006. She is also renowned for her acting skills, winning two National Film Awards for Best Actress for her performances in Manichitrathazhu (1993) and Mitr, My Friend (2001).
Along with her sisters Lalitha and Ragini, Padmini was part of the Travancore sisters of the 1940s’ South Indian film industry. A trained Bharatanatyam dancer, she later won a Filmfare award for the Hindi movie Kajal and a Filmfare nomination for Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai.
Meenakshi Seshadri is an Indian former actress, dancer, and model. A former beauty queen, Meenakhsi Seshadri became one of the leading Bollywood actresses during the 1980s and 1990s. After retiring as an actress, Meenakshi Seshadri started running Cherish Dance School in the USA. Her life and work inspired a documentary titled Meenakshi Accept Her Wings which was released in 2006.
Along with her younger sister, Shantipriya, Bhanupriya rocked the Tamil and Telugu film industries in the 1980s and the 1990s. The three-time Nandi Award winner is known for hits such as Swarnakamalam and Chatrapati. She bagged her debut film, Mella Pesungal, after impressing director Bharathi Raja with her dance skills.
Vyjayanthimala is an Indian actress and dancer who played a major role in the Hindi film industry during the 1950s and 1960s. One of the most popular actresses of all time, Vyjayanthimala is also known for her contribution to South Indian movies. She is the recipient of several awards, including Filmfare Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards at International film festivals.
Apart from being a talented Bharatnatyam dancer, Sukanya has also made her mark as an actor in South Indian films. She won a Filmfare for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Malayalam film Innathe Chintha Vishayam. She has also appeared in series and has released two devotional albums.
Sukumari was an Indian actress known for her contribution to Tamil and Malayalam films. One of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, Sukumari acted in over 2,500 films in a career that spanned over 50 years. In 2003, she was honored with the Padma Shri. In 2011, she won the National Film Award for her performance in Namma Gramam.
Padma Shri- and Padma Bhushan-winning classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai received a unique education, having been part of both the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Shantiniketan. She specialized in Bharatnatyam and Kathakali, and later launched her own dance academy, along with her physicist husband Vikram Sarabhai.
Mallika Sarabhai is an Indian classical dancer, activist, and actress. She is best known as the daughter of prominent space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. An accomplished Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer, Mallika Sarabhai uses the dance forms to bring about a social change. She is the recipient of Gujarat's prestigious Gaurav Puraskar and India's third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan.
Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian dancer and choreographer. An exponent of Bharatanatyam, Rukmini Devi helped revive the original sadhir style of the dance form. She also popularized Bharatanatyam among Indian upper-caste elites for which she was named in India Today's 100 People Who Shaped India list. In 1956, Rukmini Devi Arundale was honored with the Padma Bhushan.
Muktha is an Indian actress best known for her work in the Tamil and Malayalam film and television industries. Apart from being an actress, Muktha is also an entrepreneur and a classical dancer. Her performance in her debut Tamil movie Thaamirabharani earned her a nomination at the Vijay Awards.
Lakshmi Gopalaswamy is an Indian classical dancer and actress. Best known for her work in Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam films, Gopalaswamy has won many prestigious awards like Kerala State Film Awards, Karnataka State Film Awards, and Filmfare Awards South. An exponent of Bharatanatyam, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy has also appeared on TV as a judge for a dance show titled Thakadhimi.
Sheela Rajkumar is an Indian Bharatanatyam dancer and film actress best known for her work in the Tamil film and TV industry. She achieved popularity after playing Amudha in the 2017 drama film To Let which earned her a couple of award nominations. Rajkumar is also known for her portrayal of Thenmozhi in the 2021 political satire television film Mandela.
Kalaranjini is an Indian classical dancer and actress best known for her work in the Tamil and Malayalam film and TV industries. She is also known as the older sister of popular actresses Kalpana and Urvashi. Kalaranjini achieved popularity in the 1980s when she was regarded as one of the most successful actresses.
Prabha is an Indian Kuchipudi dancer and actress best known for her work in the Telugu film industry. The recipient of two Nandi Awards, Prabha has acted alongside popular stars like Akkineni Nageswara Rao and N. T. Rama Rao. As a Kuchipudi dancer, Prabha has given 40 performances in the United States of America.
Sonal Mansingh is an Indian classical dancer best known for her skills as an Odissi and Bharatanatyam dancer. Over the years, Mansingh has been honored with several prestigious awards like Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship. In 2003, she became only the second woman after Balasaraswati to be honored with India’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.
Indrani Rahman was an Indian dancer who could perform multiple classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathakali, and Kuchipudi. Rahman is credited with popularizing dance forms like Odissi in the west. In 1969, she was honored with the Padma Shri Award for her contribution to Indian classical dance. In 1981, Indrani Rahman won the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
Yamini Krishnamurthy is an Indian dancer best known for her skills in popular dance forms like Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam. She is credited with founding the Yamini School of Dance where she teaches. Yamini Krishnamurthy has been honored with many awards, such as the Padma Vibhushan. She also has the honor of being a resident dancer of the Tirupati temple.
T. Balasaraswati was an Indian dancer best remembered for her contribution to the popular classical dance form, Bharatanatyam. Balasaraswati is credited with popularizing the dance form throughout India and in different parts of the world. In 1977, she was honored with India's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. In 1981, she received the prestigious Sangeetha Kalasikhamani award.