Best On-Screen Actor Couples of Bollywood
Greatest On-Screen Couples of Bollywood
Since love is the central theme in most Bollywood plots, it would not be wrong to say that the relationship between the two leading protagonists remains the single most important attraction and its depiction the biggest challenge in Bollywood. While all great actors have the ability to form a great and convincing pair with their co-star, there have been certain leading pairs which have been extremely successful in regaling the audiences with their on- screen relationships. Their performances make love come alive on the big screen with its complexities and at the same time, are able to portray the interactions of their relationship with the social milieu in which it exists and thrives in a way that keeps audiences glued to them!
Here are the ten leading on-screen couples in the history of Bollywood, beginning with Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani, who came together in the thirties to create ten hit movies and become the first great on-screen couple of Bollywood. Of course, there were many others, who also set the big screen on fire, but these ten couples created an aura that remains unmatched till date.
Their success was largely due to their talent, great acting skills and their passion on screen, but occasionally, their real life chemistry might have also helped .....
NARGIS & RAJ KAPOOR
The Greatest On Screen Couple of Bollywood
The legacy of Nargis and Raj Kapoor as a leading pair of Bollywood will probably last as long as the history of Bollywood itself. During the eight years from 1948 to 1956, they came together in sixteen movies, six of them under the RK banner, and that itself should state the success they enjoyed on screen. Their best was reserved for Barsaat (1949), Awara (1952) and Shree 420 (1955), though almost all their movies did well at the box office. They complemented each other and their comfort in each other's presence is what makes them, arguably, the best ever on screen couple in Bollywood history.
Dum bhar jo idhar muh phere.... AWARA (1952)
SHARMILA TAGORE & RAJESH KHANNA
They Changed the Course of Bollywood History
The magic of on screen pairing of Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna began with Aradhana (1969), centred around the female character, which became a turning point in the history of Bollywood Movies and Music. It catapulted Rajesh Khanna to superstardom, established R D Burman as the new musical maestro, and with "Mere sapno ki rani....", pushedKishore Kumar, the singer to the top of Bollywood music. Their greatest movie together was Amar Prem (1972), one of the best movies ever made in Bollywood. They had several other successes too, in Safar (1970), Chhoti Bahu (1971), Daag (1973) and Avishkar (1974).
Gunguna rahe hain bhanwre .... from ARADHANA (1969)
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WAHEEDA RAHMAN & GURU DUTT
They Created Greatest Masterpieces Together
The association of Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rahman can be considered a tale of hope, destiny, proximity, intensity, irony and disappointment, yet even with the very few movies they did together, they remain entrenched in history of Bollywood because of the greatness of those movies and how well they complemented each other on screen to create those masterpieces. Waheeda Rahman was a critical part of all Guru Dutt's classics - Pyasa (1957), Kagaz ke Phool (1959), Chaudvi ka Chand (1960) and Saheb Bibi aur Ghulam (1962), and their on screen pairing will remain a legend, irrespective of whatever might have happened off screen.
Bhanwara bada nadan hai ..... SAHEB, BIBI AUR GHULAM (1962)
VYJAYANTIMALA & DILIP KUMAR
The Most Enduring Couple On Screen
Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala had long careers at Bollywood of over two decades each, in which they came together on screen only seven times, but each time they did, they wove a relationship that made people forget that it was only on screen. Their wonderful on screen chemistry began with Devdas (1955) of Bimal Roy, and continued in Naya Daur (1957), Madhumati (1958), Paigham (1959), Ganga Jamuna (1961), Leader (1964) and Sunghursh (1968). Their pairing remains one of the best ever seen in Bolltwood.
Dil tadap tadap ke .... from MADHUMATI (1958)
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JAYA BHADURI & AMITABH BACHCHAN
Their Coming together Changed Everything, On Screen, Off it too ...
By 1973, Amitabh Bachchan had acted in eleven films and nothing, in spite of his award winning performance in Anand (1970) ever indicated the phenomenon that he later became. At a time when most star heroines were not too enthused to even work with him, he was paired with Jaya Bhaduri in a movie called Bansi Birju (1972). Jaya, a bigger star, then joined him in Zanjeer (1973) and with that began the legend of the Angry Young Man, whom Indian masses lapped up as the mascot of their resentment with the establishment. Their screen pairing resulted in a string of classics like Abhiman (1973), Chupke Chupke (1975), Sholay (1975) and Mili (1975) creating the base for the rise of the greatest ever superstardom of Bollywood. It gave rise to a cult that might have changed the character of Indian society - a cult whose impact is yet to be fully documented in history.
Deewane hain deewano ko ..... from ZANJEER (1973)
KAJOL & SHAHRUKH KHAN
They Brought Love Back to the Big Screen ..........
In fifities, love was a matter of life and death, as the protagonists had to struggle against their families, the traditions and the society. Come nineties and the society was too busy with too many things to bother about love, even though Bollywood kept insisting on its age old theme. It was in such changing times that the on screen pairing of Kajol and Shahrukh Khan brough the old time charm and passion of love back into Bollywood with some very convinving performances in Baazigar (1993), Karan Arjun (1995), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Kuchch Kuchch Hota Hai (1998) and later in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001) and My Name is Khan (2010). They remain the most charming on screen pair of contemporary Bollywood.
Tujhe dekha to ye jaana sanam ... from DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE (1995)
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KALPANA KARTIK & DEV ANAND
When Real Life Chemistry Manifested On Screen
Mona Singh, graduating at the prestigious Bedde's College in 1950, incidentally participated in Miss Shimla contest, won the event and was wooed by a young producer, to act in movies, where she was christened Kalpana Kartik and paired with Dev Anand in the movie Bazi (1951) directed by Guru Dutt. This stroke of destiny lasted for another five movies Aandhiyan (1952), Taxi Driver (1954), Humsafar (1953), House no 44 (1954) and Nau Do Gyaraah (1957) where the two leading actors shared a great chemistry. It was not accident, of course, that they secretly got married on the sets of Taxi Driver in 1954. It is their real life chemistry that still makes their pairing look so charming on screen - a great treat to watch!
Aankhon mein kya ji .... from NAU DO GYARAH (1957)
MUMTAZ & RAJESH KHANNA
The Most Charming On Screen Couple
Mumtaz and Rajesh Khanna remain the only on screen couple of Bollywood with a 100% box office success rate. Their great on screen chemistry resulted in eight successive blockbusters and coincided with the superstardom of Rajesh Khanna, while the exit of Mumtaz from movies consequent to her marriage similarly coincided with the decline of Rajesh Khanna as a star. The two matched each other almost perfectly in Do Raaste (1969), Bandhan (1969), Sachcha Jhoota (1970), Dushman (1971), Apna Desh (1972), Roti (1974), Aap ki kasam (1974) and Prem Kahani (1975).
Chhup gaye saare nazare ..... from DO RAASTE (1969)
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DEVIKA RANI & ASHOK KUMAR
The First Great On Screen Couple of Bollywood
Devika Rani was the first female star of Bollywood. Her on screen pairing with Ashok Kumar, then a Laboratory Assistant at their studio, was a stroke of destiny resulting from Rani's short elopement with the hero of the movie. Their association in Achchut Kanya (1936) created a sensation and continued for a number of movies like Jeewan Naiyya (1936), Janmabhoomi (1936), Izzat (1937), Savitri (1937), Vachan (1938), Nirmala (1938) and Anjan (1941). Their natural acting, particularly that of Devika Rani, was instrumental in establishing them as the first star pair of Bollywood.
Main ban ki chidiya ban ke .... from ACHHUT KANYA (1937)
MEENA KUMARI & RAJ KUMAR
A very convincing On Screen Couple .....
Raj Kumar and Meena Kumari have not been celebrated as a legendary pair on Bollywood screen, and the reason was probably their infequent association in only six movies, beginning with Shararat (1959), Ardhangini (1959), Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi (1960), Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Kajal (1965) and Pakeezah (1971). However, their on screen chemistry, even in their brief association is something not easily matched by others. Meen Kumari's passion, unmatched till date, gets fully complemented in Raj Kumar's serenity in his roles in these movies, something that is not exactly what Raj Kumar is usually remembered for. Their on screen association, one of the best ever on screen, deserves far more credit.
Ruk ja raat, thahar ja re chanda ... from DIL EK MANDIR (19__)
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© 2012 V Kumar
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