Cinema and television are similar, yet different. Like Vidya Balan says in The Dirty Picture, “It’s about Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment.” Whatever the medium be, entertainment is all that matters. Though television is not the first choice of actors and actresses, many have been brave enough to experiment. Quite a few of those experiments have been successful, and even restored the fading career of many or catapulted unknown faces to fame. Actresses usually do not consider TV a good option but of late there has been a surge in big names appearing on TV shows. Here is a list of top 10 Indian actresses who have appeared on TV.
10. Aruna Irani:
Aruna Irani was a yesteryear’s Bollywood actress who has acted in over 300 movies, mostly playing supporting roles. A successful actress of the 70s, Aruna started playing the one-stop-mom in Hindi films of the 90s. But her move to television was a very successful one. Aruna directed as well as acted in TV series like ‘Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand’, ‘Mehndi Tere Naam Ki’ and the more recent ones like ‘Sanjog Se Bani Sangini’ and ‘Parichay’.
9. Yami Gautam:
Yami Gautam shot to fame with her portrayal of the girl-next-door in the film Vicky Donor. Before her claim to fame, she acted in TV series like ‘Chand Ke Paar Chalo’ and ‘Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam’ and made her presence felt by giving heartwarming performances.
8. Poonam Dhillon:
Poonam Dhillion is a popular yesteryear Bollywood diva who was a contestant on Big Boss Season 3. She was one of the three finalists of that season. Her prior acting experience played a big role in her getting to the finals in a show where you are on camera, 24X7 for 3 months. Although Big Boss was the only time Dhillon did a TV show, she was much appreciated by the audience.
7. Sonali Bendre:
Just when we thought this Indian actress of the past decade has gone into exile, she was back with a bang on the television. Sonali appeared as a judge on reality shows like ‘India’s Got Talent’ and ‘Hindustan Ke Hunarbaz’. More than anything else, it was Sonali’s ephemeral beauty that hogged the entertainment pages of newspapers. Of course, at a time when she played the leading lady to almost all the actors, the audiences were trying to look for traces of talent in her.
6. Isha Sharvani:
One may not be able to recall even a single film of the seven Isha Sharvani did in Bollywood. But her performances on the celebrity dance reality show ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ would never be forgotten. She tried varied dance forms on the show, and managed to win hearts – something she failed to do with her movies. The brave dancer also got her hand fractured during one of the rehearsals but the fighter in her didn’t let her put the dancing shoes away. She was an ultimate delight to watch, though she had to withdraw her participation due to injury.
5. Prachi Desai:
Prachi started her career with ‘Kasamh Se’, a TV family drama, and went on the become the face of hit movies like ‘Rock On’, ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbai’ and ‘I, Me aur Main’. Her simple girl looks and acting worked in getting her roles in upbeat movies. Prachi is, today, one of the most sought after actress in B-town and needless to say the only female to have made a very successful transition from TV to films.
4. Shilpa Shetty:
This dancing diva of Bollywood gave her sinking career a new lease of life when she appeared and won the UK reality show ‘Big Brother Season 5’. A racism controversy that she faced in the house might be the reason behind her immense popularity but this Indian beauty sure won many hearts. She successfully hosted Big Boss Season 2 before venturing into the world of IPL where she co-owns Rajasthan Royals.
3. Priyanka Chopra:
This former Miss World and reigning queen of Bollywood hit the small screen with the reality show ‘Fear Factor-Khatron Ke Khiladi’ back in 2010. She replaced Akshay Kumar, and did quite well by bringing in the glamour quotient. Her performance in the show earned Priyanka the most impactful debut award at the Indian Telly Awards that year.
2. Vidya Balan:
Not many remember this but the critically acclaimed actress of today has been a part of a commercially successful TV show of the past. She played the shy, introvert and studious Radhika in the comedy ‘Hum Panch’. In fact Vidya started her career with this great comedy, of its times.
1. Madhuri Dixit Nene:
The ‘Dhak Dhak’ girl needs no introduction. She left a very successful Bollywood career to marry and settle in the US with a family. When she decided to come back, Madhuri chose television as the medium. She did a few films but also judged the dance reality show ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’. Her latkas and jhatkas have not faded and her smile continues to charm people across India.