The top character actors in Bollywood

Forget the superstars for a minute and concentrate on the actors that really drive the film. Here are Bollywood’s top 10 finest actors.

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Manoj Bajpai

We love this 45 year old, offbeat actor who never got put off by the roadblocks that came his way. He was rejected four times from the National School of Drama but then went on to join Barry John’s acting school.

His acting career started off with theatre and then he went on to do some great roles in huge films like Bandit Queen, Aks, Satya and Gangs of Wasseypur among others. He has received praise for most of his work and been recognised with several Filmfare awards as well as multiple National Film Awards.

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Anupam Kher

Anupam Kher is an actor who has appeared in over 450 movies and over a 100 plays! He is such a talented actor who plays diverse roles. He switches roles from the comic, to the villain to the loving father so effortlessly.

Anupam Kher was born and raised in Shimla and is an alumnus and former chairperson of the National School of Drama. He has appeared in many big Bollywood movies over the past two decades, like Roop Ki Rani, Chooron ka Raja, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le jayenge, Kuch kuch Hota Hai, Dil, Khosla ka Ghosla, A Wednesday, Special 26 and many more. He has had roles in Hollywood films as well, most notably the 2013 Oscar winner, Silver Linings Playbook.

Did you know, Anupam Kher has been honoured with the Padma Shri by the government for his contribution to Indian cinema and has won the Filmfare Award for Best performance in a Comic Role five times.

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Arshad Warsi

Arshad Warsi is loved for his spirit and the joy he brings into every character he plays. You can see the passion in his roles and the life he adds to each character.

Arshad Warsi is also a choreographer and a dancer who made his debut in 1996 with Tere Mere Sapne. He is best known for his role as ‘Circuit’ in the comedy series Munnabhai M.B.B.S (2003) and Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006). In recent times, he is also known for his role as Babban in Ishqiya (2010) and Dedh Ishqiya (2014), and for his role in Jolly LLB (2013), which won him acclaim and also his first solo hit!

Arshad has made a space for himself in the industry with a lot of dedication and hard work and his growth as an actor has also been amazing.

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Konkona Sen Sharma

Konkona Sen Sharma is an actress and the daughter of filmmaker and actress Aparna Sen. She made her debut as a child artist in the film Indira (1983), and debuted as an adult in the Bengali thriller Ek Ja Aache Kanya (2000).

We love her because she primarily appears in Indian arthouse and independent films, and her achievements in this genre have established her as one of the leading actresses of contemporary parallel cinema.

Konkona has played parts in meaningful cinema and full-blown Bollywood entertainers. She first gained attention with the English film Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, for which she also received the National Film Award for Best Actress. She has also won two consecutive Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Awards for her performance in Omkara and Life in a … Metro.

She is the actress of choice for discerning directors nationwide, looking for credibility and honesty in a performance. Truly a woman of substance.

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Nawazuddin Siddiqui

This actor made his Bollywood debut in 1999, with a small role in the Aamir Khan-starrer, Sarfarosh. Originally a chemist from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Siddiqui got bored and wanted to do more. He moved to Delhi, started watching plays, worked as a watchman at an office and associated himself with the Sakshi Theatre Group. This also got him working with Manoj Bajpai and Saurabh Shukla.

Nawaz’s known for many of his roles now, but it was his role as a journalist in Aamir Khan Production’s Peepli Live that earned him recognition as an actor. Black Friday, Kahani, Gangs of Wasseypur, Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2 and Taalash are a some of his big movies, all of which earned him wide critical acclaim and many awards.

Siddiqui became a household name in 2012, when his acting career reached a high point with Gangs of Wasseypur 2.

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Rajpal Yadav

Known for his comic roles in Hindi movies, Rajpal Yadav started with television in the Doordarshan television serial Mungeri Ke Bhai Naurangilal.

It was Ram Gopal Verma who acknowledged Rajpal Yadav in the film Shool with a small role as a coolie.

He also excelled in a variety of roles in movies such as Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, Hungama, Waqt: The Race Against Time, Chup Chup Ke, Garam Masala, Phir Hera Pheri, Dhol to name a few.

In spite of comedy being his main orientation, Rajpal Yadav performed leading character roles in films like Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon and Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh. He has appeared in over 150 films.

He has won numerous awards in his career, including Best Actor in a Negative Role for his performance in the film Jungle, Sansui Best Actor in a negative Role for the film Jungle, he was nominated for Best Actor for film in Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahati Hoon.

He has also been honoured with the prestigious Yash Bharati Award, Uttar Pradesh and the Janpad Ratna Award, Shahjahanpur.

A well-known artist in the contemporary Indian Film industry, we love him for his industrious persona, devotion to the business of entertaining and love and appreciation for his fans!

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Deepak Dobriyal

Deepak Dobriyal is a film and theatre actor who started his acting career in 1994 with the eminent theatre director, Arvind Gaur. Tughlaq was one of the many major plays he did with Gaur.

Originally from Uttarakhand state, the actor shifted to Delhi when he was five.

Deepak has worked in many films over the past few years and is very well known for his roles in Omkara, Gulaal and Tanu Weds Manu.

We love Deepak because he has his way with his characters and he can make everyone relate or react to the character effortlessly.

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Vijay Raaz

Vijay Raaz’s breakthrough came when he played the role of Dubeyji in the movie Monsoon Wedding. Since then, Raaz has been cast in small, often comedic roles, in many Hindi movies, often depicting the character of a common man. He marks his directorial debut with the upcoming release of Kya Dilli Kya Lahore.

His first mainstream film cast as the leading actor was Raghu Romeo, a box office success where Raaz depicts the life of a confused lower-class Indian man.

He came into the spotlight for his memorable performance in the movie Run. In which his Kauwa Biryani act was highly acclaimed. His performance in the movie attained cult status and was praised by the masses. He also played a major role in the film Delhi Belly, where he played a ruthless gangster.

We love him for his most recent performance and comic timing in Dedh Ishqiya as Nawab Jaan Muhammed. If you haven’t seen it, we recommend you watch it for the strong performances by all the stars including Vijay!

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Poorna Jagannathan

An actress and producer who came to prominence after starring in the Bollywood film Delhi Belly opposite Imran Khan.

Poorna is also best known for initiating and producing the play “Nirbhaya” by Yael Farber, which won the 2013 Amnesty International Award and was called by The Telegraph as “One of the most powerful pieces of theater you’ll ever see”

The daughter of a diplomat, Jagannathan was born in Tunis, Tunisia.

We love her for being a strong, goal-oriented woman! A journalism student who followed her passion and is recognized and respected as a strong actor and one of the most fashionable women on the planet!

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Kangana Ranaut

Last, but far from the least is the upcoming Queen of Bollywood, Kagana Ranaut. This small town girl who came to Mumbai and made it big!

Kangana made her debut in the 2006 thriller Gangster, for which she was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She subsequently received praise for portraying emotionally intense characters in dramas like Woh Lamhe, Life in a … Metro and Fashion. She won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Filmfare in the same category for these three.

She has been a part of many commercially successful films like Raaz: The Mystery Continues, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, Krrish 3 and the box office hit, Tanu Weds Manu.

Kangana Ranaut is an actor who was typecast in certain type of roles and was always perceived as an outsider who didn’t have a position among mainstream actresses. Queen was a drama-comedy that changed things around. She is finally getting the recognition she deserves and is firmly in the running to rule Bollywood.

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