The glitz and glamour of Bollywood never fails to attract hordes of people with lofty dreams and high aspirations. The film stars end up becoming Gods to many of their fans. For many, it is their struggle stories that inspire these fans to run after their own personal dreams of achieving stardom.
Well many, like the heirs of the Kapoor khandan were born with the silver spoons, and the stage already set for their debut the moment they were born. On the other hand, actors like Akshay Kumar and the King Khan, Shah Rukh had to put in their sweat and blood to make a mark in the industry. Their stories would inspire anyone to go after their biggest dreams.
So, here is the list of actors and actresses who became what they are today after a life of struggle:
#1. Amitabh Bachchan
Image Courtesy: Deewar
Despite having been born to a renowned writer and poet, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, the journey in this industry was not a cakewalk for Amitabh Bachchan. Before stepping into the industry, Big B initially aspired to become a radio jockey at the beginning of his career. However, he was rejected by the radio station because of his baritone. He even has a record 12 flops before registering his first hit with Zanjeer.
#2. Boman Irani
Boman Irani rose to fame as Dr. Asthana in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. He was 44 when he tasted success for the first time! Prior to stepping into Bollywood, he worked as a waiter at the Taj Hotel. Later, he joined his mother to run their ancestral bakery shop.
#3. Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Image Courtesy: GQ India
With impactful roles in movies like Gangs of Wasseypur, Badlapur, and many more, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has proved that real talent cannot stay hidden for long. Born in a poor farmer family, Siddiqui always dreamt of watching movies in theatres. Starting his career as a watchman in Delhi, the big success in his life was a job as a chief chemist in Baroda. Prior to becoming an acclaimed actor of Bollywood film fraternity, Siddiqui had done many roles as a junior artist in films like Sarfarosh, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., etc.
#4. Madhuri Dixit
Image Courtesy: Dedh Ishqiya
The Dhak Dhak girl of Bollywood had to struggle for years before she took her flight to become the nation’s heartthrob. Her struggling period was all the more tough due to non-acceptance from the industry who did not believe in her talent.
Image Courtesy: Umrao Jaan
One of the finest and most beautiful veterans of Indian films, Rekha has won many accolades for her performances. However, life was not a bed of roses for her in the beginning. Born out of wedlock, Rekha’s childhood was not only filled with criticism and rejection, but she had to survive severe financial crisis as well. Reluctantly, she quit school at the age of 13 and began her film career. Now at 60, she stops as many hearts as she did in her prime years!
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#6. Dev Anand
The evergreen Dev Anand gave the industry a new style, a new definition, and of course, several hit movies and songs that will remain as precious treasures for the nation! However, success did not come easy to him. Before achieving stardom, Dev Anand started his career as a clerk in an accountancy firm for a meagre salary of Rs 85.
#7. Arshad Warsi
Known for his role of Circuit in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., Arshad Warsi is a well-known face in Bollywood now. However, life has been hard for him. Orphaned at the age of 14, Warsi managed his livelihood by working as a door-to-door cosmetics salesman!
#8. Akshay Kumar
Image Courtesy: Brothers
Originally christened as Rajiv Bhatia, the ‘Khiladi’ of Bollywood was not born with a silver spoon. Although destined to become a Bollywood biggie, Akshay had to survive his fair share of struggles early on. Before becoming what he is today, Akshay has juggled between many careers and jobs. Not only did he work as a chef and waiter in a restaurant in Bangkok, but he also used to sell clothes in India that he brought from Bangkok and Singapore. He also tried his hand in helping his friend sell plots and property, from where he earned a little amount of commission.
Image Courtesy: Enthiran
The ‘God of South Indian cinema’, Rajinikanth had to struggle for nine years before he got the opportunity to become the ‘Thalaiva’. Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor in Bangalore before he became a superstar.
#10. Dilip Kumar
Image Courtesy: Filmfare
Born to a fruit vendor, selling fruits came as an obvious call to Dilip Kumar. Later with his hard work, he earned enough to become a canteen owner and a dry fruit supplier. He was so poor that former BCCI president, PM Rungta had to pay for his tram tickets so that he could go to film studios from his home!
#11. Irrfan Khan
Image Courtesy: Jurassic World
This talented actor was told in his early days that his work does not merit any pay! But, he never gave up. He has acted in several critically as well as commercially acclaimed films in India and abroad. With his latest Hollywood venture, Jurassic World making 3,000 crore in its opening weekend, Irrfan Khan has become the highest grossing Khan in the industry!
#12. Zeenat Aman
Image Courtesy: Hare Rama Hare Krishna
The sexy diva of the 70s did not achieve fame overnight. The opportunity knocked on her door when she was least expecting it. After tasting failures in her initial films, Zeenat Aman was all packed to leave India with her mother. It was then that she was approached for Hare Rama Hare Krishna, a role that would change her film career trajectory for the better. While the film marked the onset of her career, she established herself as the new sensation in Bollywood.
#13. Shah Rukh Khan
Image Courtesy: Chennai Express
It is only fitting that a list that starts with the struggle story of the ‘Badshah of Bollywood’, should end with the story of the ‘King of Bollywood’. He tried his hands at the restaurant business by opening a joint in Daryaganj, Delhi. Needless to say, it did not turn out to be a success. He earned his first salary of Rs. 50 by working as an usher at a concert in Delhi. The rest, as they say, is history!
These Bollywood stars have certainly proved that destiny is not pre-written, but is created by our actions and hard work. Their stories will undoubtedly inspire you to remain optimistic, trust in your talent and skill, and never give up on trying just a little harder!