Child Superstars of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – Where they are?
The child artists of 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s were popular for their roles, though brief ones, in number of films released in the golden era. Cine followers anticipated these kids to rise into superstars as they grew up. But fate had something else in store for them. As the years passed by, their scope of acting in films narrowed down, which either led them to quit the industry or forced change paths – either work behind the scenes or shift from Hindi films to Television or Tollywood.
As they grew up, these adorable child artists could not live up to the expectations required of a leading role in the Hindi film industry. Pandolin takes a look at the journey of such child superstars who eventually lost their stardom. no stars.
Satyajeet Puri (also known as Master Satyajit) was a popular child actor and made his debut in Satyen Bose’s film Mere Lal in 1966. He was just six years old when he made his screen presence as a child artist. Later on, he went on to make a name by appearing in films like Wapas, Khilona, Anurag, Hari Darshan, Bidaai, Paheli etc. He also tried acting in films like Arjun, Khoon Bhari Maang, Shola Aur Shabnam, Dulaara, and Zameer but couldn’t gain fame in Bollywood. Now the actor is said to don the director’s hat for a film on the life of Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand, in which Shahrukh Khan is likely to play the lead.
Another actor turn director is Jugal Hansraj, who made his debut as a child artiste in the 1983 film Masoom. The film launched Hansraj’s career on a positive note and he went on to act in other films like Karma and Sultanat. A decade later, the all grown up Hansraj was seen in a lead role in Aa Gale Lag Jaa (1994) followed other films Papa Kehte Hai and Mohabbatein. His good looks seemed like his key to stardom in Bollywood but to the surprise of many he began doing minor roles in multi-starrers like Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Salaam Namaste and Aaja Nachle, before he called it quits and instead chose to be behind the scenes, directing films. As a director, his first venture was an animated film called Roadside Romeo that won him a National Film Award and many other awards at International film festivals. However his second film Pyaar Impossible again proved to be a disaster.
Master Raju (also known as Raju Shrestha) was one of the promising little stars who was first seen in Amar Prem in 1972. Over the years, he went on to act in over 200 films including Abhimaan, Bawarchi, Deewar etc. His roles in Chitchor and Kitab also won him National and Filmfare Awards as a child actor. Seeing Raju’s natural acting skill, everyone assumed that this boy would become a great star. But as time went by, Raju disappeared into oblivion after Afsana Pyar Ka in 1991. He failed to create the same on-screen charm as an adult which he did with ease as a child artist. The former child star recently made a comeback by providing the voice for Suraj Sharma’s eponymous role in the Hindi version of Life of Pi. Sources say that Raju Shrestha is now keen on donning the director’s hat!
Similar was the case with Master Bittoo aka Vishal Desai who was the most adorable child artist of the 70’s due to his excellent performance on screen. He was seen in popular movies like Chupke Chupke, Amar Akbar Anthony, Mr. Natwarlal, Do Aur Do Paanch, Amar Prem and Yaarana among many others. After Aakhri Sanghursh in 1997, the actor chose to be behind the scenes assisting directors. Now the news is that Bollywood’s very own Master Bittoo will be seen directing a movie under the banner of BR Films. Though nothing has been confirmed yet, we hope to see the 70’s child superstar increase his shine in the industry.
While these once young superstars are still trying their luck and talent in the industry, one of their contemporaries and another popular child artist of the 70’s, Master Alankar (aka Alankar Joshi), chose to quit acting after appearing in the 1987 film Satyamev Jayate. In an interview with a news channel, Alankar Joshi revealed that he soon realized his declining stardom as he was being offered supporting roles. In Bollywood where actors get easily stereotyped, he realized that it would have been next to impossible to establish himself as a lead actor. Hence, after much contemplation he went to New York to pursue higher studies and now owns an IT business spread all over the world. As a child artist Alankar was part of popular films Dream Girl, Don, Sholay, Seeta Aur Geeta, Andaz, Bachpan, Deewar, Zameer etc.
Following Alankar’s footsteps was girl child artist, Shahinda Baig, popularly known as Baby Guddu. She was the cutest girl child artist of the 70’s and 80’s and is still alive in many people’s mind. She began her film career with the 1974 film Paap Aur Punya and went on to act in films like Kudrat ka Kanoon, Pyar Ka Mandir, Shoorvir, Ghar Ghar Ki Kahaani, Ganga Tere Desh Mein, Jurm. She ended her film career with the 1991 film Inspector Dhanush. After this film, no one has seen the actress in any films. Reports say that Baby Guddu is now settled in Dubai.
While some child artists changed their directions, there are some continue to act in films but have not managed to regain the stardom they once had in their childhood.
Everyone knows Kunal Khemu! After his popular stint as a child artist in films like Sir, Raja Hindustani, Zakhm, Dushmann, Bhai and Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, he made his debut as the male lead in the 2005 film Kalyug which got him success, albeit for a short while. His next projects like Traffic Signal, Dhol, Superstar, Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge, Jai Veeru, Blood Money and Go Goa Gone failed to bring his talent in the limelight despite the commercial success of some of these films. Even though Kunal’s current situation puts him in the category of child star to no star, he definitely has the potential to become a rising star if he gets a little selective of the films that he does.
Have you see the film Pardes? Do you remember Ganga’s little brother Potla, played by known singer Aditya Narayan, then a child actor. He also made a popular appearance as a child actor in Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hain where he played Salman Khan’s son. Besides being a trained singer from a very young age, Aditya also had the potential to become a successful actor but luck seems to have run out on him. Recently Aditya played the lead in Vikram Bhatt’s Shaapit but the film failed to get him any acknowledgement as a mainstream actor. However, he has been singing for many films since his childhood and his career as a playback singer is playing a prevalent role in his career. Now the singer cum actor is busy assisting ace filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the film Ram Leela. Only time will tell what Aditya’s future holds in store for him!
Remember the cute little sardar in Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, who always counted the stars! How one can forget his famous innocent dialogue ‘Tussi jaa rahe ho, tussi na jao’! . Parzan Dastur, as a child artist was not only popular in films but also made a name in the ad industry. After KKHH, the actor went on to appear in films Mohabbatein, Zubeidaa and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham as a child artist. He also did Rahul Dholakia’s Parzania, in which he played a boy who disappeared in the Gujarat riots. Parzan was also seen in Piyush Jha’s Sikandar as a boy who aspires to be a footballer but finds a gun which turns his world upside down. In the 2010 film Break ke Baad, Parzan was seen as a young adult for the first time. So far, the actor’s fame still lies dormant but the future may turn promising for him.
If you like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, then you also remember baby Anjali, the girl who played Shahrukh Khan’s daughter in the film. She is Sana Saeed, who made her comeback as a sexy teenager in Karan Johar’s Student of the Year . She has also appeared in films like Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega and Badal as a child artist. Later, she took the path of television. She is said to be playing a supporting role alongside Asin and Abhishek Bachchan in Umesh Shukla’s Mere Apne. Let’s hope for the best for our baby Anjali!
Hansika Motwani is one such actress who could not make her mark in Hindi cinema but is going strong in the Tamil film industry. Besides being active on television, she appeared as one of the children in Koi Mil Gaya. Later she made her debut as the leading lady in Himesh Reshammiya’s Aap Ka Surroor and then disappeared from Bollywood. But she continues to play the lead in several Tamil films and has won multiple awards for her roles.
Baby Farida, who is now known as Farida Dadi, was also one of the most famous child artistes of Hindi cinema of 1960’s. She acted in several movies like Dosti, Ram Aur Shyam, Sangam, Kabuliwalah, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Phool Aur Patthar . The song we all associate with her is the very hummable ‘Gudiya, hum se roothi rahogi, kab tak na hansogi. In her adulthood, she was offered Dimple Kapadia’s role in Bobby, but refused since she was busy with her marital life. Later, she chose to act in television serials and got her fame as Dadi Farida. You would surely recognize that kind face!
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