It's a fact that Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world. But on the same note, it can be argued that it is the smallest – based on how many stars are actually related to each other! Many of today’s cinema idols have superstar parents, like the Bachan’s, Kapoors, Deols and Khanna’s. Today, some of the hottest stars are sharing the limelight with their older or younger siblings – even those who are still trying to crack their way into the niche of Hindi cinema.
Kajol – Tanisha – Rani
Arguably the center point of this family triangle is Kajol, with major hits like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) and the crime-thriller Baaziger (1993), both opposite superstar, Shah Rukh Khan. She married long-term boyfriend Ajay Devgan in 1999 and the two have been concentrating on raising their family as they give the films a break. Daughter of Tanuja Mukherjee, Kajol’s younger sister, Tanisha had her Bollywood debut with Ssshhh (2003), a murder mystery in which she starred opposite Dino Morea. Her other films include Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jao (2004) and Tango Charlie (2005). Her latest venture has been Yaj Raj’s, Neal ‘n Nikki (2005), opposite Uday Chopra.
Kajol and Tanisha’s cousin, Rani has also been ranked as one of the most successful actresses in the industry today. Her debut film, Raja Ki Aayegi Baaraat (1996) was just the launching pad of her career. Ghulam (1998) gave her instant fame and a new label as ‘The “aati kya Khandala” girl’. In a span of about five years, she boasts major hits under her belt starring across mega stars like Amitabh Bachan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan and has worked with top class producers and directors.
Cousins, Kajol and Rani were seen together on screen in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and Khabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham (2001).
Sunny – Bobby – Esha
It’s no surprise that their father is the legendary Dharmendra, and Esha’s mother is the original Dream Girl of Bollywood - Hema Malini. Sunny Deol, born as Ajay Singh Deol made his debut as a teenage romantic hero in Betaab (1985) with co-star, Amrita Singh. Action roles are definitely his forte even though he tried his hand at romantic roles in several movies. Whether he is the romantic hero or the rebellious angry young man out to get justice, he has been a hit with the crowds for many years, attracting women with his suave attitude.
Originally named Vijay Singh Deol, Bobby is known for his curly locks and boyishly good looks. He made his debut in Barsaat (1995) with co-star Twinkle Khanna, for which he was awarded Best Debut in 1995. Sunny and Bobby co-starred in Dillagi (1999), with Urmila Matdonkar as the leading lady.
Esha made her debut with Boney Kapoor’s Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe (2001) opposite Aftab Shivdasani. Since then, she has been paired with some of the hottest actors in Bollywood and has big titles linked to her name, namely Dhoom (2004) and Kaal (2005). Despite being the daughter of superstars, Esha still has a long way to go before she can live up to the credentials of her distinguished lineage. Besides working in movies, Esha is also an accomplished classical dancer and a national level football player.
Karisma – Kareena
Also known as The First Family of Bollywood, the Kapoor family have held the film industry and global audiences in their magical spell for decades. Daughters of Randhir and Babita Kapoor, Karisma, nicknamed Lolo and Kareena, nicknamed Bebo have become the blue-eyed beauties of Bollywood.
Karisma broke her family tradition that no females were to enter to film industry, and soon she became one of
Kareena’s launch pad was JP Dutta’s Refugee (2000), which also launched the heir to the Bachan throne, Abishek. She can easily be described as a sultry sex goddess, which shone through in her role as “Poo” in Khabi Khushi Khabi Gham (2001). Kareena was offered a role in Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice (2004), starring Aishwariya Rai, but turned it down. She is currently seeing teen heart throb, Shahid Kapur.
Karisma and Kareena have not appeared on-screen together yet, but they have definitely proven that sisters can be glamorous and sexy, even though each is as different from the other as chalk and cheese!
Salman – Arbaaz – Sohail
He is the brat of Bollywood and is best known for his public brawls and affairs with some of Bollywood’s leading ladies. Salman is the eldest son of writer, Salim Khan and step mother, Helen and claims that he hates the press. Despite this, he still remains one of Hindi cinema’s hottest selling stars – in
Arbaaz was recognized for his acting abilities in the thriller Daraar (1996) with Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla. He was seen in movies like Hello Brother (1999) and Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya (1998) with elder brother, Salman. Some of his recent films include Kuch Naa Kaho (2003), Garv (2004) and Hulchul (2004).
The youngest brother of the Khan clan, Sohail emerged from the shadow as being Salman’s kid brother after the release of Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya. In fact, Sohail and Salman have become quite a pair on-screen. They were recently seen together in David Dhawan’s Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya (2005). They will also be seen together again in Rumi Jaffrey’s “God Tussi Great Ho”.
Shilpa – Shamita
Shilpa Shetty is known as one of the most sizzling starlets in Tinsletown and has been noted for having one of the sexiest figures in the industry. But good looks aren’t only her claim to fame. Although she doesn’t have as many major hits linked to her name, she is well-known for her fiery dance numbers. Some leading actors she has appeared with include Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan in films like Jung (2000), Mein Khiladi Tu Anari (1994) and Dus (2005). She is also well known for setting screens alight with her sexy item numbers.
Her younger sister, Shamita, made a promising debut in Mohabbatein (2000), but has been doing a lot of item songs, namely “Sharara” from the Mere Yaar ki Shaadi Hai.
The two sisters were recently paired together in Deepak Tijori’s Fareb (2005) where they played rivals in love. Shilpa is quoted as saying: “Though I’d love to be my sister’s sister on screen, I think it would be slightly awkward to play real-life roles.”
Akshaye - Rahul
He rejected a couple of films, including Deepa Mehta’s 1947 Earth (1999). The part was eventually given to Akshaye’s elder brother, Rahul in which he appeared opposite Nandita Das. One of Rahul’s major films still remains to be Deepa Mehta’s Bollywood Hollywood (2002) opposite Lisa Ray. He has also anchored the Filmfare Awards on various occasions.
Akshaye and Rahul have only been seen once on screen in Bollywood Hollywood, where Akshaye made a guest appearance in the film.