33 Actresses who made their Bollywood debut with a Khan movie

Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Asin, Raveena Tandon, Bhagyashree, Sheha Ullal etc. The list is so long. There are so many actresses since late 1980s who started their Bollywood journey with a Khan movie. Some of them later went on to become huge stars of Bollywood, while a few left celluloid many years ago without any traces. So let me begin with the era of 1980s, which marked the debut of two Khans – Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, known for their chocolate hero image in those days.

Bhagyashree – the first heroine of Salman Khan


Let me start the list with cute Bhagyashree who stormed into Bollywood with blockbuster Meine Pyar Kiya in 1989. The movie also marked the debut of Salman Khan in a hero role, and made him a star overnight. However Bhagyashree couldn’t retain her success in Bollywood, and marked as ‘One-hit wonder’.

Dil Deewana Song from Meine Pyar Kiya

Same was the case of less-known actress Chandini who made her Bollywood debut with the film, Sanam Bewafa opposite Salman Khan and south Indian actress Revathy in Love both in the year 1991. Sheeba Akashdeep played the female lead of Salman Khan’s flop film – Suryavanshi (1992), and I am a bit doubtful if it was her debut movie or not. Any reader if know the correct details, please leave a reply.


Salman’s heroines of early 1990s who got that big break to Bollywood

Apart from Bhagyashree many heroines had made a magic start pairing with Salman Khan in a movie during his early phase of his career, and the leading name is of course Raveena Tandon. She marked her Bollywood debut opposite Salman Khan in the film – Patthar Ke Phool in 1991, and since then remained as one of the top heroines of Bollywood 1990s. 
Another successful name is Nagma, who made her Bollywood debut opposite Salman Khan in Baaghi (1990) which was a major box office hit. She also played a few more successful roles on Bollywood screen, and later became extremely popular on south Indian screen. Ayesha Jhulka also made her Bollywood debut through Kurbaan (1991) opposite Salman and later went on to become a leading actress of Bollywood. Since 1993, throughout 1990s Salman Khan mostly worked with actresses who have already worked in Bollywood. Only exception is super model Namrata Shirodkar who played a brief cameo role opposite him in Jab Pyar Kise Se Hota Hai and got noticed.

Aamir has not worked with any debut heroine when he had a chocolate image onscreen 

As per Wikipedia sources, Aamir has not worked with any heroines in a debut movie in the 1980s or 1990s. He got opportunity to be paired with a debut heroine for the first time in Oscar Awards nominated film – Lagaan in 2001, where Gracy Singh played his female lead. However many leading actresses of Bollywood like Juhi Chawla, Ayesha Jhulka and Pooja Bhatt got their big breaks through the romantic films opposite Aamir Khan –Khayamat Se Khayamat Tak, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and Dil Hain Ki Manta Nahin respectively.


O Re Chore song from Lagaan

Later he shared screen space with Alice Patten for 2006 mega hit film Rang De Basanti, Asin Thottumkal for Ghajini (2008) and Monica Dogra for Dhobi Ghat (2011). So among the three Khans, less actresses have started their Bollywood career with an Aamir Khan movie.


Heroines who debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the 1990s

Among all the heroines, the most leading name is Preity Zinta who worked with him for Mani Ratnam’s movie – Dil Se. Preity Zinta went on to become the leading lady of Bollywood, and worked with SRK for blockbuster hits such as Kal Ho Na Ho, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna etc. Mahima Choudhary got her big break through Subhash Ghai film – Pardes in 1997. Though she later appeared in several films, none of them could replicate the success of her debut film where she shared screen space with King Khan.
Shilpa Shetty made her entry to Bollywood through Shah Rukh Khan starrer trendsetter film, Baazigar (1993), and later she appeared in many hit and flop films. Same year SRK played male lead opposite debutant Suchitra Krishnamoorthi for the classic comedy – Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa which was a major hit. But similar to many other debut heroines who got a big break through an SRK movie, Suchitra too couldn’t sustain in Bollywood too long.
Anjali Jathaar was paired with SRK for the big flop – Trimurthi in 1996. But she has worked in a few movies earlier. But her Bollywood career was a disaster except the movie – Shastra, where she was paired with Suniel Shetty. 

Actresses who started their career in a Salman movie in the 2000s couldn’t make it big

When Salman was best known as the romantic hero of Bollywood, many heroines earned fame and recognition sharing screen space with him as a Bollywood debutant. It was not the case in the 2000s, when Salman also witnessed a downfall in his career till the action flicks – Wanted and Dabangg happened in the late 2000s. Salman also went through several controversies and setbacks in his personal life during this period.

Salman tried to launch many heroines to Bollywood in the 2000s. But those films resulted in loss. Soon after his breakup with Aishwarya Rai, he launched Aishwarya’s look alike – Sheha Ullal through the film – Lucky: No Time For Love and the movie was a flop. After his breakup with Katrina Kaif, he launched her look alike – Zarine Khan through the movie – Veer. This much anticipated movie too failed to reach expectations of audience. Both the ladies struggled in Bollywood later. However Zarina was able to achieve success in Bollywood many years later.

Chori Chori Song from Lucky – No Time To Love

However in 2003, when Tamil blockbuster Tere Naam was made to Hindi, south Indian heroine Bhoomika Chawla was paired with Salman. The movie also marked the resurgence of the actor after so many flops in a row. Despite getting a big break to Bollywood through her debut film, Bhoomika too couldn’t survive too long in Bollywood. Another exception is Sonam Kapoor, who played lead heroine in the love triangle –Saawariya (2007). Though the movie was a huge flop, she has come a long way since then after a few years of initial struggle.


Salman’s debut heroines in the 2010s became successful

Sonakshi Sinha made her film debut through Debaang, the movie which re-invented Salman as the action hero of Bollywood. Though Daisy Shah started her Bollywood career as an item girl, and also did a few movies down the south, her real debut happened through Jai Ho in 2014, where she shared screen space with Salman Khan. Daisy Shah later portrayed a memorable role in Hate Story 3. The most recent addition to this list is Saiee Manjrekar who marked her screen debut opposite Khan in 2019 hit movie, Debaang 3. She made an impressive debut, and only time can say if she is going to make it big in Bollywood.

Deepika Padukone – The most successful among SRK debut heroines 

Mein Agar Kahoo Song from Om Santhi Om

If Preity Zinta is one big name among his leading ladies of 1990s and the first half of first decade of 2000s, Deepika Padukone is the most successful name in the new millennium. Deepika, after doing a few music videos and ads, got her big break to Bollywood through Om Shanti Om (2007), a story inspired from old classic hit – Madhubala, and since then she never looked back. Apart from being named as the most successful heroine of Bollywood, this diva has shared screen space with Khan multiple times, and has been successful always.


Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi actress Anushka Sharma is the second name among Shah Rukh Khan’s debut actresses who gained success and popularity in Bollywood. The most recent names added to the list include actresses – Mahira Khan in his upcoming release – Raees, and Waluscha de Sousa and Shriya Pilgaonkar from his most recent release – Fan (2016). Though SRK is often criticized for pairing with heroines much younger to him, he has always received good response from audience for the romantic roles he played onscreen. His pairing with much younger Alia Bhatt for Dear Zindagi is really adorable onscreen, though he played a mid-aged character.

tujh mein rab

Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai from Rab Ne Banadi Jodi

Shah Rukh Khan played the role of a scientist in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s highly appreciated film Swades in 2004. Gayatri Joshi, who has appeared in a several TV ads played his female lead of a school teacher in this film. It’s her single Bollywood release, and later she got settled with her married life. In 2001 periodic film Asoka, Hrishita Bhatt marked her Bollywood debut playing Shah Rukh’s wife. The movie was a flop and Hrishita’s career too didn’t survive.

The Fourth Khan of Bollywood

There is one more successful Khan in Bollywood in mainstream roles – Saif Ali Khan. Many actresses have debut opposite him, and some of them went on to become big stars of Bollywood. Do you want to know who are they?

Saif was paired with Mamta Kulkarni for 1993 film Aashiq Awara which was a box office hit. Mamta later worked with many leading stars in the 1990s. Giselli Monteiro played the second lead in 2009 box office hit – Love Aaj Kal, and Diana Penty played second lead in 2012 hit film Cocktail. In both these movies, Deepika Padukone played his female lead.

Vidya Balan is most successful among all, who marked her Hindi debut through Parineeta. The movie was a big hit at box office, and now Vidya Balan is regarded as the most powerful female star of Bollywood. Diya Mirza made her film debut through the musical – Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein. Though the movie flopped at box office, it achieved cult classic status among youth. Also read: 5 Actresses who debut opposite Saif Ali Khan.


Heroines opposite Khan  – in a capsule

Now I would like to list all heroines who had a dream landing to Bollywood world pairing opposite Khan.
  • Opposite Shah Rukh Khan – Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta, Deepika Padukone, Mahima Choudhary, Anushka Sharma, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, Gayatri Joshi, Hrishika Bhatt, Waluscha de Sousa, Mahira Khan and Shriya Pilgaonkar
  • Opposite Aamir Khan – Gracy Singh, Asin Thottumkal, Alice Patten, Monica Dogra
  • Opposite Salman Khan – Bhagya Shree, Raveena Tandon, Nagma, Sheeba Akashdeep, Namrata Shirodkar, Chandini, Revathi, Ayesha Jhulka, Bhumika Chawla, Sneha Ullal, Zarina Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Saiee Manjrekar and Daisy Shah
  • Opposite Saif Ali Khan – Diya Mirza, Mamta Kulkarni, Vidya Balan, Giselli Monteiro and Diana Penty
Here, I have come to the conclusion of this column. So, it’s pretty clear that though many actresses got great breaks to Bollywood pairing with leading Khans of Bollywood, only those ladies have survived who had real acting potential, and whatever success they achieved over the years has been based on their talents and hard work rather than ‘Khan Effect for sure. That’s what I would like to say. If I have missed any actress’ name, please let me know.

Read to know actresses who debut in Hrithik Roshan movie.
Read to know about 33 actresses who debut in a Khan movie.
Read to know about actresses who just missed pairing with three big Khans of Bollywood.

You can read a few more articles on King Khan – SRK here. Here is the page link. Just click on the links


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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