Article Hindi

Siblings of Hindi cinema: From Tanuja-Nutan to Shilpa-Shamita


The Hindi film industry is quite famous for its siblings acts. On Tanuja's 75th birthday today, we take a look at some of the notable duos and trios in the business.

Sonal Pandya

Tanuja followed the footsteps of her mother Shobhna Samarth and sister Nutan and entered the film industry. Her first film was Humari Beti (1950) that also starred Nutan. She was just 7 years old. As an adult, she first appeared in Chhabli (1960), a film directed by her mother with Nutan playing the lead.

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From the 1940s till today, the younger siblings of actors and actress have held a slight advantage when entering films. On Tanuja's 75th birthday today (she was born on 23 September 1943), here's a rundown of a few of the brothers and sisters that have made a name for themselves in Hindi cinema.

1. Nutan and Tanuja

The two daughters of actor Shobhana Samarth, Nutan and Tanuja, went on to have notable fame and acclaim in their own careers as actors. The sisters acted together as child artistes in their mother's films Hamari Beti (1950) and Chhabili (1960).

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2. Kajol and Tanishaa

The daughters of actress Tanuja and filmmaker Shomu Mukherjee, Kajol and Tanishaa Mukherjee, both entered films at a young age. While Kajol attained superstardom fairly early in her career, Tanishaa has struggled to find her footing; her most recent work has been on reality television programs.

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3. Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan

Karisma became the first Kapoor grandchild to enter films with her debut in Prem Qaidi (1991). Her sister Kareena followed her into films with Refugee (2000). The sisters are probably the first to both win the Best Actress Filmfare Award. Karisma first won it in 1997 for Raja Hindustani and Kareena in 2008 for Jab We Met.

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4. Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan

Screenwriter Salim Khan's sons Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail Khan make it a habit of frequently working side by side on film productions. From Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998) to Jai Ho (2014), the Khan brothers have taken on several credits - actor, producer, writer, director - to produce an array of hits and flops, none of which deters them from coming together, again and again.

5. Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol

The Deol brothers first came together on Sunny's directorial debut, Dillagi (1999) and since then they've intermittently worked on projects like 23rd March 1931: Shaheed (2002) and Yamla Pagla Deewaana (2011) and its sequels with their father Dharmendra.

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6. Aamir Khan and Faisal Khan

Sons of producer Tahir Hussain and nephews of filmmaker Nasir Hussain, the brothers worked together only once in Dharmesh Darshan's Mela (2000) co-starring Twinkle Khanna. Aamir remains one of the top stars of the Hindi film industry, but his brother Faisal never managed to break through despite being launched twice in Madhosh (1994) and in Mela (2000).

7. Chetan Anand, Dev Anand, and Vijay Anand

Brothers Chetan and Vijay Anand are responsible for some of the most iconic films of Hindi cinema from Neecha Nagar (1946) to Guide (1965). Their middle brother Dev Anand was one of the leading actors of the 1950s to the 1970s and continued making films well into his 80s. Together, they set up and produced films under the Navketan banner, a studio responsible for several landmark Hindi films.

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8. Pooja Bhatt and Alia Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt introduced his elder daughter Pooja into films with Daddy (1989), but his youngest daughter Alia made her debut in Karan Johar's Student Of The Year (2012). Pooja worked with her filmmaker father several times during her career. Alia will work with him in Sadak 2 (2019); she earlier appeared a child artiste in Sangharsh (1999) as the younger version of Preity Zinta.

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9. Ashok Kumar, Anoop Kumar, and Kishore Kumar

The Ganguly brothers, Kumudlal, Kalyan and Abhas are more commonly known as Ashok, Anoop and Kishore Kumar. They first came together on Satyen Bose's Bandi (1957), but are most remembered for their fraternal pairing on the comic caper, Chalti Ka Naam Gadi (1958), oft considered a classic in Indian cinema.

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10. Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor

Following in his father Prithviraj's footsteps, Raj became a leading man himself, as well as establishing himself as a talented filmmaker with his own studio, RK Films. Younger brothers Shammi and Shashi may have started out under his shadow, but grew to become prominent personalities themselves. Shammi and Shashi often worked with their elder brother in his films like Satyam Shivam Sunderam (1978) and Prem Rog (1982).

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11. Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor

Raj Kapoor's sons all ended up in the same business as their father, though middle brother Rishi Kapoor has enjoyed the most success as an actor, especially in the latter half of his career. Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv all have directed films under the legendary banner started by their father, RK Films.

12. Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor

Anil and Sanjay Kapoor, along with their elder brother Boney, have worked together on several productions, most memorably Mr India (1987). The brothers haven't starred together onscreen as most of their collaborations are behind the scenes. Anil Kapoor began acting in 1979 with a role in Hamare Tumhare while Sanjay was launched opposite Tabu in Prem (1995).

13. Supriya Pathak and Ratna Pathak Shah

The daughters of veteran actress Dina Pathak, Supriya and Ratna, both acted alongside their famous mother in the powerful film directed by Ketan Mehta, Mirch Masala (1987). They all played factory workers at pepper who reluctantly forced into banding together to save one of their own. Since then, the two sisters have both made a name for themselves on the big screen in Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013) and Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017) and small screen with key roles in shows like Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai and Khichdi.

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14. Dilip Kumar and Nasir Khan

After his debut in Jwar Bhata (1944), Dilip Kumar rose to become one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema, one that others emulate until today. Kumar's younger brother Nasir Khan never matched up to his elder brother's reputation, though he holds the distinction of being the first lead actor in the Pakistani film industry with Teri Yaad (1948). Khan worked unsuccessfully in Pakistan before returning in 1951. The brothers first worked together on Nitin Bose's Gunga Jumna (1961) as the titular siblings on the opposite sides of the law.

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15. Feroz Khan and Sanjay Khan

Feroz and Sanjay Khan both began working in Hindi films in the 1960s and acted steadily through the 1970s, coming together onscreen with Mela and Upaasna, both released in 1971, and Nagin (1976). Both brothers turned to filmmaking; some of Feroz Khan's notable hits were Qurbani (1980), Janbaaz (1986) and Dayavan (1988). Meanwhile, Sanjay Khan turned his attention to television, helming such prestigious projects as The Sword of Tipu Sultan and The Great Maratha.

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16. Dimple Kapadia and Simple Kapadia

With a Filmfare Best Actress win at 16 for her film debut Bobby (1973), Dimple Kapadia promptly retired from films after her marriage to superstar Rajesh Khanna. Dimple returned to acting with Sagaar (1985) with her Bobby co-star, Rishi Kapoor. Her younger Simple Kapadia debuted opposite her brother-in-law Khanna in Anurodh (1977). After working as an actor for 10 years, Simple became a costume designer for feature films, including many of her sister's movies like Lekin...(1990) and Rudaali (1993).

17. Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna

Dimple Kapadia's daughters, Twinkle and Rinke, both tried their hand at acting and only to pull back after a few years. Twinkle debuted opposite Bobby Deol in Rajkumar Santoshi's Barsaat (1995) while younger sister Rinke took a different path with Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1997) opposite Dino Morea and Sanjay Suri. They both gave up acting after marriage. Twinkle turned producer this year with Pad Man (2018) starring her husband Akshay Kumar.

18. Rahul Khanna and Akshaye Khanna

Vinod Khanna's sons Rahul and Akshaye both won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. Younger brother Akshaye won his first, for Pankaj Parashar's Himalay Putra (1997), produced by his father. While older brother Rahul won the award later for Deepa Mehta's 1947 Earth (1999). Rahul worked mostly in international television projects like 24 and The Americans while Akshaye will next be seen as political advisor Sanjaya Baru in The Accidental Prime Minister.

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19. Joy Mukherjee and Deb Mukherjee

Filmistan Studios founder Shashadar Mukherjee's sons Joy and Deb Mukherjee tried out a career the family business too. Joy was introduced through Filmalaya Studio's Love in Shimla (1960) with Sadhana. Deb made his debut in elder brother Rono Mukherjee's only film, Tu Hi Meri Zindagi (1965). The brothers appeared together in two films, Ek Bar Mooskura Do (1972) and Haiwan (1977).

20. Raima Sen and Riya Sen

The granddaughters of Bengali cinema's most iconic actress, Suchitra Sen, Raima and Riya Sen started out in Hindi cinema in 1999 and 2000 respectively. While Raima has taken the more independent path, Riya is seen as the more commercial actress. Both sisters work parallelly in Bengali films and first worked together in the same film with Rituparno Ghosh's Noukadubi (2011).

21. Shilpa Shetty Kundra and Shamita Shetty

Shilpa and Shamita Shetty had no filmi family connection in Hindi cinema when they debuted seven years apart in the industry. Both their first films had Shah Rukh Khan as their co-star. Shilpa starred opposite Kajol and Shah Rukh in the thriller with a twist, Baazigar (1993), while Shamita got a big launch in Yash Raj Films' Mohabbatein (2000), directed by Aditya Chopra. They shared the same screen for Deepak Tijori's Fareb (2005).