1 Amiran/Umrao Jaan in Umrao Jaan (1981)
Portrayed by: Rekha
Rekha won her first and only National Award for Best Actress as the acclaimed Lucknowi courtesan Umrao Jaan based on Mirza Hadi Ruswa's Urdu novel Umrao Jaan Ada written in 1905. A later remake featuring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was directed by J.P. Dutta in 2006.
2 Phoolan Devi in Bandit Queen (1995)
Portrayed by: Seema Biswas
Seema Bismas earned the National Award for Best Actress and the Filmfare Award for Best Debut for Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen, the controversial yet realistic biopic on the dacoit Phoolan Devi. In her first major role, former theatre actress Biswas channelled the devastating and tragic life events of the bandit-turned-politician.
3 Bhagat Singh in The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002)
Portrayed by: Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn picked up his second National Award for playing the revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in the historical biopic, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, directed by Rajkumar Santoshi. It was the second film on Bhagat Singh to release on June 7, 2002; 23rd March 1931: Shaheed had Bobby Deol in a competing lead role.
4 Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar in Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
Portrayed by: Hrithik Roshan
Hrithik Roshan collected his fourth Filmfare Award for Best Actor in Ashutosh Gowarikar's epic historical Jodhaa Akbar documenting the love story between the Mughal Emperor and his Hindu queen Jodhabai. The legendary thespian Prithviraj Kapoor played the formidable Emperor Akbar in K. Asif's Mughal-e-Azam (1960).
5 Paan Singh Tomar in Paan Singh Tomar (2012)
Portrayed by: Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan received his first National Award as well as the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for portraying Paan Singh Tomar, a former Indian soldier and athlete. Tomar represented India at the '58 Asian Games in Tokyo and held the national record for the 3000M steeple chase, but was forced to turn to a life of crime as a dacoit in the dreaded Chambal region after a dispute over ancestral land.
6 Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
Portrayed by: Farhan Akhtar
Farhan Akhtar took home the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for enacting the life of former National champion and Olympian Milkha Singh in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The sports biopic was based on Singh's autobiography, The Race of My Life, co-written with his daughter Sonia Sanwalka.
7 Shahid Azmi in Shahid (2013)
Portrayed by: Rajkummar Rao
Rajkummar Rao got his first National Award (which he shared with actor Suraj Venjaramoodu for the Malayalam film, Perariyathavar) and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his role as human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi who defended several suspects held on terrorist charges. Azmi was assassinated by four assailants in his own office in Mumbai.