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Friday, 14 June 2013

Missing - From Bollywood

 Kitu Gidwani: Best known for her role in Swabhimaan as Svetlana Banerjee, Kitu Gidwani made her television debut in 1984 on the TV soap Trishna, and during the 1980s and '90s, gave some memorable performances in TV serials like Air Hostess and Junoon which garnered enough eyeballs for her bed scene with actor Raj Zutshi in the serial. She acted in a number of French and English plays and subsequently acted in a French film "Black" (1987). Gidwani received critical acclaimed for her roles in Dance of the Wind (1997), Deepa Mehta's Earth (1998) and Govind Nihalani's Rukhmavati Ki Haveli (1991), Kamal Haasan's Abhay and Deham (2001). She was last seen in multi-starrer Hindi serials Kaashish and Kulvadhu.
    Bollywood happened to Koena Mitra after she won the Gladrags Mega Model India in 2003 and performed on an item song in Ram Gopal's Varma Road. But it was Sanjay Gupta's Musafir in 2004 brought her to the people’s notice. After few films like ‘Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena’, ‘Apna Sapna Money Money’, a disastrous decision of getting a nose job done changed her life. It not only botched up her face but also her career. She was last seen in the ‘Story of Naomi’ where she plays a bisexual. 

    Kim Sharma: Kim was more in news for real life romances than her reel-life ones. She shot to fame with commercials like Sunsilk, Pepsi, Cadbury etc and caught director Aditya Chopra’s eye who casted her in ‘mohabattein’. Though the film was a box-office success, it failed to set sail to her filmi career. Her liason with cricketer Yuvraj Singh helped her remain in the limelight for sometime and after the controversial break up, her brand value dipped. After couple of duds including kudiyon Ka Zamana, Nehle Pe Dehla etc, she finally bid adieu to the industry by marrying NRI businessman from Kenya. She was last seen in Govinda starrer ‘Loot’. 

    Negar Khan: Her sole claim to fame (and infame) is the re-mixed version of 'Chadti Jawaani'. Born to an Iranian father and Norwegian mother, Negar Khan did blink and miss roles in films like 'Rudraaksh' and 'Shaadi Ka Laddoo' before she was deported back to Norway for forging her documents for work visa. In between, she was married to 'Style' actor Sahil Khan.

    Mayuri Kango: As Jugal Hansraj hummed 'Ghar se Nikalte hi', the audience too feel in love with Mayuri Kango. It was her performance in Naseem, a film on Babri Masjid demolition which caught Mahesh Bhatt's eye and he cast her in Papa Kehte Hai (2006). The film received a lukewarm response but she was noticed and soon films like etaabi (1997) and Hogi Pyaar Ki Jeet (1999) and Badal (2000). But none of these films would work their magic at the Box-office and the offers started drying up. Later, Mayuri moved to television appearing in several serials like Dollar Bahu (2001) and Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny (2003) where she played the daughter of Karishma Kapoor. Last heard, she married an NRI named Aditya Dhillon in 2003. 
    Mala Sinha's daughter Pratibha Sinha, best known for her appearance in ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ from’ Raja Hindustani’ is among those star kids who failed to make a mark in Bollywood. She debuted with Joy Mukerjee's son Boy in ‘Mehboob Mere Mehboob’ but the film bombed badly at the box-office. Sources say that Ketan Desai's ‘Anmol ‘was to star Jugal Hansraj and Pratibha Sinha in the lead but later went to with Rishi Kapoor and Manisha Koirala. After string of flops and controversies (her infamous liaison with composer Nadeem), Pratibha vanished from the industry. 

    Sadashiv Amrapurkar's role as a eunuch Maharani 1991 film 'Sadak' earned him a seat in the Bollywood hall of baddies. Born to an autodriver in 1956, Amrapurkar ventured into acting with Marathi film 'Aamras' and went on to do minor roles in Marathi cinema. His first brush with Bollywood was in the critically acclaimed film 'Ardh Satya' in 1983 where he played the role of the notrious don Rama Shetty. After playing a villian for almost a decade, he switched to supporting and comic roles in films like 'Aankhen', 'Ishq', 'Gupt.' He was last seen in 'Mr White Mr Black' in 2008. 

    After her successful debut in Kareeb opposite Bobby Deol, Shabana Raza's name was Neha for all practical purposes and for the recall value her character in Kareeb had.She later alleged that it was Vidhu Vinod Chopra who changed her name before the film's release. After that, she acted in films like Fiza and Rahul but failed to live up to her debut film. When her films didn't work at the box-office, she gave it up and got married to Manoj Bajpai in 2006. She was last seen in Sanjay Gupta's Alibaug in 2010 where she reverted to her original name Shabana Raza. 

    After being crowned Miss India in 1993, Namrata Shirodkar forayed into Bollywood with the Salman Starrer ‘Jab Pyaar Kissi Se Hota Hai’. Thereafter, she continued doing films and won several accolades for ‘Vastav’ opposite Sanjay Dutt. After that she was cast in many films as a supporting actor. In 2005, she gave up her career when she married Tollywood star, Mahesh Babu and has since settled in Hyderabad. If you miss seeing her groova ala 'Sunta Hai Mera Khuda', write to 
    In the 80s, the Colgate adverstisement featuring Baby Guddu smiling turned out to be one of the most popular recall for the brand. Guddu aka Shahinda Baig played a child artist in films like ‘Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani’, ‘Akhri Kaun’, ‘Samunder’ and so on. She was last seen in ‘Inspector Dhanush’ in 1995. Last heard, she is currently based in Dubai, working with Emirates Airlines.

    One of the most loved character actors of the seventies and eighties, Deven Verma’s comic roles in Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterji’s films are still in the audience’s memory, whether it was as Manshukh in ‘Kisi Se Na Kehna’ or as the lovable Bahadur in ‘Angoor’. He has won Filmfare Award thrice for ‘Chori Mera Kaam’, ‘Chor Ke Ghar Chor’ and ‘Angoor’, the last being directed by Gulzar and still considered one of Bollywood's best comedies. He was last seen in the Anil Kapoor starrer ‘Calcutta Mail’ (2003). He is married to late actor Ashok Kumar’s daughter Rupa Ganguly. Last heard, he was living in Pune. If you see him cracking jokes, mail us at 
    Shabana Azmi’s neice and Tabu’s elder sister Farah Naaz was one of the most sought-after heroine in 1980s to the early 1990’s. Her best films include ‘Naseeb Apna Apna’, ‘Love 86’, ‘Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri’ and ‘Yateem’. She was signed for Khuda Gawah but due to delays in production and her subsequent marriage to Dara Singh’s son, she was later replaced with Shilpa Shirodkar. Farah disappeared from the limelight for a few years after marriage and later resurfaced in supporting roles in films like ‘Muqabla’, ‘Dhartiputra’ and ‘Izzat Ki Roti’. After a stint in small screen, she returned to films in 2004 with Hulchul. She was last seen in Ajay Devgn-Shahid Kapoor starrer ‘Shikhar’. 

    Rahul Roy burst into the screen with ‘Aashiqui’ which was one of the biggest hits of the nineties. The film made the actor an overnight star so much so that in 1991 when false rumours of his death started circulating, school break-outs in certain regions of the country were reported. Six months after ‘Aashiqui’ became a super-hit, he was swamped with offers and he reportedly signed about 40 films during that spell. However, most films were shelved. He was nominated for the Best Actor at the 1992 Filmfare Awards for his role in 'Junoon'. After vanishing for a while, he returned to acting in ‘Meri Aashiqui’ (2005) and ‘Naughty Boy’ (2006) which failed to resurrect his career. He was last seen is ‘Bigg Boss’ in 2006 where he emerged as a winner. 
    While his love making scene with Nandita Das in Deepa Mehta’s 'Earth' was perhaps the most rewound scene of that year, Rahul Khanna’s twitter bio enlists him as a ‘Boutique Bollywood Actor’. The son of a 1970s Bollywood matinee idol-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, the actor started his career as a video jockey for MTV Asia. Films followed soon when Deepa Mehta offered him a role in her Elements Trilogy. Following the success of 'Earth', Rahul went on to work with Deepa Mehta on 'Bollywood Hollywood' and handful of other Bollywood projects. His last outing in films was in 'Love Aaj Kal' as Deepika Padukone’s husband. If you notice this hottie and his whereabouts, give us a holler at 

    This iconic baap of Bollywood has starred in over 450 films in his four-decade long career. Born in Kabul, Khan was raised in an impoverished neighbourhood before his family moved to Mumbai when he was six-year old. Before he set his sights towards the tinsel town, Khan, who is a civil engineer, used to teach at the Saboo Siddik Polytechnic at Byculla. In his illustrious career, Khan has acted in 450 movies and written dialogues for over 250 films. He won the Filmfare Award for best comedian in 1991 for ‘Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri’ and a Screen Award for best performance in a comic role in 1995 for ‘Taqdeerwala’. As a dialogue writer Kader Khan's work includes ‘Ganga Jamuna Saraswati’, ‘Sharaabi’, ‘Coolie’, ‘Agneepath’, ‘Himmatwala’ to name a few. He was last seen in 'Deshdrohi' in 2008 before he gave up his film career. Last heard, he was teaching Arabic and Urdu in his schools in Dubai and Toronto. If he has any plans on making a comeback, we’d like to receive a mahurat bash invite at 

    Best known as Rishi Kapoor's 'pre-incarnation' in Subhash Ghai's Karz, Raj Kiran vanished from the Indian film industry a decade ago only to be found in a mental asylum in Atlanta. Raj Kiran entered Hindi film industry in the mid-1970s and worked in about 100 character-driven roles. Despite being talented and working with big names like Subhash Ghai, his fame was short-lived. After being abandoned by his wife and son, the actor went into depression and was admitted in a mental institution at Byculla, Mumbai. He was later taken to the US by his brothers. The search for Raj Kiran's whereabouts began when the rumors of his death snowballed and his colleagues Rishi kapoor and Deepti Naval launched a search for the actor. Raj Kiran’s daughter revealed that the actor is not in the mental asylum and his whereabouts are not known to anyone. If you manage to trace him, drop us a mail at PS: The actor is now back and is doing TV shows 

    In the late ’70 till the mid ‘80s, there was a delightful supporting actress called Kiran Vairale. Whether it was a cutesy role in Prem Rog or her playing the coy bride in “Oh Maria” in Saagar (1985) or her playing Shabana Azmi’s roommate in Arth, Kiran Vairale was a favourite of the critics for her unassuming charm and the gravitas she lent her supporting roles. Then just like that, she vanished. We would like to know where Ms Vairale is right now. Is she planning to return to acting? Our drop box for any info regarding her is 
    Kamal Sadanah He was known as the man who had driven Pooja Bhatt crazy with his charm. He was quite the man about town in the early ‘90s, despite having had a personal tragedy to overcome. His father Brij Sadanah, a successful movie producer from yesteryear, shot dead his family and himself in a fit of rage in 1990. However, Sadanah survived. After a few turkeys, he disappeared – having found love and raising a family became his priorities in the new century. He also donned a producer’s cap, if there is such a term, by remaking some of his father’s films. If the gentleman has any plans to come back to the silver screen it would be a pleasure to be informed of the same at 

    Her beginnings were modest; she did two bit roles in ‘70s flicks, including Raj Kapoor’s Satyam Shivam Sundaram, in which she played one of the village lassies who was Zeenat Aman’s friend. Then in the early ‘80s she even made it to supporting actress in the crucially-acclaimed Amitabh Bachchan starrer Bemisaal. Then Sheetal entered her own zone, quite literally. She wrote, acted in, edited, sang for, shot and produced her own soft-porn flicks, such as Honey and Yeh Preet Na Hogi Kum. Then one fine day, she vanished, returning in 2004 with the bizarre Rose Thorn, again a sleazy offering which she directed, sang for, choreographed, enacted, all of it. Then she disappeared again. If anyone knows how we can find this avant-garde wonder, please send us her Skype details at

    In the 1980s, there were some actors who despite their struggle had an aura of innocuous charm: Sumeet Saigal was one of them. He acted in over 30 films from 1987 till 1995, then he gave up. Yet, a song titled “Kalio Teri Choti Hain Paranda Tera Lal Ni” from Bahaar Aane Tak (1990) was a huge audio hit, giving fans some hope that Saigal might also have a blockbuster to match the chartbuster. That never happened. We hear that Saigal now makes music videos and has also directed a horror film titled Rokk in 2010. On the personal front, he was briefly married to Shaheen Banu, the neice of actress Saira Banu for a short while. If he has any plans on making a comeback, we’d like to receive a mahurat bash invite at 

    “Tu Rutha Toh Main Ro Dungi” from Jawani (1984) best encapsulates why she came to represent our own desi version of a ‘gal’ from an Archie’s comic book. Love 86 and numerous Pehlaj Nihalani flicks shot around a lake in Ooty further served to create a persona who came to represent the sweet scent of youth, the innocence before the storm. So much so, that Neelam, even when her innings with Bollywood had begun to fade, made a splash as a VJ on MTV and she did it well. Then she disappeared. We know, in fact, what Neelam is up to in the way that one knows about stars – she’s married the handsome Samir Soni in 2011, she’s a successful jewelry designer. But we miss her on the silver screen. If Mr Nihalani’s son has any plans of resuscitating his dad’s business and making movies with Neelam in an appropriate role, we’d like to be at the premiere. Send us an e-invite at 
    Reena Roy She married a Pakistani cricketer and left Bollywood, only to return a few years later. In her prime, she and Shatrugan were the equivalent of Amitabh and Rekha – inseparable on the screen. Her lead roles in Rocky (with Sanjay Dutt) and Naseeb and Nagin made her a top-ranking actress in ‘80s Bollywood. Her return was lacklustre, even though she did attempt an innings with TV, which bombed, and as an instructress, by opening a film school. That shut shop too. When one things of Reena Roy, one of the songs that comes to mind is “Geet Sunoge Huzoor” from Rocky. If there is any hint of KJo picking her up for one of his family sagas or any other update, do buzz us at
 Sonam was known as Raza Murad’s niece when she first entered Bollywood, togged in a red bikini in V ijay. It wasn’t Yash Chopra’s best film, even though Mitti aur Sona, in which Chunkey Pandey and Sonam played a doomed couple had a cult following for three months, before even fans jettisoned the idea of having a Chunkey Pandey flick in their repertoire.

    Then Tridev happened and Sonam was a star on the rise without a doubt. Despite her hoarse voice, she had a buxom appeal that endeared her to the masses. Her urbane appeal, on the other hand, endeared her to VHS-owning gentry as well.
    Circa 1989, Sonam was an ‘Oye Oye’ girl, a chartbuster plagiarized from Gloria Estefan’s ‘Rhythm’s Gonna Get You’. She married producer Rajiv Rai, who was transforming into the Feroz Khan of the new decade with his hip leanings and street smart productions that looked classier than they actually were. And after Gupt, Rajiv Rai’s biggest hit from the 1990s, a suspense thriller that had Kajol playing a Michael Myers from Halloween, Sonam and Rajiv Rai fled the nation, after receiving extortion threats. The late 1990s saw a spate of industry murders at the hands of the underworld. It was a nexus that went horribly wrong. There was genuine fear, and so Rajiv Rai and Sonam, being the sweet, no-nonsense that was raising a family fled to the UK. They have been planning to return to showbiz, but the details remain sketchy. For a full-on report on their latest activities, mail us at 

    Helen Brodie She was known as the Jaanam Samjha Karo girl, thanks to the Asha Bhosale chartbuster in which she was paired opposite the equally dishy Milind Soman. Helen Brodie was one of the models who burst onto the scene in post-liberalization India, the only era in which a model could sustain without necessarily crossing over to Bollywood. Yet, Helen Brodie did do a cameo in the Govinda-starrer Hadh Kar Di Aapne. However, it was her role in Jug Mundhra’s soft-porn flick Monsoon that raised many eyebrows. It was a raunchy role. It was her only role. And then she went missing. We hear that Helen is a homemaker now with a loving husband and two children. However, we’d love to know if she has any plans to come back to music videos that get cult status thanks to her gorgeous looks or movies that don’t get cult status despite her pushing the carnal pedal. Either way, we need a hot, sizzling telegram delivered to 

    At 17, she was the youngest contestant to ever win the Miss India contest. In 1982, she made her debut with Rajiv Goswami (Manoj Kumar’s son) in Painter Babu. Rajiv Goswami didn’t make enough films to qualify as ‘Missing’ though. In 1983, she became a household name with Hero, a film that also made Jackie Shroff the reigning stud of Bollywood. She acted in innumerable films from the 1980s well until her last film, Ghatak, in 1997, and her reputation remains spot. No mention of an affair, no married men, no nasty rumours, ever. At the peak of her career, she was second only to Sridevi, whom she infamously dissed once by proclaiming, “I don’t believe acting is making faces.” Sridevi made a lot of faces in all her films, especially Chandni. We know that Ms Sheshadri is happily married and living in Texas. But what prompts this ‘missing’ alert is the return of yet another NRI from the United States, Madhuri Dixit. If Madhuri is back in the game, what’s keeping Meenakshi? She needs to tell us at 

    Ruby Bhatia Her name became synonymous with the tangy appeal of post-liberalization India. She was the face of its pop culture revolution, epitomized by Channel [V], the zany music station that brought us the Michael Jacksons and Madonnas that much closer than grainy Doordarshan telecasts of Grammy Award nights. She entered people’s home and hung out with them, sometimes even poking fun at the traditional India. For a nation that was still grappling with the brash new codes of globalization, one must say that they embraced the Alabama-born former Miss India Canada (1993) with open arms. In fact, so popular was Ruby Bhatia that she even hosted the Filmfare Awards towards the end of the 1990s. She married Indipop singer Nitin Bali for a short spell; it ended amicably. She even tried her luck at television serials after the music television bubble burst. And then one fine day, Ruby Bhatia – or rather that smile that came to represent the tang of youth for an entire generation – faded. Five years ago, it was reported that Ruby had given up on all forms of ‘materialism’, Ruby, a report said, had given away all her personal belongings, including her furniture and DVD players and had entered a more mystical zone of meditation and yoga. In a brash city like Bombay, it sounded impossible. But within months of this update, we heard she had married another yogi, Ajit Dutta. If you happen to spot Ruby Bhatia, you can let us know at 

    Dan Dhanoa
    His heyday was between 1985-1995 and Dan was as bad as they came. He had light eyes (or at least donned grey-coloured eye lenses to look evil) and a really mean moustache. He was either lunging at an actress finding her way to the village from the woods or stabbing the hap father of a child who would eventually grow up to become the hero of an absurd multi-starrer. Dan Dhanoa has acted in 30 odd films and his legacy is something we cherish. His filmography is indeed colourful: Sasti Dulhan Mehenga Dulha, Aaj Ka Gunda Raaj, Mard. His belle époque though coincided with the meteoric rise of director Rajiv Rai, who introduced an urbane cool-th to Bollywood in the 1980s and 1990s. But Dan, in his prime, also acted with pretty much all the big names. We hear that he married an actress-cum-kathak dance instructor called Nandita Puri in 2007. The news delights us. But if anyone has plans to convince Mr Dhanoa to put on cat eye lenses, get out of a red Maruti van and massacre an entire family with his AK-47 (on screen, guys. relax), we would like to be informed on 

    Shilpa Shirodkar
    Her waterfall sequence in Kishen Kanhaiya was the most rewound sequence of 1990. An equally exploitative role in Ramesh Sippy’s Bhrashtachar was her debut flick. But it delighted her fans, even though critics tore their hair wondering what Ramesh Sippy was thinking in creating his tackiest film ever and who in heaven’s name had convinced Rekha and Mithun to act in it? It was a cult film for all the wrong reasons. But these two films did put Shilpa Shirodkar , a buxom Maharashtrian girl firmly on the Bollywood map. Shilpa had the leanings to be a babe in a bikini, come to think of it. Her grandmother was the pioneering actress, Meenakshi Shirodkar, who was the first Indian woman to don a bikini on the Indian screen for Brahmachari, a film from the 1930s. For someone who started with such masala flicks, Shilpa matured into an art house actress with powerhouse performances in Mrityudand and Gaja Gamini by the end of the 1990s. And then she got married and vanished into the UK. If Ms Shirodkar has any plans to act in a British indie or return to Bollywood, she needs to slip us a cyber note at 

    Salma Agha

    VITAL STATS: She became a household name in Pakistan thanks to the album AGHA, which was essentially ABBA hits sung in Urdu. Salma Agha came into our lives because the producers of Nikaah were on the lookout for a Muslim actress for their lead role. Even though Zeenat Aman had given them a blockbuster with Insaf Ka Tarazu and was half-Muslim, her persona they felt was too urbane for the role. So in stepped Salma Agha in a film that remains the quintessential flick about a Muslim woman’s angst against a male-dominated society. So much so that the film had to await clearance from clerics and had to be rechristened Nikaah. Its songs, especially ‘Fazaa Bhi Hain Jawaan Jawaan’, remain moody classics. She also boogied to Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, in which she played Mithun’s love interest. A video from the film features her and Mithun in delightfully Michael Jackson-inspired choreography. Smita Patil plays the mother who doesn’t quite approve of his son’s choice. Salma Agha, like the late Nazia Hassan, were artistes from our troubled neighbour, Pakistan, who delighted us with their nasal, stereophonic voices, a twang that somehow works rather beautifully with Urdu. She was even nominated for a Filmfare award for her “Jhoom Jhoom Baba” from the same film. Then a disastrous pairing opposite Rajesh Khanna in a film titled Ooche Log (ostensibly about high society) bombed miserably and Agha vanished. If you hear of her latest album, email us at

    VITAL STATS: He debuted as Tarzan in B Subhash’s film of the same name. Then, after some inconsequential films, he has been missing. He made a return to the silver screen with B Subhash’s Divine Lovers in the late '90s, a soft porn flick, in which he enjoyed a flash nude scene. But that didn’t shore up his fortunes any. There was some news of him being asked to leave from Abhishek Bachchan’s birthday party three-four years ago for having gate-crashed it, but aside from that nobody heard from this hunk. They still say he has a body to die for. Bodybuilders, gym rats, strugglers, if you notice this desi Tarzan and his whereabouts, give us a holler at 
    VITAL STATS: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander with Aamir Khan made her a national entity in 1992. In fact, the chartbuster, 'Pehla Nasha', to which she crooned alongside Aamir Khan remains a quintessential song for all die-hard romantics obsessed with Bollywood. When Armaan Kohli, a budding actor (who, ahem, is also Missing), dumped her around then, they say Ayesha lost the plot. She did some roles through the 1990s, but then completely fell off the radar. However, from what we hear she is happily married to a businessman in the construction industry. If Ms Jhulka has any plans of returning to the silver screen, she needs to inform 

    Guddi Maruti

    She was a day-glo Tun Tun, though ostensibly minus the charm. Guddi Maruti was brasher, with many rough edges. In 1997, Dara Munawar Ali, Guddi Maruti's brother, was shot dead by members of the Chotta Shakeel gang in his Khar flat. Guddi Maruti has ceased to become as frequent a fatty as we would like (Sorry Meri Lorry on television fondly comes to mind). Mind you, an imdb search on her reveals no  than 125 films. But the gaps are increasing. So if you wish to inform us if you're casting Guddi Maruti in anything special, email us at We wanna help her get a fat, juicy role in your forthcoming flick.

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