Bollywood is overwhelmingly huge and Bollywood stars are even bigger. And it’s not just us Indian think this way and are borderline obsessive about our beloved Bollywood actors, even the Janta abroad is pretty much smitten with the Shehenshah and Baadshah of Bollywood. And when we decided to dig a little deeper, we found out that it’s not just Big B, Rajesh Khanna and SRK who have an incredible fan following. Even veteran actors like Mithun Da, Dharmendra, and Raj Kapoor had quite an insane number of fans. There have even been instances when fans abroad went berserk just to catch a glimpse of these stars and some even got their favorite stars tattooed! (Wow, that’s something)
Here is an interesting list of Bollywood actors who have not just ruled our hearts but also phenomenally conquered the hearts of millions of fans abroad.
1. Mithun Chakraborty:
Mithun Chakraborty aka Mithun da, the common man’s hero, the glorious disco dancer who saves the heroine’s honor in the nick of time, heroically fights corruption and big gundas is very popular in Russia. His stardom grew phenomenally after his film Disco Dancer became an instant blockbuster in Russia.
Bollywood’s original Action King, Dharmendra has a humongous fan following in Afghanistan. Apparently, fans in the country worshipped him literally.
3. Akshay Kumar:
Akshay Kumar, one of the most bankable stars in Bollywood at present is extremely popular in Canada, courtesy his Punjabi roots. In fact, Khiladi Kumar was also awarded honorary citizenship of Canada!
4. Shah Rukh Khan:
Shah Rukh Khan, the Badshah of Bollywood, has remarkably risen to become one of the biggest names in the history of cinema. The self-made actor has a crazy fan following in countries including Germany, Poland, UK, US and South Korea. It all started in 2004 when a German TV channel aired Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham during prime time. Describing SRK’s fan following, Anupama Chopra once told, “German fans – we’re talking blonde, white women – shivering in sub-zero temperatures for hours for a glimpse of Shah Rukh Khan!”
5. Aamir Khan:
The Mr. Perfectionist of Bollywood, Aamir Khan is hugely popular and is one of the most followed Bollywood stars in China, Thailand, and Hong Kong. His popularity grew after films like Dangal, PK and 3 Idiots were released in these countries. His last release Dangal turned out to be a blockbuster in China.
6. Amitabh Bachchan:
What can we say about Bollywood’s one and only megastar?! Amitabh Bachchan, the magnificent actor, the Shehenshah of Bollywood is very popular in Egypt. After Big B underwent a major surgery for inflammation and perforation of small and large intestines at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai in 2005, millions of Egyptian fans prayed for his recovery.
7. Priyanka Chopra:
Bollywood’s lovely Desi Girl, Priyanka Chopra is one the most popular faces representing Bollywood globally and we are so proud! Even before making her Hollywood debut with Baywatch, people knew her as the beautiful Bollywood actress and the voice behind ‘In My City’. Cut to now, people in the West are already lovin’ her. Why not? Who can gulp down a tequila shot like a boss right before an interview on National TV? Recently, one of her fans got Priyanka’s face inked on his forearm as the Statue of Liberty. Crazy much?
8. Raj Kapoor:
Raj Kapoor, the Showman of Bollywood, is very popular in Russia. His films went on to become blockbusters and he was often considered as the pioneer of Indo-Russian relationship. His film Mera Naam Joker also had the Russia connection. In the film, he falls in love with a Russian artist Marina (Ksenia Ryabinkina), the lead trapezist. This performed well in Russia.
9. Salman Khan:
Many agree that Bajrangi Bhaaijan is one of Salman Khan’s finest performances till date. It went on to become a blockbuster in Pakistan and the Pakistani audience became loyal Salman Khan fans. One of his fans, Aly Malik, a Dubai-based Pakistani expat, bought a Dubai vehicle number plate bearing the Bollywood superstar’s birthday: 27/12 under the ‘S’ series.
10. Chunky Pandey:
Quite surprising, but yes, Chunky Pandey is a famous name in Bangladesh, especially after the release of his debut Shami Keno Asha Me. The Bangladesh’s film industry welcomed this B-town star with open arms.
11. Shammi Kapoor:
Shammi Kapoor was a trendsetter in the truest way. Be it his clothes, his hairstyle or his energetic acting and dance moves, Kapoor had this special connection with the audience. Not many know but Shammi Kapoor had a fantastic fan following in the middle east countries like Iraq.
Who knew Chunky Pandey would turn out to be a superstar in Bangladesh. We are amazed. Are you?
Also published on Medium.