100 Years Of Indian Cinema:The Greatest Indian Actor Ever?

On 3rd May,1913-a century ago-the first Indian film:Raja Harishchandra opened it's doors to the audience giving an upstart to an era of glory,glitz and greatness and an obsession with our stars from time immemorial. As Indian Cinema completes a glorious century of entertaining billions today let us look at the actors and actresses across the country whom we've admired not only for their disarming hysterics but also box-office appeal,good looks,nationwide appeal.First a look at the several Indian actors who made an impression on Indian Cinema.As per a poll by CNN-IBN,kate Telegu giant NTR was adjuged the greatest Indian actor of 100 years.Who do you reckon out of these giants is the best?


NTR, as he was fondly known, was a giant of Telugu cinema famous for playing mythological characters, including Krishna and Rama. Later in his career, he switched from playing deities to the common man fighting the system. NTR became one of the most successful crossovers from movies to politics. He founded the Telugu Desam Party and served as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for three terms. He died of a massive heart attack in 1996.


The first man to get a Filmfare Award for acting,Dilip Kumar was a splendidly naturalistic hero, one of the first mainstream actors to eschew theatricality in favour of a more understated approach. And yet, perhaps because of this very approach, few could ever do high drama quite like Dilipsa'ab.Appearing in many of Bollywood's landmark films, including Mughal-e-Azam, Naya Daur, Ganga-Jamuna, Madhumati, Devdas and Ram Aur Shyam and is cited as the favourite of countless future greats-from Amitabh Bachchan to SRK.


Forty years and counting. The Big B is a legend without parallel in Indian or World cinema, a man who has been ruling the industry for an unfathomably long time.Best known for playing the Angry Young Man through the 1970s when audiences thirsted for a fighter, Bachchan evolved over the years into an actor who can do anything at all: from his “angry young man” in Zanjeer, Deewar,Sholay and Agneepath, through the romantic and comedic hero of Silsila,Kabhi Kabhie,Namak Halaal & Amar Akbar Anthony. Undeniably the “Poster Boy Of Indian Cinema”.


If ever there was a one-man industry, Kamal Haasan is it. Actor, director, screenwriter, producer and choreopgrapher, there is nothing that he can't do. A highly respected actor, Kamal is unquestionably a living legend, one who has stretched himself beyond the points of fathomable versatility. Perhaps most applauded for his performance in Mani Rathnam's Nayagan, Haasan is a rigid method actor who breathes the air his characters do.The truly impressive thing, however, is his refusal to be pigeonholed into any one 'kind' of cinema.


The Showman of Bollywood took the Kapoor clan from a travelling theatre group to the first family of the screen. Cinema's lovable tramp, Kapoor gamely put himself through the popular poor-man prism to entertain audiences by giving them just what they most longed for. Brimming with an almost unbearable optimism, Kapoor's screen persona smiled at the hardest of times, showering simple, sheer pleasure on grateful audiences hungering for escape.He and his films were adored in the USSR, China and Middle East, creating a diplomatic channel for India.


Literature-loving Bengal embraced the movies with abandon, and never more so when Uttam Kumar romanced Suchitra Sen in black-and-white. He ushered in a new Bengali hero – urbane, sophisticated and charming dominating Bengali cinema for three decades.A veritable one-man industry, Uttam Kumar was the first ever recipient of the National Award for Best Actor, winning the prize for his performances in Anthony Firinghee and Satyajit Ray's Chiriyakhana. He died of a heart attack in 1980 and Kolkata came to a standstill as the funeral procession would it's way to the crematorium, with fans thronging the streets for a last look at their hero.


In the Tamil lexicon, Sivaji Ganesan is legendary. The first ever Indian star to win a Best Actor award at an international film festival, Sivaji Ganesan is cited by many South Indian actors as their biggest influence. He played a variety of roles, from villain to hero, and was beloved for his portrayal of mythological characters. Many of his films were remade in other languages.Sivaji Ganesan also had a surprisingly unsuccessful stint in politics, serving with the Congress and Janata Dal. He died in 2001 after having suffered from heart illness for years.


The term “superstar” was coined for Rajesh Khanna, who inspired fan frenzy and hysteria of unprecedented proportions. Film lore says that the mere sight of him caused women to faint, he was sent letters written in blood, and his driver had to clean lipstick marks off his car everyday. Rajesh Khanna was beloved not just for his hairstyle, distinctive kurta and sideways nod, but also for memorable screen characters like the eponymous Anand, from who he took a cue and left a prerecorded farewell message to be played after his death.


Google ”Rajnikanth jokes” and you’ll find out how Rajni spins the world like a basketball or how he’s the only one who can count to infinity.Asia's second highest paid actor after Jackie Chan,he might be the country's most revered Superstar, but very early in his career did Rajnikanth decide to go incredibly mainstream, embracing a larger-than-life persona that mythically overshadowed his impressive thespian abilities. Rajinikanth has not died on-screen for several years now because producers fear that his character's death would send fans on a rampage.


Film experts often discuss with surprise and wonder the fact that an actor of Balraj Sahni's caliber never received a single award. A disarmingly natural actor with a sophisticated style that naturally veered away from showiness, Sahni was an excellent foil for the NeoRealist filmmakers in India.Several of his performances are acting masterclasses, but he will perhaps be remembered most for his role in Garam Hawa, where he played a defiant Muslim man refusing to leave India during the partition.


MGR, an actor-politician like Telugu counterpart NTR, was the heartthrob of Tamil cinema, appearing in a string of blockbuster romance and action films. MGR won the National Award for Rickshawkaran and broke box office records with Ulagam Sutrum Vaalibhan, one of the early films to be shot abroad. MGR founded the AIADMK and served three terms as chief minister of Tamil Nadu which was short lived as he was shot in the ear by actor-politician M R Radha. MGR died of a kidney illness in 1987.


Without question one of the finest actors ever seen on our screens, Kapur possesses the chameleonic ability to completely immerse himself into his characters.Be it the hopeless junkie from Khamosh, the exasperated tongue-flicker of Ek Ruka Huya Faisla, the sinister mafia head in Maqbool or the despicably corrupt builder from Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro: the result is always stunning.


A tour de force in the modern Indian theatre movement, Utpal Dutt straddled the world of Bengali cinema and Bollywood with ease. He made the character actor respectable in films like in Gol Mal, Rang Birangi and Naram Garam. Satyajit Ray cast him in several movies including Agantuk, Jana Aranya and Hirak Rajar Deshe. In Mrinal Sen's landmark Bhuvan Shome his performance of an uncompromising civil servant who takes a holiday that transforms him and his world view fetched him a National Award.


Unlike most other South Indian stars, he never appeared in films in any other language but Kannada, though some of him movie were dubbed into Telugu. Dr Rajkumar began acting at the age of eight and starred in over 220 films. Winner of two National Film awards for Best Actor, his popularity was unmatched while he was active in movies.Although he did not opt for a political career,he is credited with promoting and protecting the Kannada language.


A pioneer actor from the parallel cinema movement, Naseeruddin Shah's impact on Indian pop culture has been immense. The first true star of independent Hindi cinema, Naseer was one of the few actors who, thanks to his dashing charm, flourished on both sides of the fence, finding both arthouse as well as masala success. Few heroes can manage a Tirchhi Topiwale alongside a Mirch Masala, but Shah remains every director's dream actor.


Like Rajinikanth, Malayalam titan Mohanlal started his tryst with destiny as a villain. 25 films later, he switched to playing the hero and also forged a hit partnership with director Priyadarshan. He has since played a variety of roles ranging from romantic to tragic, comic to dramatic while also making successful inroads into Tamil and Hindi cinema winning three National Awards for Best Actor, including a Special Jury award.


When it comes to sheer versatility and the ability to portray characters as different as chalk and cheese then Ashok Kumar’s resume-that stretching over six decades and 305 films,ranging from a grandfather to a suave criminal to a dirty old man-would be hard to beat.After all he’s the most recognised star from India’s silent film and immediate post-indepedence era.


Three-time National Award winner Mammootty is a matinee idol in Kerala, star of hit films like Athirathram and Oru CBI Diary Kurippu. A frequent collaborator of director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mammootty has also appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films.With Mohanlal, Mammootty makes up the top echelon of Malayalam movies. He is also beloved in Kerala for his involvement in philanthropic projects.


It's impossible to narrow down this terrific actor's most memorable performance, and for sheer awesomeness we can just look at two ends of the Sanjeev Kumar spectrum: Sholay, where he played a dramatically helpless hero, making up for lack of limbs with spectacular grit; and Angoor, where he delivered one of the most effortlessly perfect comedic performances of all time.


In keeping with the tradition of Rajinikanth and Mohanlal, Chiranjeevi started out as an anti-hero. His stylized performances gradually earned him not just the lead roles but also superstardom. By the mid-Eighties he churned out blockbuster after blockbuster & was hailed as the man who put act into action also appearing in Bollywood films.


"When you are at an impressionable age you make idols. But when you grow out of the phase, you develop your own persona. I don't want to be known as India's Gregory Peck, I am Dev Anand",said Dev of his comparison to Gregory Peck. Indeed when you’re Dev Anand,the coiffed hair,the deer-stalker hat,the uber-cool collars and never-say-die attitude is enough to have fans swooning left,right and centre.With a career spanning over 65 years and 114 films,the forever young Devsaab continued to rule the hearts of the audience from films like Jewel Thief,Guide,C.I.D.,Kala Pani in the 60s to his death two years back.


Recently awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award,Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee is a living legend in his own terms known among other things for his frequent collaborations with the great Bengali film director Satyajit Ray and his constant comparison with the Bengali screen idol Uttam Kumar.


Bollywood actors were never quite known to be lookers,leaving that part to the pretty ladies to fulfil.When the lean and mean Dharmendra burst into screen with his chiselled face and alpha male personality,it had all the women in the audience quivering with delight at the arrival of Indian Cinema’s definitive He-Man.Also considered to be one of Bollywood’s most commercially successful stars,Garam Dharam’s illustrious career has spanned over decades including Sholay.


The fresh-faced teen idol of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak proved he was not going to be an average superstar with his second film.Known for his willingness to experiment and his dedication to detail, Aamir has played against type his whole life, graduating from chocolate boy roles in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander to dramatic successes in Sarfarosh, Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti while making an acclaimed debut as director with Taare Zameen Par & starring in Bollywood's top-grossing film 3 Idiots.Just named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People, Aamir has proved over and over again that following convention is not what this Khan does.


According to a global survey 2.7 billion people know Tom Cruise while 3.2 billion know Shah Rukh Khan,making SRK the biggest movie star in the world today. From the proverbial outsider to a reigning superstar, Shah Rukh Khans enjoyed uninterrupted success for the greatest chunk of his career.And while the critical jury may be polarized regarding his acting skills, clearly King Khan makes enough of an impression on the audience-from playing the loverboy in DDLJ to an anti-hero in Darr and a hockey coach in Chak De!-to still remain etched in the public consciousness for more than two decades.

So who do you think is the greatest Indian actor of all times?

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Rajesh Khanna the only God film industry has ever had or will ever have

Dr.Rajkumar and Vishnu now Sudeep...

rajkumar is great must watch his films and then decide.


Indian Star king,....star sun....One and One only Dear Mammookka

Rajesh Khanna was the biggest Star & a very good actor simultaneously. Good films & beatiful melodious songs are there to remember him forever. He was unique. Nobody has the talent to touch the height of Rajesh Khanna the ultimate Superstar.

there is no doubt sivaji is the top star in the list


aru know about malayalam films , it s realastic ACTORS , good script and story .big budget and masala songs ,over acting, over comedy this is not malayalam movie. Most national award winners category to kerala is second position.complete cinema is malayalam movies.mohanlal and mammotty is a inspiration of other indian actors .you see any malayalam movie 80s ,90s . you must favourites our actors.mohanlal is a MARLON BRANDO is say times of india.today top IMDB BEST ACTORS LIST YOU JUST SEE AFTER KNOW ABOUT THE LEGEND OF MOHANLAL

Rajkumar is a greatest actor in the world and he is rolmode to all actor becouse he is a god of the film indestry of world

dharmendra the one with highest longevity as a star

I think India's greatest actors are (dead and living, in no particular order):-
Bollywood - Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Dilip Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Om Puri, Amitabh Bachchan, Nana Patekar, Smita Patil (died too early)
Bengali - Soumitra Chatterjee, Uttam Kumar
Malayalam - Mohanlal, Mammootty, Thilakan, Murali, KPAC Lalitha, Bharat Gopi, Nedumudi Venu, Revathy
Tamil - Kamal Haasan, Prakash Raj, Sivaji Ganesan
Kannada - Dr. Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan

Among all these, my favourite is definitely Mohanlal. And a close second would be Kamal Haasan. For me, these 2 are the greatest Indian actors.
If you feel the list missing someone, suggestions are welcome!

mamootty is the best actor in india,, the real complete megastar actor

Rajesh Khanna Our Kaka g

King Khan!!! Shah Ruck Khan!!! Yeah the sole KINGLY GOD OF WORLD CINEMA!!!!

To know the best of best ask your heart it will say the truth ,no one else.

Who is the BEST for Shri Rama's role......NTR
Who is the BEST for Ravana's role......NTR
Who is the BEST for Shri Kishna's role......NTR
Who is the BEST for Duryodhana's role......NTR
Who is the BEST for Bheema's role......NTR
Who is the BEST for Bheeshma's role......NTR
Who is the BEST for Shri Krishna Deva Raya's role......NTR
Who is the BEST for any king's role......NTR
Who is the BEST for a poorest man's role......NTR
Who is the BEST as a tragic hero, action hero, comedy hero role......NTR
Who is the Master in one's own language for best dialogue delivery, great emotions, tone modulation, etc.....NTR.
He was a great pundit in the most beautiful, poetic, musical language in the world.....TELUGU
He made many wonderful movies in his own direction, story, screenplay writing...3 of which got national awards....
The most successful REAL POLITICIAN for the poor and High Achieving CM of Andhra....who brought down the arrogant north Indian politicians, Indira Gandhi, etc to earth...made them look small and filthy in comparison.

Chiranjeevi should have been in Top position after one and only NTR.
Anyway NTR is also a pride of telugu people.
and about Chiranjeevi .. He is the first actor to get invitation from Oscar film festival, and he is the first actor to get remuneration 1 Crore to his aapathbandhavudu, and first break dance in india.. and also famous for realistic stunts and so on.. and ofcourse a great actor with all kinds of actions in him

Yes, Vishnuvardhan and Rajkumar were great actors, but when people say they were greater than Mohanlal, it completely saddens me. An actor of such calibre as Mohanlal is born only once in a blue moon. Popularity is not a measure of acting skill (although Mohanlal is a popular actor).
Also, I have nothing to say about him as a person and I really don't care. But, he is a wonderful actor. You can never deny it. And if you've closely observed how actors really act, then I bet that you would find Mohanlal to be in the top 3 of your list of Indian actors.
For me, he is India's greatest actor.
Believe me, as a child I knew nothing about movies, I would watch shitty Bollywood movies with a wide grin. Then I explored the other states of India and their wonderful cinema - Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka (Andhra has made shitty movies with the exceptions of some creative ones like Mayabazar).
And not one actor have I found with the range, the dialogue delivery, expressions and body language like Mohanlal.
Sheer versatility. Please do not make foolish comparisons with Mohanlal, he is truly a world-class actor. I believe directors haven't yet exploited his wonderful range to the fullest.

I totally agree to you.Mohanlal is the best actor I have ever seen.Just watch his movies such as Kireedam,Bharatham,Vanaprastham,Devasuram,Thanmaathra....and many other.He proved his excellence in all aspects,serious to comedy.If you have seen his films you just can't compare anyone with this versatile actor.

Andhra has made shit movies..Every one will laughs at you.. what about mallu masala movies and mallu aunties and stupid actors like mohanlal only for looks that to faty guy.. See Tolly wood records as below and then comment whether malayalam or tamil anywhere near by to tollywood,
NTR: Number 1 actor ever india has produced.
Chiranjeevi: No once can be compared even to near with his hardwork with both dance and fights..He is also a Padmabhushan holder
Rajamouli: Bahubali.. this name is enough to tell where is your malayalam industry
K vishwanath:
Search in internet about above mentioned names.. i dont want to waste my time in typing..

Vishwanath garu is a legendary director, I complete agree with you on that. But Malayalam cinema has also had great film-makers like Padmarajan, Bharathan, Sreenivasan, Lohithadas, MT Vasudevan Nair, Shaji N. Karun, G. Aravindan, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Ramu Kariat. And I'm not counting the film-makers of the 21st century.
The only great Telugu film-makers I can think of are K. Vishwanath, K.V. Reddy and Ram Gopal Varma. S.S. Rajamouli just makes commercial big-budget movies. And I'm sure that the number of great Malayalam movies far outnumber the Telugu ones. That of course, depends on what you consider great.

You have no idea about Indian cinema.
Bahubali. It has nothing but VFX and some great stunts. "Mallu masala Mallu aunties"... What the hell do you know about Malayalam cinema? What Malayalam movies have you seen? What Mohanlal movie have you seen? Please, I'd love to know. I don't give a shit about Tollywood "records". I'm talking about good cinema. Like Swathi Muthyam or Shiva. Or Mayabazar. Not Mahesh Babu-Pawan Kalyan movies.
"Faty guy", "Stupid actor Mohanlal". Seems you judge actors by their six-pack abs and their handsomeness. I've learnt enough about you.
NTR and Chiranjeevi can't touch Mohanlal. Do not talk nonsense if you don't even haven't even seen an ounce of Malayalam cinema. You're like a frog who doesn't want to come out of his/her well.
And do reply to my question. What Malayalam (especially Mohanlal) movies have you seen?


everyone defending actors from their states..and ofcourse some idiots saying srk and sallu..plz..if u dont know anything shut up...and there is no point in comparing the legends.they are all great in their on ways


Salman khan

Salman khan

I think srk is the no.1 actor of all time because he redefine the meaning of stardom, his flop movies also praised by critics and audience as well, he started his career 4 years later than other khans but he gained superstar status earlier than others,and throughout his whole carrier he did each kind of role perfectly.

indian film king dr.rajkumar

he is ogiginal bond of india

chiranjeevi is the best actor, such versatility much wow

Of course, Kamal Hassan, followed by Mohan Lal

Mohanlal - The complete actor

MOhanlal is the best

Why not Sanjeev Kumar should be in top 5, as well Nasiruddin shah. Irfan khan can also been considered.

Mohanlal is the best actor in india

this list is missing the pheonix of indian cinema DR.vishnuvardhan.

All time super stars
.Dr.Raj Kumar 2.NTR 3.Shivaji ganeshan 4.MGR 5,Amithab bacchan 6.ANR 7.Kamal hasan 8.Rajijikanth 9.Mohanlal 10.chiranjivi 11.Dr.Vishnuvardhan 12.mammootty 13.nagarjuna 14.Dr .Ambarish

Bade bade hai tamaam hero rishten me yeh sab k baap hain......big b...

Are you people mad where is Mr SALAMN KHAN Mr sALMAN KHAN is beggist star in bollywood History 3khans create bollywod History. after then MR BACHAN AND MR DILIP KUMAR . Always remember 3 khnas NO 1 IN Every list

U missing vishnu sir shame on u r part indian cinema

Dont give fake info rajkumar done only 206 movies.

RaJ Kumar is the best...No One can beat his performances. He was influencing the audience and people were changing their life style and becoming a responsible person in the family and a citizen for country.

Dr rajkumar 1

No one can ever beat KAKA !!!
15 consecutive hits in a row in 3 yrs !!!
No one has guts to break that record 40yrs on still unbroken !!
Not even Amitabh or SRK etc !!
The biggest fan following ever !!
Combine ABs SRKs Salmans etc fan following but still will never equal kakajis!!
His fan mania was equal to Beatles Michael jacksons etc.
AB and others have witnessed his craze and state that they have never seen craze like kakajis !

NTR is the it means a lot, he is THE LEGEND.

No word of cource SRK SRK SRK he is the best in the world not only in bolly wood

DR Rajkumar in the greatest actor ,especially in the historical movies.

srk the great


Rajini the king......no one can beat him

Rajnikanth is Num 1...... He is world known and has a great fans across the world like singapore, Japan but no other actors have that huge amount of fans... He is humble and very good hearted.....he is very stylish actor than all so he is the number 1 actor in india........

No one can ever match our anna Dr.Rajkumar.He is the god of acting.

MGR is the only actor with a Bharat Ratna and is the hero\idol of NTR , Mohanlal and Kamalahasan - Prem Nazir has the most world record entries and more or less had no flopped movies unlike Mamutty or Mohanlal in Malayalam whose majority are flopped films and survive on 'fan clubs marketing' , Shankar is the only other super star with almost no flops in malayalam - Talent wise with out ' fan clubs help' etc Nazeerudin Shah must be the Best ever actor. Others will fight with each other for who is better .

Mammootty is the best actor ever in Indian Cinema

Shahrukh khan.kkkkkkkking of all.

Only Shah Rukh Khan

Namma Raj Kumar annovre world best actor, World Super Star

mgr,sivaji ganeshan,dileep kumar,amitabh bachan are not stand infront of ntr. i e ntr

Mammootty, kamal Hasan, Mohan lal, aamir Khan, nasarudeen shah, Amitabh bachan, sharukh Khan......

Please search in google... U can see the name 'prem nazeer'. He made lots of records in world cinema. He is also an indian actor. He ruled south indian films for so many years....


one and only ShahRukh Khan



Aamir Khan ..

1.Sivaji Ganeshan 2.Kamalhassan othersfollow them

Really, Everyone should follow nadigar thilagam only

were is sahasa simha
Dr Vishnuvardan


Vishnu Sir who have acted in 5 indian languages is missing

Dr.Vishnuvardhan Should have been included in this list....

King Khan.....

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