Bollywood has always relied upon human emotions to make successful films; some of them being love, fear, sadness, joy and the like. While movies on topics with these underlying emotions have done well at the box office, love or romance is probably the strongest of them all that has worked wonders for films in Bollywood time and again.
And when one talks of romance, filmmaker Yash Chopra immediately comes to mind, who was unarguably one of the best in the field. Romantic films turn ordinary heroes into kings of romance and the identity sticks with the actors for a very long time. Let’s take a look at the list of fifteen most romantic heroes that Hindi film industry has ever produced.
15. Salman Khan
After a string of flops, Salman’s career was uncertain, but with ‘Wanted’, he bounced back with films that appealed to the masses and came back roaring. One look at his filmography, which boasts of films like ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, ‘Tere Naam’, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, ‘Saajan’ and ‘Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya’, gives us a hint that the bad boy of Bollywood was essentially a romantic actor, who went on to do movies that had different stories to narrate.
14. Saif Ali Khan
The tenth Nawab of Pataudi, who had the best of both worlds in the form of an actor mom and a cricketer father, chose the former as his career, following in his mother Sharmila Tagore’s footsteps and signed films with romantic themes during his initial phase in Bollywood, followed by experimental films. ‘Yeh Dillagi’, ‘Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein’, ‘Hum Tum’, ‘Love Aaj Kal’, ‘Salaam Namaste’, ‘Parineeta’ and a host of other movies give him a spot on the list of Bollywood’s romantic heroes!
13. Amol Palekar
Unlike the quintessential lover boy of Hindi films, Amol Palekar dared to be different and with movies that touched real middle-class issues, he became an actor, who portrayed love in times of problems effortlessly. His films like ‘Chitchor’, ‘Chhoti Si Baat’, ‘Baton Baton Mein’ and ‘Gol Maal’ only prove that the subtle performer was a class apart when it came to romance.
12. Shashi Kapoor
When one belongs to the biggest filmy family of Bollywood, it is but natural for him to choose the film industry for a career. Shashi Kapoor, Raj Kapoor’s younger brother entered the film industry when his eldest brother had a successful stint in acting and had turned to direction. With movies like ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’, ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ and ‘Sharmeelee’, Shashi Kapoor, set an image of a romantic actor and the audiences loved him in such roles too.
11. Emraan Hashmi
When one is known as the Serial Kisser of Bollywood, there is little doubt that the actor would be an action star! Emraan Hashmi, who started his career with ‘Footpath’, rose to stardom with ‘Murder’, followed by ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’, ‘Tum Mile’, ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ and ‘Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji’, which gave him the attention he deserved and also a name in the romantic actors’ list!
10. Ranbir Kapoor
With songs of heartbreak in Arijit Singh’s voice, storylines that highlight his unrequited love for the girl he loves and the perpetual romance oozing from his eyes, Ranbir Kapoor is steadily climbing the ladder to becoming the king of romance of today’s times. His films like ‘Rockstar’, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, ‘Saawariya’, ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ and the rest prove – like father, like son!
9. Aamir Khan
The Perfectionist of Bollywood, Aamir Khan has done a number of films belonging to various genres in his career, but he is mostly known for his romantic roles, which he did quite early on. ‘Dil’, ‘Mann’, ‘Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin’, ‘Raja Hindustani’ or his debut film ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ are a few examples where Aamir Khan proved that when it came to contemporary times, it was him who knew love too well!
8. Farooq Sheikh
The effortless actor, who appeared in parallel films that mirrored realism on the big screen, mostly played a common man, who dealt with real-life problems like others did. The suave actor, who appeared in films like ‘Chashme Buddoor’, ‘Noorie’, ‘Kissi Se Na Kehna’ and ‘Rang Birangi’, gave a new meaning to romance with his subtle performances and gave the audiences more reasons to appreciate him in his understated roles.
7. Raj Kapoor
The doyen of the Kapoor clan was the greatest showman of Bollywood, who mostly told tales of love or acted in films that had romance at its core. Raj Kapoor’s illustrious list of films, which includes ‘Awaara’, ‘Anari’, ‘Shree 420’, ‘Barsaat’, ‘Bobby’ and ‘Sangam’ to name a few, were mostly romantic dramas and the man at the centre of it all portrayed it with great aplomb.
6. Rishi Kapoor
Pick up any movie from his filmography and we realize that the rising star of the Kapoor clan (back in the day) – Rishi Kapoor – who began his career in a lead role with his father’s ‘Bobby’, started out as a romantic hero. With less violence and much romance in his long list of films like ‘Saagar’, ‘Chandni’, ‘Prem Rog’, ‘Yeh Vaada Raha’, ‘Laila Majnu’ etc, Rishi Kapoor, too, belonged to the new breed of young romantic actors from the late 80s.
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5. Dilip Kumar
Although the thespian is called the Tragedy King of Bollywood, Dilip Kumar has had a string of romantic movies under his belt, giving him one of the top spots in the list. With iconic romantic films like ‘Mughal-E-Azam’, ‘Madhumati’ and ‘Devdas’, there is no doubt that an actor, who could portray tragedy with such finesse could also pull off tender roles like he did in his fruitful career.
4. Dev Anand
The evergreen actor of Bollywood was not given that title for nothing! He was a romantic actor from the start of his career and remained that mostly till his last film. Right from ‘Manzil’, ‘Tere Ghar Ke Samne’, ‘Guide’, ‘Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai’, ‘Maya’ and a few more in the list gave him a romantic hero image, which the actor carried off in style!
3. Rajendra Kumar
Also known as Jubilee Kumar for his films’ successful long runs at the box office, back in the 50s and 60s, Rajendra Kumar was a very popular actor of Hindi cinema in its initial decades. His films like ‘Jhuk Gaya Aasman’, ‘Dil Ek Mandir’, ‘Arzoo’, ‘Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee’, ‘Sangam’ and many others in the celebrated actor’s filmography established him as one of the greatest romantic actors of his time.
2. Rajesh Khanna
With romantic films like ‘Aradhana’, ‘Amar Prem’, ‘Daag’, ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’ and ‘Aap Ki Kasam’ to name a few, Rajesh Khanna was one of the most iconic romantic actors of his time. He pulled off his lover boy image with ease and that wasn’t restricted to reel life only. Khanna had women swooning over him and if stories are anything to go by, it is said that girls used to send him love letters written in their own blood!
1. Shah Rukh Khan
There are no doubts or second thoughts about him being the undisputed Badshah of romance! He rules!
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