What would our favorite Bollywood love stories be like without our favorite onscreen couples? Sometimes the actors and actresses themselves help turn even the simplest of stories into the most impressive onscreen sagas. And sometimes our favorite couples can help us get through even the most ridiculous of films. Let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable filmy jodis.
1. Raj Kapoor & Nargis
Co-starring in 16 films together from 1948 to 1956, these acting legends were the original Bollywood sweethearts. Some of their most popular films included , , and . Interestingly enough, these two also reportedly shared an that ended when refused to divorce his wife for . This onscreen/offscreen overlap appeared to be something of a recurring pattern I noticed while researching this piece (as you’ll see if you read on)…
2. Madhuri Dixit & Salman Khan
First seen together in the 1991 film , and reunited two more times in the 1990s with and . The 2002 dud of a film featured the two as childhood friends who shared a sibling-like affection for one another, and I’m still waiting for their big onscreen reunion….maybe in ?
3. Amitabh Bachchan & Jaya Bhaduri
Having co-starred in close to 10 films together since 1973’s , this reel-life turned real-life couple celebrated their in June 2013. Whatever Bollywood drama may have plagued and early marriage, their popular onscreen jodi produced such classics as , , , , , and more recently, .
4. Deepika Padukone & Ranbir Kapoor
First seen together as the winning couple in the 2008 film , and reunited with huge success in in 2013 despite their in 2009. And best of all — they’re slated to star together again in next film. I’m. So. Excited.
5. Akshay Kumar & Katrina Kaif
First seen onscreen in the 2006 movie , and went on to star in six other movies together — most recently director 2010 masala flick . Their most successful films together have been , , and . No films for this leading couple are on the horizon in the near future, but maybe we’ll see them together again if the ever comes to fruition?
6. Rekha & Amitabh Bachchan
Quite possibly one of the most legendary and controversial onscreen duos in Bollywood history, Amitabh Bachchan and first appeared in a movie together in 1973’s . But the movie that really gave them fame as a silver screen couple was the 1976 film , which allegedly is also when their off-screen affair began. With more than 10 films to their credit from 1976 to 1981, this pair’s real-life affair eerily mirrored the onscreen love triangle depicted between the characters portrayed by Rekha, Amitabh, and Jaya Bhaduri in famed 1981 classic, . After Silsila, the two never appeared in another movie together, and their love affair allegedly ended around the same time.
Thanks to the the Bachchan family’s careful avoidance of Rekha in public settings, this much-gossiped about duo was mostly left out of the news for the past 30+ years until at a January 2014 awards function.
7. Aamir Khan & Juhi Chawla
Since their first movie together in 1988 — Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, and went on to star in six more films together over the course of the 1990s. Their onscreen pairing was featured in a variety of films from the romantic family dramedy to the fantasy romance to the goofy action flick . I would to see an onscreen reunion of this amazingly talented pair sometime soon.
8. Kajol & Shahrukh Khan
This hit duo that helped make the . They had actually starred in their first movie together two years before the release of DDLJ in the 1993 thriller . and have starred in six movies together over the past two decades, including my personal favorite in 1998 and most recently the 2010 drama .
If we’re lucky, we’ll see these two make cameo appearances in a rumored , and until then, take a moment to very seriously ponder the video below. Even SRK’s Zorro get-up. You’ll thank me later.
9. Dharmendra & Hema Malini
Yet another silver screen pair that turned into a real-life couple, and with each other during the filming of the 1970 movie . They would go on to star in over 40 movies together, but they’re likely most remembered for their onscreen pairing as Veeru and Basanti in the classic 1975 film . Veeru and Basanti aside, the drama surrounding their off-screen relationship and subsequent marriage may be more memorable than any of their filmy jodis.
Dharmendra was married when he met Hema Malini, and when his first wife refused to divorce him to be able to marry each other while also avoiding punishment under the . And they’re not the only Bollywood bigwigs to have allegedly pulled off such a stunt….ahem, .
10. Anushka Sharma & Ranveer Singh
It was hard not to love this pair in their first movie together as the frenemies turned business partners turned couple in the 2010 Yash Raj Films production . The movie launched career with a bang, cemented place as an actress who’s here to stay, and got this duo’s off to a running start. Before they broke up, they starred together in the 2011 YRF dramedy , and it looks like these two are willing to forget the past for the sake of .
11. Akshay Kumar & Raveena Tandon
First seen together in the 1994 film , Akshay Kumar and would go on to star in six more movies together, including the successful fourth installment of the Khiladi series, . Their debut chemistry in Mohra didn’t go unnoticed, and the two allegedly started dating shortly after the filming of that movie. They had an on-again-off-again relationship for a few years and were even engaged for a brief period.
Ultimately, my reported led to the demise of the relationship and an uncomfortable public avoidance of one another for many years. But given the recent in Mumbai this past February, maybe these two are destined for a “” reunion?
12. Neetu Singh & Rishi Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor’s parents have starred together in over 15 films over the past four decades. From their first film together in 1974, , to their silver screen comeback in Imtiaz Ali’s 2009 film , and have almost always managed to captivate audiences — barring the disaster that was 2013’s , of course. And, for a change, this is one reel-life turned real-life couple that had very little scandal associated with their .
Love or hate the game, you really can’t help but love the players, particularly when they’re partnered up so perfectly. Have a favorite onscreen Bollywood couple that I neglected to include in this list? Let us know!
Special thanks to my friend, Sana Warsi, for sharing .
Farah Naz Khan is an internal medicine resident at Emory University. After graduating from college in Boston, she returned to her Alabama hometown to attend medical school, and was reunited with the mix of Southern hospitality and South Asian flair that had shaped her childhood. Follow her on Twitter or read some of her thoughts at .
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