International Women’s Day: 8 South Indian Women who Have Made It Big in Bollywood

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By Sahaja K R | March 8, 2014 7:30 PM EST

South Indian women have always been a part of the Hindi cinema industry. While many male actors from the south may have tried to make a mark in B-Town, it is mostly the women who have been successful.

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A Few South Indian Women Who Have Made It Big in Bollywood.

Over the years, these beautiful ladies have charmed and inspired many audiences across India. A few of the actresses have even achieved international exposure. These south Indian women have grown by leaps and bounds and they continue to inspire millions of fans every day.

South Indian women who made it big in Bollywood:

1.      Vyjayamanthila: This legendary actress was the first South Indian woman to set foot in to the Hindi film industry. Hailing from the state of Tamil Nadu, she began her career with a Tamil cinema and then entered Bollywood, carving out a path for others. Apart from acting, Vyjayamanthila is also a Bharathanatyam dancer, carnatic singer and a dance choreographer. Due to her beautiful dancing style, she was given  the 'Twinkling toes'.

2.      Rekha: She is one of Bollywood's finest actresses. Rekha, who hails from Chennai carries herself gracefully even at the age of 63. She is best known for being a versatile actress. Although born into a family with film stars, her entry to Bollywood was not easy. While she struggled to be noticed, she soon proved her mettle to the entire nation. In the year 2010, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri award for her contribution to the Indian Cinema.

3.      Hema Malini: Another beauty from Tamil Nadu is actress Hema Malini. She started her acting career when she was 17 and went on to achieve great success in the industry. Before being cast in the Hindi film "Sapno Ka Saudagar", she was rejected by Tamil director for the lead role. She gained wide recognition in her first Hindi film and was tagged as the 'Dream girl'. She received the Padma Shri in 2000.

4.      Sridevi: Born in Tamil Nadu to a Telugu speaking mother, Sridevi began her acting career as a child artist. She started acting at the age of four in a Tamil cinema. She continued to act in both Telugu and Tamil films and made her Hindi debut with the film "Solva Sawan". However, she gained wide recognition in "Himmatwala". There was no stopping her after that and she reigned on Bollywood with her good looks and brilliant acting. After a long break from the film industry, Sridevi made a comeback with "English Vinglish" and once again charmed audiences.

5.      Jaya Prada: Jaya Prada who hails from Andhra Pradesh has gained a pan-Indian recognition as an actress. This famous actress hesitantly accepted a role in a Telugu film when she was 14. However, her performance in this short role impressed many and she got many offers. She acted in a number of Telugu films and then moved on to other languages. Her first Hindi film was "Sargam" and she even won a national award for it.

6.      Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: She one of the most influential actresses, who has mesmerised fans across the globe with her beauty. This gorgeous woman from Mangalore, Karnataka, is considered to be one of the most beautiful woman in the world by many. She gained her entry to Bollywood by winning the Miss World contest in 1994. She received a Padma Shri in 2009.

7.      Vidya Balan: Vidya Balan, who comes from Kerala, has impressed audiences with her wonderful performances in the recent years. She struggled when she entered the Malayalam film industry but made her breakthrough with "Parineeta" in Hindi and since then has been praised for her acting. She is well known for acting in movies such as "Dirty Picture", "Paa" and "Kahaani".

8.      Asin Thottumkal: Asin, born into a Syro-Malabar Catholic Nasrani family in Cochin started her acting career in Malayalam cinema, but soon moved on to acting in Tamil and Telugu films. She made her Hindi debut in "Ghajini" and even won the Best debut actress award for her role.

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A Few South Indian Women Who Have Made It Big in Bollywood.
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