As kids they were vibrant and charming. With time, they graduated into some of India’s most talented and sought after lead actors. While some managed to maintain their hold as actors, other simply faded into oblivion. Let us now take you back in time, and find out how the stars and starlets of today and yesteryears, supported by their small feet, tip toed into the world of glamour and fame as child actors.
First childhood venture: Kalathoor Kannamma (1959)
Comeback movie as adult: Maanavan (1970)
Born in a Tamil Iyengar family to parents D. Srinivasan and Rajalakshmi, Kamal Hassan made his silver screen debut at the tender age of four.
Kamal Hassan’s moment of fame came when he got spotted by producer AVM Saravanan at Meyyappa Chettiar’s house. The hyperactive child, as the young Kamal was often described by industry insiders, made his debut in Kalathur Kannamma. In his maiden project as actor, Kamal got to share screen space with veteran actor Gemini Ganesan.
Seeing their youngest son’s interest in performing arts, Kamal’s parents enrolled him at TKS Nataka Sabha. His development as an actor of immense caliber took place over the next few years. And, the rest, as they say, is history.
First childhood venture: Kalyug (1981)
Comeback movie as adult: Bade Ghar Ki Beti (1989)
The same little girl who played the snobbish, elder sister in Shekhar Kapoor’s critically acclaimed “Masoom” would set hearts aflutter with her sensuous and bold acts years later, is something Indian audiences might not have guessed.
The daughter of a Bank manager, Urmila, in her third silver screen appearance, shared screen space with Jugal Hansraj. Urmila’s first brush with glamour happened through the movie Kalyug. The child actor was also cast in the role of a boy for the movie Parikshit where she played son to Raj Babbar and Rekha.
First childhood venture: Mr.India (1987)
Comeback movie as adult: Mast (2000)
When Aftab Shivdasani debuted as an actor with “Mast”, his face was already familiar to Indian audiences. Aftab’s stint with the glamour world goes a long way back. He appeared in a commercial for a baby food brand at just fourteen months of age. The cute actor was later cast in a string of movies like ChaalBaaz, Awwal Number, Shahenshah and Mr. India alongside reigning Bollywood stars.
Having survived in Bollywood for over a decade as child artist, the adult Aftab made a promising debut with Mast opposite another child artiste turned lead actor Urmila Matondkar. After the promising debut, Aftab’s career took a turn for the worse. A series of flops later, the actor is barely traceable in Bollywood now, only spotted making sheepish appearances at page 3 events once in a while. All we can say is, Aftab will forever be etched in our minds as the promising child actor from the nineties.
First childhood venture: Kandan Karunai (1967)
Comeback movie as adult: Mundru Mudichu (1976)
Sridevi’s silver screen career began with the movie Kandhan Karunai in which the southern siren of future years was cast as a child actor. In her debut movie ‘Shree Amma Yanger’ Sridevi played the role of young Muruga. Thereafter, the Tamil actress continued making appearances in a string of Telegu, Malyalam and Tamil movies.
For Sridevi, her first break as heroine came pretty early in life. The actress was only thirteen when she starred opposite Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth in K. Balachander’s Moondru Mudichu.
First childhood venture: Ishq Ishq Ishq (1974)
Comeback movie as adult: Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai (1981)
Hailing from a family of performers, Padmini Kolhapure made her debut in Bollywood as a singer. Asha Bhonsle, a distant relative of the Kolhapure family, first suggested her name to actor Dev Anand, who later cast Padmini in Ishq Ishq Ishq.
However, it was her performance in the 1980 film Gehrayee that got Kolhapure noticed. What followed next was a series of small but memorable performances in movies like Satyam Shivam Sundaram and Insaaf Ka Taraazu. The powerhouse of talent matured to heroine roles at the tender age of fifteen.
First childhood venture: Reshma Aur Shera (1972)
Comeback movie as adult: Rocky (1981)
Born to two of India’s most talented film actors ever, acting ran in Sanjay Dutt’s blood. The future Munnabhai was a Munna or kid literally, when he made his silver screen debut with Resham aur Shera. The movie in which Sanjay’s father Sunil Dutt featured as the lead actor, the child Sanju Baba was seen portraying a young qawali singer.
First childhood venture: Majhli Didi (1967)
Comeback movie as adult: Geet Gaata Chal (1975)
Sarika, much like her estranged husband Kamal Hassan, tasted glamour and success first as a child artist. The National award winning actress, Sarika, during her initial days in Bollywood was known by the name Master Sooraj. She acted in a number of Bollywood films, a list which included a few B-grade movies as well.
First childhood venture: Ha Majha Marg Ekla (1962)
Comeback movie as adult: Geet Gaata Chal (1975)
Sachin Pilgaonkar, Bollywood’s chocolate boy from the seventies and eighties, made his silver screen debut as a child actor in a Marathi film titled “Ha maza marg ekla”. The four year old actor even went on to win a national award for his performance in the movie. For child Sachin, there was no looking back since then. As a child artist, Sachin worked with many renowned stars including Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor. He has acted in close to 65 films as a child artist.