The show-stopping smiles that you see on the most prominent runways in India, season after season, are not just great at striking a pose and walking to the rhythm. Some of them hold within them a different dream, and a lot of them have actually brought it to fruition. We’re talking about top models who turned actors, and proved themselves in more than one field of glitz, glamour and a ton of talent! Model Bollywood actress is how we’d like to refer to them, and we’re thoroughly inspired by their journey. If you don’t know who is on this list, you’re in for a surprise. Read on as we let you in on a few of our favourite Bollywood models!
15 Top Model Bollywood Actresses:
1) Aishwarya Rai
This blue-eyed beauty has not just won every Indian heart, but has made waves even in international waters with her dazzling smile and endless panache! An extremely intelligent girl since childhood and an epitome of grace in adulthood and now motherhood, Aishwarya’s story is one for the ages. Her Mangalorean roots were far-removed from the allure of Bollywood, but her drop-dead-gorgeous self was the talk of the college even as she grew up.
Nobody was immune to her charm, and once directors & brands took notice, there was no going back. She was the face of multiple campaigns, and soon, she was crowned Miss World. Bollywood and Hollywood came later, and the rest is history.
2) Bipasha Basu
This Bengali beauty with the most expressive eyes we’ve ever seen is also a model Bollywood actress, and aces everything she does from movies to stills. She is undoubtedly among the fittest women in the industry, with a huge fan following. She has not just acted in Hindi movies but also been a part of Telugu, Tamil and English films.
Her career among Bollywood hot models began back in Kolkata, when she took it up as a part-time job! With a huge portfolio and some significant names up her sleeve, along with being a contest winner on a global platform, she moved to New York. Upon her return, she starred in her debut film Ajnabee, due to which her name on the charts continued to rise, and won her a Filmfare award too.
3) Deepika Padukone
Athlete. Actor. Model. Deepika Padukone has been no less than a sensation! That dimpled smile may as well hold the key to our hearts! She too, walked the runways before she ruled the silver screen, and we can’t help but be in awe. A hit on and off the ramps, Deepika Padukone’s modelling career is highlighted with top brands and designer labels in India.
A few years after she began modelling, she was casted by Farah Ali Khan in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Om Shanti Om, which proved to be the stunning actor’s big break! Even though this Bangalore beauty faced her fair share of struggle in her modelling days, she came out on the other side.
4) Sushmita Sen
The most beautiful woman in the universe plus model actress India? Sushmita Sen! No, we’re not the only ones saying it. Formerly crowned with the Miss Universe title, Sushmita Sen is one of the dreamiest model Bollywood actress. She was also the first Indian woman to win it, back in the year 1994.
With several accolades up her sleeve, Sushmita Sen still remains to be one of most sought-after Indian film actresses. People don’t remember her by her first movie, which was Dastak, but by Main Hoon Na, which starred Shah Rukh Khan. Her timeless beauty and eternal grace cannot be justified by any pageant, and all her fans know this!
5) Priyanka Chopra
PeeCee, as we all lovingly know her, has left no stone unturned. Her path to greatness and becoming a model actress India was paved by her career on-ramp, and it also won her the Miss World crown in 2000. Her 100-watt smile and her quick-witted charm made her a global favourite long before her acting skills did.
The roles she has taken up till date have been absolutely noteworthy, and each time we watch her on-screen, she is a delight! Even as a model, Priyanka was quite well known in & around the Indian fashion industry, and now she is a global sensation!
6) Dia Mirza
You may have seen her on-screen and wondered how someone could be THIS beautiful, but her existence is not a dream, no matter how dream-like. Dia Mirza too kick-started her career in the world of glitz by taking the spotlight as a model. Fashion shows and movie theatres both have not been immune to her endless charm and striking good looks.
She was crowned Miss Asia Pacific International in the year 2000, and there has been no going back for the model-turned-actor since then. She is also known to be an ardent environmentalist and never fails to break the rules or age-old stereotypes. Count on this model Bollywood actress to also make every character seem REAL, even if it’s only fiction.
7) Katrina Kaif
That babydoll look that Katrina carries so well is to die for – and every reader would agree. She is phenomenally sexy, and a jewellery campaign at 14 was what launched her into the modelling industry. Her minimal yet alluring look is not the only reason we love her.
Everything right from her body language to her fitness regime makes her best-suited to be a Bollywood top model as well as the big screen material. She has been casted across some of the biggest names in Bollywood, and she earned the spot with her stellar acting.
8) Preity Zinta
By now, it’s a well-established fact that we’re suckers for dimples! And if that’s the case, then it’s a given that we’ve swooned every time Preity Zinta made an appearance on screen or off-screen. Remember the Liril ad and the drenched, fresh lead? Yes, that’s where she rose to fame and there was no going back for her! Soon, she was casted across every big-ticket actor in tons of movies that became total hits. While her modeling roots will always stay intact, her heart belongs in the world of stardom even if she’s not taking up any movies anymore.
9) Zeenat Aman
This list would have been incomplete without the mention of this timeless beauty and model Bollywood actress and her many, cherished qualities. Zeenat Aman’s acting career is headlined by some of the most iconic movies, and even at 70, she proves that your skills need to complement your look and not vice versa when it comes to establishing yourself in the industry.
From Femina Miss India, to Miss Asia Pacific 1970, her accolades are numerous. One ought to take lessons from her on how to make skin show less cheap, more graceful, as she began working as an actress when this was a big deal in the Indian film industry. She makes us stop and stare even now, and we don’t think this will ever go away!
10) Neha Dhupia
Bold, elegant and forever speaking her mind, Neha Dhupia has been in the limelight for all the right reasons! A successful modelling career led her to be an audience-favourite actress. She wears many hats, and has featured in plays, music videos, etc. very early in her career. She is also a former beauty queen and has been the winner of Femina Miss India in the year 2002. Not many people of our generation are aware of this but Neha also starred in a Hindi serial. It’s safe to say that she is one of the most versatile actresses we have!
11) Lara Dutta
Model, beauty queen, actress (and the winner of all our hearts), Lara Dutta’s career path has been noteworthy. She is the second Indian woman to have won the Miss Universe title, and hails from Uttar Pradesh. She won the Gladrags modelling competition and that paved the way for her to be the first Indian representative at the Miss Intercontinental in the year 1997. She scored first place, which should have been a given anyway. Later, she was also crowned Femina Miss India! Since then, this model Bollywood actress has starred in a lot of romantic-comedies alongside actors like Salman Khan, etc.
12) Anushka Sharma
We all know and love her as not only an actress, but also the one who won Virat Kohli’s heart! Anushka Sharma’s fierce style and skills are what set her apart from the rest, and she made her debut with Shah Rukh Khan starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi which was a definite box office hit. Her modelling career though began by walking for the iconic designer Wendell Rodricks who has been vital in launching a lot of other young models too.
At a Lakme Fashion Week show, this model Bollywood actress gained the recognition and accolade to push her forward and fully pursue modelling. She has been the face of many campaigns, and her fanbase is not just Indian but global!
13) Gul Panag
The curly-haired beauty, Gul Panag was named Miss India in the year 1999. She was already the face of a lot of print & ad campaigns and commercials. She already had high recall value, and after she joined the Indian film industry as an actress, she delivered some really hit films and roles like Dor, Dhoop, Ab Tak Chhappan 2, Kashmeer, and more. She also lends her strong, playful and feminine voice to various movies that need dubbing, or are animated. She is not just a voice actor, but also a politician.
Gul, who is a model Bollywood actress, wears many hats and aces whatever she takes up! From a kickass fitness regime to skills that are unparalleled, Gul Panag is definitely on our radar and trumps any list.
14) Juhi Chawla
Looks like almost every woman on this list has been crowned a beauty pageant winner, but they don’t need a crown to prove they are queens. This especially holds true for Juhi Chawla, who is part of the Bollywood Hall Of Fame. In 1984, she won the Miss India title and then joined the Indian film industry, only to take it by storm! Featured next to the likes of the most sought-after actors, Juhi carved a fanbase of her own in no time. Her million-dollar smile, amazing features, and stellar acting which is equal parts playful and graceful earn her a special place in all our hearts.
15) Lisa Ray
Last but not the least, we’ve got Lisa Ray on our list, who is more into modeling than she is into acting but has been a significant part of some offbeat movies. She is ranked among the most beautiful women of the millennium and has proved to us all that you really don’t require a long career spanning several years to make your mark. In a short time, she has been able to make a lasting impression and also create her own fanbase. She is quite an achiever too, and a philanthropist. Her work as both model and actor is worth following!
Now that you’re up to speed with some of the model Bollywood actress names in India, it’s time to get inspired and make your side hustle a full-time job, no matter what it may be.
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