Moimeme pointed out that my Superlative post was tragically lacking in some of the worthy old-timers. So I am giving our Evergreen heroes their very own post. Hopefully it will make you look at some of our current father-role actors and go “Hey! He used to be HOT!”
First, let us all appreciate Ashok Kumar, India’s first movie star. So sensitive! So fragile! So youthful!
Moving on, Prithviraj Kapoor! So strong! So masculine! So pantsless!
And then we hit the golden era, in which film was ruled by 3 kings. Our sensitive and soulful Dilip Kumar (urban legend claims he played so many tragic parts, his psychiatrist prescribed a comedy for the good of his mental health).
Raj Kapoor, cinematic genius, and also quite the dashing figure.
And Dev Anand, who was just really really, really really, really really, really really, handsome.
And finally, All Three Together! Pick your poison!
As the 50s gave way to the 60s, there was one man who ruled. Shammi Kapoor, Raj’s younger brother, had a kind of Elvis-like wild uncontrollable sexiness.
(Recently seen mentoring his grand-nephew Ranbir Kapoor in Rockstar!)
And then poor Shashi, the youngest brother, came toddling out in his own debut a few years later, barely noticed. Which is too bad, because he was also the handsomest of the Kapoor brothers.
(Recently seen being wheeled around to funerals, as the current Oldest Living Kapoor)
Even Shammi was soon to be eclipsed, with the arrival of the one, the only, RAJESH KHANNA!!! India’s first superstar!!!
(Recently seen being dead)
Okay one more, just so you get his face.
Rajesh was the King, but he was knocked off his thrown by the arrival of the Emperor, Amitabh Bachchan.
(Will you ever watch K3G in the same way again?)
One more! So you get the height.
While Amitabh ruled, there were some little princelings who still managed to carve out a space for themselves. For instance, Rishi Kapoor, the only really successful Kapoor of his generation.
(Yes, this is Rishi! The round cheerful father guy in every other movie! This is what he used to look like!)
Okay, one silly one.
And, of course, Vinod Khanna! Who was just SHOCKINGLY handsome! Almost Dev Anand level (or maybe more handsome? really, this is a question you have to answer for yourself).
(This guy played Shahrukh’s father in Dilwale, and Salman’s father in Dabangg.)
Vinod was in direct competition with Amitabh, but there were others who came a little later, who were just hoping to find a little place for themselves in his shadow. Like Jackie Shroff, who went for the eye-candy arena in photo shoots like this.
(The bad guy in Happy New Year!)
Or Sanjay Dutt, who was the epitome of ugly-beautiful back in the day.
(The sweet mentor/friend in PK!)
And that’s it! That’s the entire pre-Khan history of Indian film! In the format of photos of hot guys! A spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. Or else a spoonful of medicine to make it feel like you aren’t just eating sugar.