What happened to…?

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There are often times when we see talent burst on to the silver screen followed by a disappearing act where the actor or actress vanishes into unknown territory. We call them one-hit wonders—they arrive with a big bang and suddenly fade away. In this article, BollySpice takes a look at actors and actresses that seem to be absent and we dish the dirt on what they are up to at the moment.

She starred as a rustic leading lady of one of the most acclaimed films in the history of Indian cinema and delivered a wonderful performance. Gracy Singh is among those who came and left within the blink of an eye. After a great debut performance, industry insiders report that her bad attitude turned off big filmmakers and repelled the big banners which left Gracy with films like Wajaah, Shart and Muskaan. However, she did star in the first Munnabhai installment and had a supporting role in Armaan where Preity Zinta walked away with the accolades. Currently, she’s waiting for her film Chooriyan to release along with The White Land. Who knows, she might just be making a comeback in television! Let’s wait and watch.

Bhoomika Chawla is another actress who seemed to be on the rise until she put her Bollywood career on hold after the debacle of Family – Ties of Blood. Recently, she was applauded for her small role in Gandhi, My Father where she played Gulab. In between she has been acting in Tamil and Telugu films. She claims that Bollywood wasn’t offering her the right roles so she decided to wait for a good film to come along. Hopefully we won’t have to wait two years to see her again as she gears up for her Abbas-Mustan release titled Benaam with Ajay Devgan and Sameera Reddy.

Her acting never really left an impression, but there has been no word of Kirti Reddy for quite some time. After her wooden debut in Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya, she improved slightly in Badhaai Ho Badhaai after which she seems to have left Bollywood for good. The last we heard of her was in 2004 where she started to dabble in Telugu films. No sign of her in the future!

She crawled into our hearts with a lovable performance as Ganga in Subhash Ghai’s Pardes nearly ten years ago. However, like so many others, Mahima Chaudhary’s career graph went on a decline from there. She seems to have fallen into a ten-year lull and remains stuck in a rut. We last saw her in Souten and Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana which were both box office duds. On the other hand, she was seen in a film titled Hope and a Little Sugar in which she was greatly appreciated. Note that the film also travelled to festivals around the world. On the Bollywood front there isn’t much news of her but there are rumors she has signed Deepa Mehta’s Exclusion with Amitabh Bachchan. On a side note, she recently got married quietly and has given birth to a child. At least she’s busy off-screen!

Here’s another one that is so busy with her family that she has taken a break from films. Namrata Shirodkar who also began her career ten years ago after winning Miss India in 1993 impressed in Vaastav, Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar and Bride and Prejudice. Just as her career was rising, love came knocking on Namrata’s door in the form of immensely popular Telugu actor Mahesh Babu. The couple married in 2005 and she gave birth to a baby boy in mid-2006.

Babies seem to be keeping our actresses busy! Stunning Sonali Bendre who starred in over 40 films has not been seen since a special appearance in Kal Ho Naa Ho back in 2003. She also acted in the Telugu version of Munnabhai MBBS in 2004. We recently saw her taking part of the massive Bachchan shaadi as she is close to the family. Currently her life revolves around son Ranvir. In a recent interview, Sonali gushed, “There is only one word to describe motherhood—fantastic.” Though there is no sign of her returning to the silver screen, fans can rejoice to some degree as Sonali is currently working in a play titled Aap Ki Soniya.

The official cinematic mother of the 90s, Farida Jalal doesn’t seem to be very active anymore. Though she was seen in the delayed Big Brother this year, Farida has quietly stopped signing films and is making a graceful exit from cinema, or so it seems. I for one definitely miss our on-screen mother!

Okay, so he wasn’t brilliant in Tarzaan: The Wonder Car. But if Uday Chopra can make it, why not Vatsal Seth? While Ayesha Takia has taken off after her debut in the same film, Vatsal was not welcomed as warmly into the industry. On a brighter note, 2007 seems to be a big year for him with Hostel and Nanhe Jaisalmer releasing. He also recently signed Samir Karnik’s multi-starrer with Preity Zinta and Salman Khan titled Mera Bharat Mahaan.

After shaking her boobs all over the world and making headlines back in India, has Nigar Khan had to zip up her top and wave goodbye to Bollywood? Oh, if only we were so lucky. Even after being deported from India, she has taken the liberty to attempt to pull an Angelina Jolie in a C-grade Tomb Raider remake titled Jaanleva. The rest of her films are stuck on hold. Thank you for sparing us!

In 2005 she shocked audiences with Kalyug by almost giving Bipasha Basu a run for her money as she displayed that “oomph” factor in ample doses. And yes, she can act! Deepal Shaw will soon be seen in A Wednesday co-starring Naseerudin Shah and Anupam Kher in addition to Teesri Manzil with Irrfan Khan.

Here’s another talented girl that Bollywood has put to waste. In both Tujhe Meri Kasam and Masti audiences loved Genelia D’Souza but for some reason filmmakers weren’t giving her the meaty roles she wanted. And so she went over to Telugu films where she has become quite the star. Thankfully, Aamir Khan is producing a film with his nephew and Genelia in the lead titled Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.

We’ve almost seen the last of Kim Sharma. After Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamaana and Ladies Tailor, this wannabe-sexy lady has no films lined up except for a two-second appearance in a song of Heyy Babyy. Good riddance?

Manisha Koirala was once a reigning heroine who delivered flawless performances in Dil Se, Bombay and Khamoshi. She always balanced her films perfectly though her personal life was always a popular target for the media. So what happened? Well, she gained quite a few pounds to the point where when a fan told Salman Khan to team up with her again he replied, “Have you seen her?” She is still seen here and there with supporting roles in Anwar, God Tussi Great Ho and Darwaza Bandh Rakho. She also attended this year’s Cannes Film Festival and co-hosted the Osian Film Festival with Gul Panag and Divya Dutta. It’s a shame that such a bundle of talent has gone to waste because of a few pounds. Grow up, Bollywood!

I’m kind of clueless as to why Jugal Hansraj who did a fair job in Mohabbatein never made it. His counterparts Jimmy Shergill and Uday Chopra are still around (though the latter only because of his father!), so where did Jugal go wrong? It seems like it’s a mystery that will remain unsolved. He also had a supporting role in Salaam Namaste. Though not on-screen, Jugal will be directing Yash Raj’s animation project Roadside Romeo with Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor as the voices.

He is an absolute legend. Kader Khan has been around for ages and has acted in over 300 films and today is greatly remembered for his comedic contribution to cinema. Though he is still seen in a few films like Umar, Undertrial and Family – Ties of Blood he doesn’t seem to be working at the same pace as usual. Reportedly, the actor has been in hospital as of May 2007 and there is no news of him returning to films. Let’s hope and pray that this laugh riot gets well and tickles our funny bone again some time soon!

It’s apparent that he’s quite risky. And unfortunately his penchant for risks might have cost him a career. After a fun flick titled Popcorn Khao, Mast Ho Jao, Akshay Kapoor from New Jersey dove into the sci-fi genre with Alag. The movie flopped, but all over the industry Akshay’s performance was lauded. He even shaved his head for the role! But why wasn’t this actor given the time of day after such a great performance? He has talent, and girls were drooling over him…so what’s missing? Yet another mystery. As of now, there is no word of him and it looks like it will be a while before we see him again. That is, if we ever do.

After working with one of the best directors in Bollywood and the King Khan himself in Swades, Gayatri Joshi quit films for marriage. While most other heroines require tonnes of make-up and short skirts to catch our eyes, Gayatri won our hearts with her natural performance and complimenting looks. After her debut film, she got engaged to Vikas Oberoi and gave birth to a baby boy in September of 2006. This is one actress we would definitely have liked to see more of!

As is evident, disappearing acts are quite common in Bollywood. While some won’t be gravely missed, we long for others to return and grace us with their cinematic presence. These days comebacks seem to be the “in” thing, so let’s hope we see some of these talented actors and actresses return!

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