Many actors and actresses have made a foray into the world of politics. They believe that their fans would help them succeed in power politics, and sometimes they get success as well but at the same time, many do not get success. There are many examples wherein actors had an illustrious political career after leaving the world of cinema. Here is a list of such famous Indian actors/actresses who became successful politicians. These actor-turned politicians carry themselves well and stand among the masses confidently. They are bestowed with the immense love of their fans. So it wouldn’t be wrong to claim that the film industry and politics go hand in hand. However, this is also true that these politicians always get closely monitored and judged on their every step. But they continue in politics, contest elections, sometimes win and lose sometimes.
Hema Malini (born 16 October 1948) is an Indian film actress, writer, director, producer, dancer and politician. She is considered one of the most successful actresses of her time in Hindi cinema history. In 1963, she made her acting debut in the Tamil film Idhu Sathiyam. Malini first acted in a main role in Sapno Ka Saudagar (1968), and went on to feature in numerous Bollywood films, primarily as the lead actress. In most of her films, she starred opposite her husband Dharmendra and with Rajesh Khanna and Dev Anand. Malini was initially promoted as the “Dream Girl”, and in 1977 starred in a film of the same name. She has played both comic and dramatic roles, as well as being a dancer. She was one of the highest paid Indian actresses from 1976 to 1980.During her career, she received eleven nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, winning the award in 1973. In 2000, Malini won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award and also the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honour awarded by the Government of India. In 2012, the Sir Padampat Singhania University conferred an Honorary Doctorate on Malini in recognition of her contribution to Indian cinema. Malini served as chairperson of the National Film Development Corporation. In 2006, Malini received the Sopori Academy of Music And Performing Arts (SaMaPa) Vitasta award from Bhajan Sopori in Delhi for her contribution and service to Indian culture and dance. In 2013, she received the NTR National Award from the Government of Andhra Pradesh for her contribution to Indian cinema.From 2003 to 2009, Malini was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper House of parliament, as a representative of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In 2014, Malini was elected to the Lok Sabha. Malini has been involved with charitable and social ventures. Currently, Malini is also a life member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). She has been praised by critics for her dancing and acting.
Raj Babbar (born 23 June 1952) is an Indian Hindi and Punjabi film actor and politician belonging to Indian National Congress. three-time member of the Lok Sabha and a two-time member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. He was the President of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.
Jaya Prada (born 3 April 1962) is an Indian film actress and politician. She is considered to be one of the best actresses in Hindi cinema and was one of the most iconic and influential actresses in both south and Hindi film industry in late 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. Jaya Prada is the recipient of three Filmfare Awards South and has starred in many Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi films. She left the film industry at the peak of her career, as she joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 and entered politics. She was a Member of Parliament (MP) from Rampur from 2004 to 2014.
Some of her memorable films include Anthuleni Katha (1976), Seeta Kalyanam (1976), Adavi Ramudu (1977), Yamagola (1977), Sanaadi Appanna (1977), Siri Siri Muvva (1978), Sargam (1979), Kaamchor (1982), Kaviratna Kalidasa (1983), Sagara Sangamam (1983), Tohfa (1984), Sharaabi (1984), Maqsad (1984), Sanjog (1985), Aakhree Raasta (1986), Simhasanam (1986), Sindoor (1987), Samsaram (1988), Elaan-E-Jung (1989), Aaj Ka Arjun (1990), Thanedaar (1990), Maa (1991), Devadoothan (2000), Pranayam (2011), and Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (2012). She won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Telugu for her performance in Sagara Sangamam. She has also been awarded Filmfare Special Award for her performance in Siri Siri Muvva & Anthuleni Katha (1976).
She has been considered by many as the most beautiful face to grace Indian cinema, courtesy the reticent cinematic maestro Satyajit Ray who called her “the most beautiful face on the Indian screen”.
N T Rama Rao
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (28 May 1923 – 18 January 1996), popularly known as NTR, was an Indian actor, producer, director, film editor and politician who served as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for seven years over three terms. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema and one of the two legends of Telugu cinema, along with Akkineni Nageswara Rao. NTR received three National Film Awards for co-producing Thodu Dongalu (1954) and Seetharama Kalyanam (1960) under National Art Theater, Madras, and for directing Varakatnam (1970). NTR has received the erstwhile Rashtrapati Awards for his performance(s) in the Raju Peda (1954) and the Lava Kusa (1963). He garnered the Nandi Award for Best Actor for Kodalu Diddina Kapuram in 1970, and the Inaugural Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu in 1972 for Badi Panthulu.NTR made his debut as an actor in a Telugu social film Mana Desam, directed by L. V. Prasad in 1949. He gained popularity in the 1950s when he became well known for his portrayals of Hindu deities, especially Krishna and Rama, roles which have made him a “messiah of the masses”. He later became known for portraying antagonistic characters and Robin Hood-esque hero characters in films. In total, he starred in 300 films, and has become one of the most prominent figures in the history of Telugu cinema. He was voted “Greatest Indian Actor of All Time” in a CNN-IBN national poll conducted in 2013 on the occasion of the Centenary of Indian Cinema.He starred in such films as Patala Bhairavi (1951), which premiered at the first India International Film Festival, held in Mumbai on 24 January 1952, Malliswari (1951), premiered at Asia Pacific Film Festival, the enduring classics Mayabazar (1957) and Nartanasala (1963), featured at an Afro-Asian film festival that was held in Jakarta, Indonesia. All the four films were included in CNN-IBN’s list of “Hundred greatest Indian films of all time”.He co-produced Ummadi Kutumbam, nominated by Film Federation of India as one of its entries to the 1968 Moscow Film Festival.
Besides Telugu, he has also acted in a few Tamil films. Widely recognised for his portrayal of mythological characters, NTR was one of the leading method actors of Indian cinema, He was referred to in the media as Viswa Vikhyatha Nata Sarvabhouma. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1968, recognizing his contribution to Indian cinema.
After his career in films, NTR entered politics. He founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1982 and served three tumultuous terms as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh between 1983 and 1995. He was known as an advocate of Andhra Pradesh’s distinct cultural identity, distinguishing it from the erstwhile Madras State with which it was often associated. At the national level, he was instrumental in the formation of the National Front, a coalition of non-Congress parties which governed India from 1989 until 1990.
Shatrughan Prasad Sinha (born 15 July 1946) is an Indian film actor and politician. He was a member of Lok Sabha (2009–2014, 2014–2019) from Patna Sahib and Rajya Sabha (1996–2002, 2002–2008). He was a Union Cabinet Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Shipping in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He was a member of standing committee on transport, tourism and culture and member of consultative committee in ministry of external affairs and overseas indian affairs from 2014 to 2019. In 2016, his biography, Anything but Khamosh, was released.
Kirron Anupam Kher (also Kiran or, Kiron born 14 June 1952) is an Indian theatre, film and television actress, singer, entertainment producer, TV talk show host and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In May 2014, she was elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian Parliament from Chandigarh.
Chiranjeevi (Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad, born; 22 August 1955) is an Indian film actor and politician. He served as the Minister of State with independent charge for the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India from 27 October 2012 to 15 May 2014. Prior to politics, Chiranjeevi had worked primarily in Telugu cinema in addition to Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi films. He made his acting debut in 1978 with Punadhirallu. However, Pranam Khareedu was released earlier at the box office. Known for his breakdancing skills, Chiranjeevi starred in over 150 feature films. In 1987, he starred in Swayamkrushi which was dubbed into Russian and was screened at the Moscow International Film Festival. Chiranjeevi won the 1988 Indian Express Best Actor Award and the state Nandi Award for Best Actor awards for his performance in the film. In the same year, Chiranjeevi was one of the Indian delegates at the 59th Academy Awards. In 1988, he co-produced Rudraveena which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration.Chiranjeevi’s 1992 film Gharana Mogudu, directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, is the first Telugu film to gross over ₹10 crore at the box office. The film was screened at the 1993 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. It made Chiranjeevi the highest-paid actor in India at the time catapulting him to the cover pages of national weekly magazines in India. The entertainment magazines Filmfare and India Today named him “Bigger than Bachchan”, a reference to Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan. News magazine The Week hailed him as “the new money machine”. He was paid ₹1.25 crore, the highest fee for any Indian actor, for the 1992 film Aapadbandhavudu. In 2002, Chiranjeevi was given the Samman Award for the Highest Income Tax Payer for the 1999–2000 assessment year by the Minister of State for Finance. A poll conducted by CNN-IBN in 2006 named Chiranjeevi the most popular star of the Telugu film industry.In a film career spanning thirty-nine years, he won 3 state Nandi Awards, and a Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, and 8 Filmfare Awards South. In 2006, Chiranjeevi was honored with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, for his contributions to Indian cinema and was presented with an honorary doctorate from Andhra University. In 2013, he inaugurated the Incredible India Exhibition, a joint participation of the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Chiranjeevi represented Incredible India at the 14th International Indian Film Academy Awards ceremony held in Macau. In 2013, IBN LIVE named him as one of “the men who changed the face of the Indian Cinema”.
Smriti Zubin Irani (née Malhotra; born 23 March 1976) is an Indian politician, former model, television actress, and producer. Irani is a Minister in the Union Cabinet of India. She is serving in the cabinet of Narendra Modi as Minister of Textiles and was given additional charge as Minister of Women and Child Development in the 2nd cabinet of Modi since May 2019. A prominent leader within the Bharatiya Janata Party, she is a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, representing Amethi.
In the 2019 Indian general election, she defeated Rahul Gandhi – the country’s principal opposition leader and president of Indian National Congress – to win the seat. Gandhi’s family had previously represented the constituency for four decades. Prior to this, she was a member of the Rajya Sabha for Gujarat and held multiple portfolios as a Minister in the Government of India.In the 2nd Modi Ministry she was again sworn in as a Cabinet Minister on 30 May 2019. She is currently the youngest Minister in the Council of Ministers at the age of 43. On 31 May 2019, the government released the portfolio allocations for the ministers. She retained her post as the Minister of Textiles. She was also given an additional charge of becoming the Minister of Women and Child development succeeding Maneka Gandhi.
Vinod Khanna (6 October 1946 – 27 April 2017) was an Indian actor, film producer and politician who is best known for his work in the Indian cinema. He was the recipient of two Filmfare awards. He was the MP from the Gurdaspur constituency between 1998–2009 and 2014–2017. In July 2002, Khanna became the minister for Culture and Tourism in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. Six months later, he became the Minister of State for External Affairs. Widely regarded as one of the most handsome and greatest actors of Indian Cinema, Khanna was one of the highest-paid stars of his times, along with Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan.After making his film debut in 1968, Khanna first acted in supporting and antagonistic roles; as an angry young man in the movie Mere Apne, as the main villain in the highly successful crime drama Mera Gaon Mera Desh, and as the military officer turned fugitive in the critically acclaimed movie Achanak, which was a film based on the events of K. M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra. Khanna played lead roles in many films and is best remembered for his performances in Kuchhe Dhaage, Gaddaar, Imtihaan, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Inkaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Rajput, The Burning Train, Qurbani, Kudrat, Parvarish, Khoon Pasina, Dayavan, Chandni and Jurm.In 1982, at the peak of his film career, Khanna temporarily quit the film industry to follow his spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh. After a 5-year hiatus, he returned to the Hindi film industry with two hit films- Insaaf and Satyamev Jayate.Khanna has been posthumously awarded India’s highest award in cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2018 by the Government of India at 65th National Film Awards.
Jayaram Jayalalithaa (24 February 1948 – 5 December 2016) was an Indian politician and film actress who served six times as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for over fourteen years between 1991 and 2016. From 1989 she was the general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a Dravidian party whose cadre revered her as their “Amma” (mother) and Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader). Her critics in the media and the opposition accused her of fostering a personality cult and of demanding absolute loyalty from AIADMK legislators and ministers, who often publicly prostrated themselves before her.Jayalalithaa first came into prominence as a leading film actress in the mid-1960s. Though she had entered the profession reluctantly, upon the urging of her mother to support the family, Jayalalithaa worked prolifically. She appeared in 140 films between 1961 and 1980, primarily in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages. Jayalalithaa received praise for her versatility as an actress and for her dancing skills, earning the sobriquet “Queen of Tamil Cinema”. Among her frequent co-stars was M. G. Ramachandran, a Tamil cultural icon who leveraged his immense popularity with the masses into a successful political career. In 1982, when MGR was chief minister, Jayalalithaa joined the AIADMK, the party he founded. Her political rise was rapid; within a few years she became AIADMK propaganda secretary and was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s Parliament. After MGR’s death in 1987, Jayalalithaa proclaimed herself his political heir and, having fought off the faction headed by Janaki Ramachandran, MGR’s widow, emerged as the sole leader of the AIADMK. Following the 1989 election, she became Leader of the Opposition to the DMK-led government headed by Karunanidhi, her bête noire.