Bollywood Actress Names Who Started Acting From South Indian Films

While most of the Bollywood heroines have been spotted criticizing the South Indian film industry, in reality, most of them started their careers with South Indian films. However, this article is not about comparison and debate but a listdown of the top bollywood actress names who started their careers in south Indian films and are now dominating bollywood.

Even some of these names will surprise you, So let’s start our list with the first Bollywood actress name:

Deepika Padukone:

One of the highest-paid actresses in Bollywood, Deepika Padukone has given hit films like Pathan, Padmaavat, Chennai Express, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, and Happy New Year! She also appeared in the 2017 Hollywood film XXX: Return of Xander Cage.

The actress started her career with the 2006 Kannada-drama romantic film ‘Aishwarya,’ which was a remake of the 2002-released Telugu film Manmadhudu. Her first Bollywood film was ‘On Shanti On’ opposite Shahrukh Khan, and the film became a blockbuster.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan:

Dubbed one of the most beautiful women in the world, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is the winner of the 1994 Miss World award. She has given hits such as Devdas, Jodha Akbar, Hum To Dil De Chueke Sanam, and Dhoom 2. She started her career in modeling and made her debut in the 1997 Tamil political drama film ‘Iruvar’. Aishwarya’s most recent film is Ponniyin Selvan: Part-2 released in 2023, which is the first South Indian film to release in 4DX format.


Born in Hyderabad, Tabu is known for her phenomenal acting and has made the Bollywood actress name list. However, she has given hits such as Vijaypath, Prem, Filhaal, Life of Pi, and Drishyam. However, she has worked in the Tamil and Telugu film industries; even her first film as an actress was Coolie No. 1, released in 1991, co-starring Venkatesh.

Hema Malini:

Most of you know Hema Malini as a main stream Bollywood actress, but she has also worked with the South Indian film industry in her initial days. She has given Hindi films hits like Sholey, Baghban, Dream Girl, Trishul, etc. During her early career as a south heroine, she started with small roles in the Telugu film Pandava Vanavasam, released in 1965, and the Tamil film Idhu Sathiyam, released in 1962. Later, she got recognized as a Hindi actress and made her Bollywood debut with  Sapno Ka Saudagar, released in 1968.

Vidya Balan:

Vidya Balan is an excellent Bollywood actress name and has earned seven Filmfare Awards and a National Film Award. In 2014, she was honored with the Padam Shri from the Government of India. She has given hits such as Guru, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, The Dirty Picture, and Kahaani. However, she launched her career as an actress in the 2003 Bengali film Bhalo Theko, which was a hit. She has also worked in other South Indian films, such as Urumi, Ekk Albela, NTR: Kathanayakudu, and Nerkonda Paarvai.


Rekha (original name Bhanurekha Ganesan) received the Padam Shri in 2010 from the Government of India. Predominantly, She has worked in the Bollywood industry and given hits like Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Khoon Bhari Maang, Namak Haram, Koi Mil Gaya, Ghar, Phool Bane Angaray, Mr. Natwarlal, and Krrish. However, she started her career as a child actress in the Telugu film Inti Guttu in 1958. Her first film as a lead was in a Kannada film, Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D. 999, released in 1969. A year later, she made her Hindi debut with the 1970 film Sawan Bhadon, co starring Navin Nischol.

Final Thoughts:

The list of Bollywood actress name does not end here. Many of them started their careers in the South Indian film industry. However, It’s also true that some of you might be shocked to see some renowned actresses on this list. In Abouther article on the top 100 best Bollywood actresses, you’ll also find names like Tapsee Pannu, Disha Patani, Priyanka Chopra, Rakul Preet Singh, Shruti Hasan, Smantha Prabhu, Rashi Khanna, and Rashmika Mandhana, who are also from the South Indian industry and have made their names in Bollywood.

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