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15+ Best Supporting Actors That Stole The Show in Bollywood Movies

Well, last week I wrote an article as a tribute to some of the amazing supporting actors/actresses in Hollywood, who left an impact so huge that their characters outshine the main leads of the film. While researching such a list, I also came across some amazing character portrayals in Bollywood that became legendary over the years.

The mindset of the Indian audience often revolves around the main leads, popularly known as the Hero and Heroine of the film. However, most of the time, owing to the popularity of these main lead actors and actresses, the brilliance of the supporting cast in the film is often overshadowed by the fans and media.

Even worse, these supporting actors seldom get the fair share during the awards either as most often the awards are given to a superstar turned supporting actor or actress in a movie.

Nevertheless, that’s what FilmyKeeday is after all. We, at FilmyKeeday, respect cinema, and above everything we respect talent and value it before fame and popularity.

Hence, today we bring you a list of amazing acting performances in Bollywood by a supporting cast that bedazzled the audience completely by their brilliance and presence in the movie.

Best Supporting Characters of Bollywood Cinema:

The list of top supporting characters from Bollywood Cinema is as follows:

Vijay Raaz as Ganesh or Petticoat Baba in Run (2004)

Vijay Raaz in Run Peticoat baba

The specialty of Vijay Raaz’s character Ganesh or Petticoat Baba can be witnessed by the number of views that the YouTube video featuring only his scenes from the film got on the web. Filmy keedays all over the world are awestruck by his epic comedy, especially the scenes where he is cheated at every instance, during his visit to Delhi to meet his friend, also the lead character in the film, Sidhu portrayed by Abhishek Bachchan. Although the film was not a hit during its release, the film is even today very popular and has generated a cult following for Vijay Raaz.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Chand Nawab in Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)

nawazuddin siddiqui in Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Well, if it’s a Salman Khan movie, there’s no way you can steal the show from him owing to the rise in popularity and fame for the Bhaijaan in the last decade or so. However, Nawazuddin Siddiqui did that in Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Portraying the role of a Pakistani reporter, Nawaz outranked Bhaijaan in the second half of the film with his witty dialogues in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, brilliant screen presence and most importantly, his amazing comic timing. He was almost successful in doing the same in Salman’s earlier film Kick, but couldn’t do so as Salman’s character was too strong. However, in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, he literally swept Salman off the floor completely.

Paresh Rawal as Baburao in Hera Pheri (2000)

Baburao in Herapheri Paresh Rawal

Paresh Rawal is already known for his versatility as an actor. It can be witnessed easily with number of different roles, he has played throughout his acting career. Over the years, he had developed his acting career as one of the top villains in Bollywood history. However, all that changed after Hera Pheri. He has left his villainous avatars far behind and now is often seen in positive roles either as a character actor or a comedian. Hera Pheri, in fact, played the anchor role in Akshay Kumar’s career as well, who alongside Suniel Shetty were the main lead in the film. However, the character of Baburao Ganpatrao Apte a.k.a Babu bhaiya was magnificent and outshines everyone else in the film.

Annu Kapoor as Dr. Chaddha in Vicky Donor (2012)

Vicky Donor Annu Kapoor

Vicky Donor created a history in Bollywood cinema as it was based around “Sperm Donation”, which could be a controversial issue in a conservative nation like India. And, the whole credit must go to Annu Kapoor’s character as Dr. Chaddha in the film, who doesn’t just convince the main lead Vicky Arora, portrayed by Ayushmann Khurrana in the film, but also convinces the Indian audience that there’s nothing wrong about sperm donation. The main attraction of the movie is when he explains the importance and tries to convince Vicky to become a donor.

Sanjai Mishra as Vidyadhar Pathak in Masaan (2015)

Sanjai Mishra in Masaan

To be honest, Masaan didn’t have many superstars and even the main lead of the film, Devi Pathak, portrayed by Richa Chadda, actually makes her debut as the main lead actress with this the film after giving some of her best performances in different films as a supporting cast. However, the main highlight of the movie was undoubtedly the National Award winner Sanjay Mishra, who plays Vidyadhar Pathak, the father of Richa’s character in the film.

Ashutosh Rana as Lajja Shankar Pandey in Sangharsh (1999)

Lajja Shankar Pandey Sangarsh

It was pretty much common till the 90s, where Bollywood movies revolved around Heroes and villains and their quest to defeat the other. However, if you rate villains in terms of the actor’s performance and quality, then the character of Lajja Shankar Pandey in the 1999 psychological thriller movie Sangharsh, played by Ashutosh Rana, deserves a spot on the top 10 list. The actor also won the Filmfare Best Villain award by brilliantly playing the role of a religion fanatic, who strongly believed that sacrificing young children would earn him immortality. The madness and ruthlessness of Rana in the movie make you speechless as well as scare the hell out of you.

Manoj Bajpai as Bhikhu Matre in Satya (1998)

Bhikhu Mhatre Satya best Villian roles

Now, the title of the movie may suggest that the main highlight of the movie would be Satya’s character played by J.D. Chakravarthy. However, that’s not the case as the whole limelight in the movie is stolen by the iconic character portrayal of Bhiku Mhatre by versatile actor Manoj Bajpai. Playing the underworld don and the best friend of the lead actor, the character was simply supposed to be a supporting one. Yet, the brilliance of Manoj Bajpai and the carefree attitude of Bhiku Mhatre completely trumps the quiet and intense portrayal of Satya by Chakravarthy.

Sunny Deol as Govind in Damini (1993)

Sunny Deol in Damini

Well, all of us know that Sunny Deol as an Action Hero since he is the son of the great Heman of Bollywood, Dharmendra. Despite that, he is also known for his dialogues and most importantly the intensity behind the dialogues. And, the real impact of such brilliance was witnessed in the film Damini, where he played a mere supporting actor against the main lead played Meenakshi Sheshadri and Rishi Kapoor. Damini is one of the best Court Room Drama Film in Bollywood. His famous dialogues such as “Dhai Kilo Ka Haath” and “Tareekh Pe Tareekh” is still considered as one of the best dialogues in the history of Bollywood. Being introduced in the final part of the film, he creates a huge impact that is remembered today as one of his best performances in Bollywood cinema.

Utpal Dutt as Bhavani Shankar in Gol Maal (1979)

Utpal Dutt in Golmaal

Over the years, Golmaal has earned its fame as one of the best comedy films of all time. The film’s title track has also earned a cult following among the masses to accuse someone of mischief. Although the main lead is played by Amol Palekar, it was Utpal Dutt’s character in the film as Bhawani Shankar that steals the show. The only reason is the strength and boldness of his character in the film, even though the central attraction of the film was Amol Palekar, who plays the dual identity of Ram Prasad Sharma and Laxman Prasad Sharma.

Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh in Sholay (1975)

Amjad Khan best actor in Sholay

There’s no doubt that Sholay is one of the legendary films of Bollywood that is also rated as the No.1 film among the list of the Top 100 films ever produced in India by Timeout. Well, almost each and every character in the film, whether it’s the classic binding displayed by Jay and Veeru, Thakur who lost both his hands or the evergreen Basanti. However, it was Gabbar Singh portrayed by Amjad Khan, which also happened to be his debut film, created history. There’s no reason to give explanations about the greatness of this iconic character because if you are true FilmyKeeday, you already know.

Amrish Puri as Mogambo in Mr. India (1987)

Mogambo in Mr India Amrish Puri

Another such great iconic character in a villainous role is Mogambo in the 1990 Sci-Fi superhero film Mr. India. Mogambo was played by none other than the veteran actor Amrish Puri, whose iconic punch line in the movie that says, “Mogambo Khush Hua” is famous even today. At the mention of this film, this line from Mogambo is what comes to everybody’s mind. Even though, Mr. India was India’s first Hindi superhero film, the main highlight of the film was the first supervillain of the film Mogambo.

Amrita Singh in 2 States (2014)

Amrita Singh in 2 States

Well, Amrita Singh was one of the top actresses of her time before she bid goodbye to the film industry. However, she is back again for her second innings and I would simply that she has emerged as an actor she used to be over the years. Her portrayal of a Punjabi mother in the romantic comedy 2 States says it all. The finesse and the realistic approach of a typical Punjabi mother can be witnessed throughout the film and I don’t think anybody else could have been a perfect fit for the film if it wasn’t her.

Irrfan Khan as Ranvijay Singh in Haasil (2003)

Irrfan Khan in haasil

Honestly speaking, Irrfan Khan is no more a second-fiddle actor in the newly released movies. He has developed into a mainstream actor playing lead roles and garnering accolades not just nationally but internationally as well. It was his performance in the 2003 film Haasil, where he played Ranvijay Singh, a ruthless student leader who manipulates the main lead of the film played by Jimmy Shergill and frames him in a murder case, in order to marry Aniruddha’s girlfriend Niharika, portrayed by Hrishita Bhatt. The cunning and ruthless character also earn him a Filmfare Award for Best Villain that year.

Rajpal Yadav as Bandya in Chup Chup Ke (2006)

Rajpal Yadav in Chup Chup ke Comedy

Chup Chup ke had a multi-star cast consisting of actors such as Paresh Rawal, Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, Om Puri, Anupam Kher, Shakti Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Manoj Joshi and  several others. However, the character Bandya played by Rajpal Yadav was undoubtedly the best of all. He makes this huge impact with his innocent humor and excellent comic timing when Bandya and Jeetu, played by Shahid Kapoor, are employed as servants in a huge Gujarati family. The language barrier and his dumb behavior invite a series of comical events that makes you laugh non-stop till the end of the movie. This was one of those films, where the main lead in the film had nothing to do much and was literally quiet during most part of the film.

Richa Chadda as Bholi Punjaban in Fukrey (2013)

Richa Chadha in Fukrey

If you have already watched this movie, then you must already know why Richa Chadda as Bholi Punjaban deserves to be on the list. Well, Fukrey is about four young guys united to make some easy money, but find themselves involved in a drug scandal. However, the main attraction of the film is Bholi Punjaban, a female gangster, who helps them make some easy money by investing some of hers initially. Her carefree and Bindass attitude in addition to her Delhi accent is simply mind-blowing and truly takes away the limelight from the others who share a longer screen presence than hers.

Your Turn!

We Know, Bollywood is a big industry and we have huge numbers of films and characters. If you have a different list or if you think someone is missing in this list, then suggest more supporting character roles in the comment section.

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Rajeesh Nair

Rajeesh Nair is a true Gizmofreak and an addictive movie buff. He blogs at LifeBlender.com – a lifestyle Blogzine which focuses on general life related topics of the 21st Century.